The U.S., the Middle East, and Israel: Engagement or Further Retreat?
Now that a new President is about to take office, we will soon see whether the change of administrations will be reflected in our foreign policy -- especially toward the Middle East. Under the "Obama Doctrine," the U.S. sought to minimize its role in this volatile region, so as not to repeat the bad experience of its predecessor's intervention in Iraq. But the instability in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, the refugee crisis in the region and in Europe, the spreading threat of jihadi terrorism, the persistent hegemonic drive of Iran, and the Russian support for the Assad regime, all pose grave threats to our national interests and those of our allies. One of those allies, Israel, sits in the eye of the storm, menaced from all sides. Could the instability be exploited to encourage a renewal of the peace process, coupled with a realignment in which Israel will be accepted by the key Arab states as a partner in regional security? Or will we move toward isolationism? In this talk, the prospects will be examined.