by Barry Rubin
Since there is so much bad policy on the Middle East to critique and since there’s no hope of the Obama Administration listening to alternative strategies, I usually focus on attacking bad policies rather than on suggesting better ones. There is no great mystery, however, about what a goo[d] U.S. Middle East policy would look like. You can apply this to any article I write as my constructive answer to the messes, crises, and dangers being faced.
The United States should take leadership. This is what its allies and dependents want and its enemies fear. The UN at times can be a useful instrument but why depend on an organization often dominated by anti-American dictators and totally indifferent to U.S. interests?
Identify the greatest threat today as revolutionary Islamism. Build a broad alliance with all those opposed to revolutionary Islamism. Of course, this list includes millions of non- and anti-Islamist Muslims:
Canada; European allies; Israel; and the remaining Arab governments that are relatively moderate on international affairs: Morocco; Algeria; Saudi Arabia, Kuwait; Bahrain; Oman; the United Arab Emirates; Iraq, South Sudan, and Jordan. Add to that the oppositions in Lebanon, Iran, and Turkey, and the truly moderate elements in Syria. Work with the real moderates and the army in Egypt (though these two are at loggerheads) and Turkey (whose army is being weakened perhaps the point of no return).
Plug in also with India, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and a number of other governments in Asia and Africa, too that face radical external and internal threats . China’s interests should be appealed to based on its desire for stability, need for secure sources of energy and supply routes, and concerns over its own Muslim minority becoming radicalized.
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