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Unintended consequence April 15, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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It would appear Trump is having an object lesson in how decisions have consequences. Albeit he may not bother to learn the lesson. For as Fred Kaplan on Slate.com notes, he is seeing a splintering of the anti-Iran coalition he has sought to assemble in recent years.

Donald Trump’s Middle East strategy took another pounding this week, when Egypt withdrew from an anti-Iran coalition that Saudi Arabia proposed two years ago and that the president and his top aides have been pushing ever since.

The fact that the pullout occurred the day after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi met with Trump in the White House—a warm get-together where Trump praised Sisi as a “great president”—compounds the setback.

Kaplan notes that Egypt has the Arab world’s largest army and suggests that any such coalition has ‘collapsed before it stood up’. But Kaplan goes further and points to how the Trump rhetoric and actions is actually all about a more local issue (for him). By cosying up to the Israeli government it bolsters his support amongst Christian evangelicals. And while middle eastern Arab states have been less clear cut in support to Palestinians in the last while as Kaplan notes – that doesn’t mean that they will fall in meekly behind the Trump line. Not when so much is gifted to Israel. Kaplan is far from wrong in the following summation:

The big failing in Trump’s policy in the region is that he doesn’t know what he wants, except to help Israel (which he isn’t doing, in the long run, by giving Netanyahu and his partners everything they want) and to crush Iran (which is harder than he imagines and which would likely lead to something worse). He has no strategy, only bluster, and Egypt’s breakaway makes that clearer than ever.

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1. CL - April 15, 2019

“Russia replaces America as the power player in the Middle East

The sorry position of the United States in the Middle East today ought to be sending President Trump a powerful message….
Since Russian President Putin saved Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime from collapse, he has established working relations with every major power in the Middle East…
Egypt and Russia have signed a draft agreement giving Moscow access to Egyptian airspace and possibly bases. Moscow has agreed to sell Egypt the same advanced missile system Turkey is buying and to build Egypt’s first nuclear reactor.”
https://thehill.com/opinion/international/376929-russia-replaces-america-as-the-power-player-in-the-middle-east

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Joe - April 15, 2019

Nature abhors a vacuum.

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