The problem with Trump’s Middle East policy: He doesn’t have one

Eric S. Edelman
15th December 2017 - Quoted by Jennifer Rubin - The Washington Post

Eleven months into the Trump presidency, our Middle East policy amounts to a series of stunts — an isolated retaliatory attack on Syria for use of chemical weapons, “decertifying” the Iran deal (to the consternation of those egging on the administration, hoping that the European Union and Congress would act, exactly nothing has happened since President Trump’s announcement a month ago) and now an announcement that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel (but won’t be moving the embassy for years, says the secretary of state).


Former ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday. He told the senators:

President Trump’s policies in the region to this point, although couched in very different rhetoric, have broadly continued the policies of his predecessor, perhaps reflecting the views of the Middle East he put forth during the campaign. He called it “one big, fat quagmire” and welcomed Russian intervention in Syria. Whether or not he will put into place a different strategy remains an open question.


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russia, syria