“While it might harm Washington’s ego to treat Moscow as an equal partner in world affairs, the only way to mollify the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear program – without a major war against Iran (and absent another silver bullet to use on Iran, like the Stuxnet cyber-attack) – is to grant Russia the respect Putin believes he and his country deserve. Thanks to the restrictive sanctions regime that President Trump has imposed on Russia, the United States has leverage. By dangling the prospect of a grand bargain between Moscow and Washington over key disagreements, the United States would likely be able to get Russia to work with it on ending the threat posed by Iran.”
“A similar descent is in store for the United States today—though very few recognize it. Just as the airy assumptions of the last world order (the European-led one) came crashing down on the heads of those who believed them the most, so today are the assumptions about our current world order about to come caving in on us.”
“”With the loss of Saudi Arabia as a viable partner in blocking the spread of Iranian power, the Trump Administration would be forced to revisit the oft-repeated notion that Iran is a rational actor. President Trump would have to renege on his campaign promise of ending the terrible Obama era Iran deal. He would have to reverse course and effectively reinstitute the Obama deal with Iran, in order to gain new leverage over Tehran. In other words, Trump would have to surrender the Middle East to Iran, selling out Israel in the process, just as Barack Obama did.”
“Fact is, under present conditions, without some form of peaceful mitigation of tensions, it is likely that some form of conflict with Iran is at hand–this is especially true if the Iranians blockade the Strait of Hormuz. The United States, at that point, would have no point but to respond immediately. There are simply no viable alternatives out of transporting Mideast oil through the Strait of Hormuz.”
“Further, I would anticipate spikes in the global price of oil for the foreseeable future (by the way, this undoubtedly would make Moscow happy, since Russia depends on higher-than-average oil prices to sustain its economy and military modernization program). Should these increases continue for the foreseeable future—and if Iran continued both with its illicit nuclear weapons program and regional expansion—the United States will be forced to intervene military.”
“In all, the president has done what very few American leaders before him have been able to do: he has weighed the costs and benefits of the deal and determined that, whatever consequences may befall the world in the short term, the longer-term prospects are almost all in America’s favor. What happens next will be difficult, but ultimately, the difficult choice will have proven to be the correct one.”
“Russia is not our friend (and we need to always be on guard when dealing with them, and interact with them from a position of strength). However, Russia is not our enemy…unless we make them our enemy. The Russians have indicated with this recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel that they are looking for a more amicable, stable solution to the cauldron of chaos that is the Mideast. Now is the time for President Trump to buck the idiotic orthodoxy of the Washington establishment and go to Moscow to make the deal of the century.”
The defeat of the Islamic State will create several knock-on effects in the Middle East. Namely, the Kurds will likely renew calls for their independence. The U.S. should support these claims.