Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Is Washington being sidelined on the Middle East?















The Right Web which is affiliated with the International Relations Center has just published my analysis Is Washington being sidelined on the Middel East? Among other things I suggest that:
Now that the cost of the U.S. drive for power in the region is producing countervailing pressures at home and abroad, U.S. capacity and determination to advance the Arab-Israeli peace process has been weakened and has created a diplomatic vacuum in the Middle East that is gradually being filled by regional— and outside—players. The diplomatic role that Saudi Arabia has played in mediating the intra-Palestinian conflict parallels its discussions with Iran to stabilize Lebanon, its move to co-opt Syria into the Arab-Sunni camp, and its support for the Arab-Sunnis in Iraq.

Similarly, U.S. failures in Iraq, Lebanon, and Palestine have created disincentives for Washington to engage Iran and Syria, a step that it fears could be perceived as a sign of weakness. But both Syria and Israel share common interests in ending their military conflict that do not necessarily correspond to those of Washington. In fact, a deal between Damascus and Jerusalem could threaten the U.S. position by sidelining it to the diplomatic margins. That could also happen if Saudi Arabia increases its diplomatic role in the Middle East and moves in the direction of engaging Iran instead of confronting it.

6 comments:

A.E. said...

According to this analysis from the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, it appears so.

Not sure how much good it'll do them, if the US attacks Iran though.

Gothamimage said...

Condi seems to be flailing about - to no effect. But maybe these countervailing influences are good for us.

Global Paradigms said...

These guys, like theose who ruled the Italian city states live to survive. The Saudis have been doing that for almost a century. So they're telling the Iranians that they could prevent a U.S. attack hoping that the Iranians would do x, y, and z so so to prevent a U.S. attack.

A.E. said...

Mr. Hadar,

What kind of assistance (if any) do you think that the Saudis will render the Iraqi Sunnis following an US withdrawal?

Anonymous said...

Are you suggesting that Prince Bandar would sacrifice his friendship with Colin Powell in exchage for cynical politics of survival??

weknowmusic@aol.com said...

Mr. Hadar...you came on my radar screen on a symposium on c-span where you suggested that as great powers age, a new one must come on the scene. The Powell doctrine would have been followed if 2 million Chinese troops were there. Re: Saudi proposal...this is how we came into Iraq with NYT T. Freedman/Saudi Palastine plan that needed our entry into the region to be put into motion. Once Bitten Twice Shy Babe.