Report Card – first 100 days of Middle East Policy in the new administration

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Yes, the first 100 days of any Presidential Administration is an arbitrary benchmark. There is no automatic reason that the first 6% of a term is any more important than the first 12 or 18%?

Still, enough time has passed to make some meaningful initial assessments. So this is my First 100 Days report card on Middle East Policy.  See my overall grade at the very end of the post.

6 Core Issues: 

Continue reading “Report Card – first 100 days of Middle East Policy in the new administration”

Making sense of the Sisi-Trump summit

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Continuing an early-administration priority of restoring relations with key allies, the POTUS pulled out all the stops Monday for the first meeting to the White House by an Egyptian leader since 2009:

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Was the meeting a success? 

Here are three core principles to keep in mind.

#1 – Allies will act as good allies IF they believe they are considered genuine allies

Bottom line: The only way the US gets the benefits of an alliance with a country like Egypt, is if it’s a strong relationship and one where the junior partner truly feels valued.

Otherwise – and with virtually no exceptions to this rule – this is what happens:

Egypt will give the US the metaphorical finger and do what it wants as part of a classic Egyptian desire to demonstrate a certain spunk and “independence.”

Exact same thing is true of Israel and Saudi Arabia..

Continue reading “Making sense of the Sisi-Trump summit”

My new article on the return of US pragmatism to Mid East policy

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For two core reasons: 

#1 – “Trump’s position makes Iranian adventurism throughout the Middle East far less likely. It also decreases the temptation of U.S. allies to engage in counter-productive and destabilizing unilateral military operations of their own out of a perceived need to project strength in the face of Iran.”

#2 – “by restoring alliances with traditional allies in the Middle East, Trump’s approach is far more likely to get significant contributions from them, furthering his America First agenda.”

Here’s the Link to the article.