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6/17/17

U.S. Administration Strategy in the Middle East Is Deeply Problematic and EU Should Not Be Involved

In his "landmark speech" last month in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, President Trump called on all “responsible nations” to “work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria, eradicate ISIS and restore stability to the region.” While all three are desirable goals, the strategy for achieving them that Mr. Trump outlined in that same speech will achieve precisely the opposite. “Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace,” Mr. Trump said, “all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran.” The president then called for a U.S.-backed pan-Arab coalition aligned against Iran, which, he says, is stoking “the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.” While that is certainly true, the same could be said of several other states in the region, including the one in which the president delivered his speech.

The president’s proposal is deeply flawed. What is happening in the Middle East today is largely a regional power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The conflict in Syria is a proxy war, not between the United States and Russia, as some American commentators have suggested, but between the two major powers vying for regional hegemony. By taking sides in the struggle, the administration will only prolong the agony. What is required instead is a kind of détente between Saudi Arabia and Iran, one that would rob their proxies of their reasons to keep fighting. The timing may be right for such an effort. Jean-François Seznec, a Middle Eastern expert at the Atlantic Council, told Voice of America late last year: “Having low oil prices is making life much more difficult for Saudi Arabia and Iran…. If there were a major military conflagration, it would ruin both of them, and I think they realize that.”

The president’s proposal is deeply flawed. What is happening in the Middle East today is largely a regional power struggle between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The conflict in Syria is a proxy war, not between the United States and Russia, as some American commentators have suggested, but between the two major powers vying for regional hegemony. By taking sides in the struggle, the administration will only prolong the agony. What is required instead is a kind of détente between Saudi Arabia and Iran, one that would rob their proxies of their reasons to keep fighting. The timing may be right for such an effort. Jean-François Seznec, a Middle Eastern expert at the Atlantic Council, told Voice of America late last year: “Having low oil prices is making life much more difficult for Saudi Arabia and Iran…. If there were a major military conflagration, it would ruin both of them, and I think they realize that.”

Note EU-Digest: According to a New York Times report, President Donald Trump’s strange allyship with Saudi Arabia over Qatar is cause for suspicion about whether his allegiances are informed by business interests.

The report noted that Trump has been in business with the Saudis for 20 years, since he sold ownership of the Plaza Hotel to a Saudi prince and has one golf course in the United Arab Emirates with another on the way. He hasn’t, however, been able to enter into the market in Qatar.

Also please note : Trump, is the first US president in 40 years who’s failed to divest from all his personal businesses upon taking office, has fallen under criticism for doing so.

“Critics say his singular decision to hold on to his global business empire inevitably casts a doubt on his motives, especially when his public actions dovetail with his business interests,” the Times reported.

Another weird development is that just one week after President Donald Trump accused Qatar of funding terrorism, the United States has agreed to sell Qatar $12 billion worth of F-15s. 

Hopefully EU member states will have the "guts" to totally distance themselves from this bizarre Trump Administration foreign policy, in any form or shape, be it in the Middle East, or any other part of the world .  

EU-Digest

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