New York Times: US Vision for Mideast – For Now

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo followed the lead of former US President Barack Obama by visiting a Cairo university to present a vision of US foreign policy in the Middle East. A global audience can only conclude that the United States is an unreliable partner due to a polarized electorate, failing with consistent long-turn strategy, and perhaps for the short term, too, as Trump administration members disagree over withdrawing troops from Syria. Obama’s purpose in 2009 was to reset relations in the region after the 2003 invasion in Iraq, reject torture and signal willingness to engage with Iran. Donald Trump announced withdrawal of troops from Syria. Then the national security advisor said withdrawal depends on conditions, including containing Islamic State extremists followed by Pompeo’s remarks, suggesting the United States would pursue more engagement in the Middle East and “when America retreats, chaos follows.” The New York Times reports: “Pompeo’s prescription was short on specifics, beyond bolstering alliances with Arab autocrats loyal to Washington. Instead he painted a picture of a Middle East cast into chaos by President Barack Obama, and that can only be rescued by crushing Iran. He advocated a policy of containment of Iran’s power, pressing for allies in the region to isolate the country.” Iran’s foreign minister responded: “Whenever/wherever U.S. interferes, chaos, repression and resentment follow.” Zigzagging US policies for the Middle States, with little sign of peace or stability, carry tremendous costs for all involved. – YaleGlobal

New York Times: US Vision for Mideast – For Now

From Bush to Obama to Trump – a polarized US electorate makes it impossible for the country to a be a reliable or cost-efficient partner in the Middle East
Declan Walsh and David E. Sanger
Friday, January 11, 2019

Read the article from the New York Times about shifting US vision, policies and strategy for the Midde East.

Declan Walsh is the Cairo bureau chief, covering Egypt and the Middle East.  David E. Sanger is a national security correspondent and a senior writer. In a 36-year reporting career for The New York Times, he has been on three teams that have won Pulitzer Prizes, most recently in 2017 for international reporting. His newest book, The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage and Fear in the Cyber Age, examines the emergence of cyberconflict as the primary way large and small states are competing and undercutting each other, changing the nature of global power. Walsh reported from Cairo, and Sanger from New York.     

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