US Middle East Policy
The US Defense Establishment’s Role in Shaping American Regional Strategy
Israel offers the US military and, even more so, the intelligence community critical support. For example, the US Army has gained through the acquisition of the Iron Dome missile defense system, tank technology such as reactive armor, solutions to the challenge of terrorist improvised explosive devices, mine-clearing devices, and much more. In turn, the US defense establishment –specifically CENTCOM, now that Israel is in its area of responsibility – increasingly reflects Israeli perspectives in Washington policy debates. This has recently been the case on Iran.
Connecting Strategic Dots: Biden’s Visit to the Middle East
During Biden's upcoming visit, he plans to form a regional defense alliance at a regional conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The coalition will include the United States, Israel, and a host of Arab countries, including Gulf states, Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq. In this sense, Biden continues Trump's policy of the Abraham Accords.
The Significance of Events in Yemen for the Mideast Strategic Equation
The US decision to withdraw support from the battle against the Houtis in Yemen signals a change of direction away from staunch backing of Western allies in the contest with Iran, and towards an attempt at “balancing” between rival regional powers, along the lines attempted by the Obama Administration.
Biden’s Eastern Mediterranean Agenda
Establishing coherent US policy regarding brewing conflict in the eastern Mediterranean should be a Biden administration priority. By restraining Erdogan's ambitions, the US can add to stability and rebuild bridges with key European players and traditional US allies. The governments of Israel and Greece, in consultation with Egypt, should work together to advance this perspective in Washington.
Breaking the ‘everybody knows paradigm’
Even if the Palestinians reject Trump's peace plan, it still serves their long-term interests. False, undeliverable expectations – based on the assumption that "everybody knows" what Israel will be forced to concede – eventually need to give way to a more realistic paradigm, which in turn may lead to a better life for both sides.
Truth-telling to advance peace
By changing the discourse about settlements, the Trump administration is laying the groundwork for realistic negotiation. Even if you think that Israeli settlement should be rolled-back in the context of a sensible peace arrangement, applying the demonizing epithet “illegal” makes for a destructive narrative that distances, not advances, peace.
Will Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ lead to change?
The guaranteed failure of the “deal of the century” is an opportunity for Israel to open the Americans’ eyes to the harsh and complicated reality in our region and lead them to support the strategy of managing the conflict and wait for better times.
Trump’s Withdrawal from Syria: Not Unexpected and a Victory for the “Astana Three”
The possibility that Iran and Turkey will be emboldened by the American decision, is worrisome. The main counter to that will be robust deterrence from Israel, whose maintenance may increase the likeliness of escalation in Syria and Lebanon, and even more resort to the restraining hand of Russia.
As the Middle East Turns: Domestic Unrest, Changing Partnerships, and an Unreliable United States
In the Mideast of today, the US is largely irrelevant, when it is not disruptive, and is certainly not providing clear leadership. With the current disarray in DC, it does not look like this will change any time soon.