Thursday, December 15, 2016
Assessing Obama's MidEast Legacy
Dershowitz: Obama is Neville Chamberlain - Greer Fay Cashman
Internationally renowned lawyer Alan Dershowitz warned against any disruption in bipartisan support of Israel, speaking at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. "We can never allow our election to become a referendum over Israel," he said.
Dershowitz, who twice voted for President Barack Obama, blamed him for bringing down world order. "His legacy will be close to that of Neville Chamberlain," he said, adding that Obama had alienated every country in the Middle East except Iran.
Amb. Dore Gold, who recently returned to head the Jerusalem Center after serving as director-general of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, voiced concern over world indifference to what is now happening in Aleppo. "What is occurring now in Aleppo is not just mass murder," said Gold. The Sunnis are being moved out and the Shi'ites are being brought in from all over the Middle East.
Recommendations for Trump Administration - Lt.-Gen. (ret.) Moshe Ya'alon
U.S. policy, which was perceived in the region as an abandonment of allies (Egypt and the Gulf states), coupled with its closer ties with Iran, created a crisis of trust with the Sunni regimes.
There is no doubt that President Obama's decision to refrain from striking the chemical weapons stockpiles and manufacturing plants in Syria, despite the fact that the Assad regime had crossed the declared American red line, substantially eroded U.S. deterrence, as did its nuclear agreement with Iran.
Furthermore, the American response to Iranian provocations, as well as to the missile tests, the seizure of U.S. Navy ships, the harassment of American ships in the Strait of Hormuz, and the firing by Houthis in Yemen of Iranian-supplied missiles at a U.S. naval ship exacerbated the erosion of U.S. deterrence.
Russia took advantage of the American weakness to seize a leading stance. Most of the region's leaders visited Moscow more times last year than they did Washington and began purchasing weapons from Russia.
I believe the U.S. will have no other choice but to take a grand proactive strategy in the region - both in order to regain its standing as a world power and in order to distance the Middle East threats from America, Europe, and elsewhere.
Such a strategy will require a change in policy toward Iran. The Iranian regime is the most significant destabilizing factor in the Middle East, and therefore should not be seen as if it were a key element in stabilizing the region, since it is not part of the solution, but rather is the essence of the problem.
(Institute for National Security Studies-Tel Aviv)