United States’ Mideast Policy Trappred?

During stops in Paris and London this week, Secretary of State John Kerry found himself insisting that the United States was not facing a growing rift with oil-rich Saudi Arabia, whose emissaries have described strains over American policy on Egypt, Iran and Syria.

And during a stop in Rome, Mr. Kerry sought to reassure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel that the Obama administration would not drop its guard in the newly invigorated nuclear talks with Iran.



4 thoughts on “United States’ Mideast Policy Trappred?”

  1. As I read this article, the thought that kept coming to mind was, “Why not give peace a chance?” There are plenty of reasons to have suspicions and reservations about a potential nuclear deal with Iran, but what is the alternative? Would anyone really prefer constant tension and fear of attack over a possibility of peace through diplomacy? Maybe it is naïve, but I think President Obama should give negotiations with Iran a shot. That being said, it is important that he does not let his guard down. As for the criticisms from Netanyahu and King Abdullah, they need to understand that the US President must conduct foreign policy on behalf of Americans, not foreigners. America has little of no interest in getting involved in the Syrian Civil War. The last thing this country needs is another war in the middle east– especially when the side we plan on supporting potentially has jihadists dominating its ranks. It’s frustrating that President Obama is receiving criticism for trying to “avoid serious confrontation”. Shouldn’t that be the goal of any great leader?

    1. In regards to Syria, Obama is receiving criticism because he drew a red line and then didn’t follow through on it. Also, to say that the U.S. has little or no interest in getting involved in Syria would be naive. In your very next sentence you point out that one of the sides in the civil war has extremists in their ranks. The fact that Al Qaeda elements have a legitimate chance at taking over a country is of HUGE interest to our national security (remember why we went into Afghanistan?). And on the other hand, if the Syrian government wins the war, then we are simply sitting back and letting one of Iran’s few allies, a government that has used WMD’s against their own people, to regain power with a much more dangerous relationship with the U.S. than before the civil war.

  2. Despite the apparent strains on American-Saudi relations, I don’t foresee anything coming of this. Our countries rely on each other too much for any serious rifts to occur. The Saudis rely on the U.S. for protection and credibility. It’s the U.S. that enables Saudi Arabia to be a regional power. Likewise, the U.S. benefits greatly from cheap Saudi oil. While our politics might be different, our reliance on each other is too great to allow any substantial drifting apart.

  3. As if negotiating the line between Iran’s new outreaches and Israel’s expectations wasn’t tricky enough, Saudi-American relations have also been thrown into the spotlight in light of recent developments with Pres. Rouhani’s movements. It seems that the presidential administration is more than happy to be conservative in its concessions to Iran, seeing it is Iran that is seeking the change and not the other way around. It’s to be expected that Israel and Saudi Arabia would be more extreme in their demands than the United States, both in that it would convey a clear message to the United States in the course of their negotiations and because of their direct interests in politics in the region.

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