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The repercussions of America’s uncertain tone in the Middle East
Washington Post ^ | January 7, 2014 | James Jeffrey

Posted on 01/08/2014 2:00:36 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife reports of Sunni tribes in Anbar cooperating loosely with the Baghdad government against al-Qaeda,and expedited U.S. military assistance and intelligence, gave reasons for hope. But then came Sunday’s news conference by Secretary of State John Kerry. Although the secretary spoke about the dangers of al-Qaeda gaining ground in Iraq and the countermeasures the United States was taking,he stated no fewer than four times that this fight was not ours but the Iraqis’. This,combined with an immediate denial of a suggestion that no one is even making—that the United States put troops on the ground-undercuts all the good commitments he made......

.....How will Maliki,a Shiite,respond to U.S. admonitions that he take a different tack with Sunni Arab Iraqis if we take pains to emphasize that this is his fight,not ours?

In purely realpolitik terms,this is our fight. A destabilized Iraq with a western region overrun by al-Qaeda is obviously not in U.S. interests if we want a calm Middle East and a secure homeland. Nor if we hope to see a functional Iraq export the 6 million barrels of oil the International Energy Agency estimates it could provide to world markets daily by 2020.

As is often the case in the Middle East,the Obama administration is taking the right actions. But,as also often happens in this region,the administration is sounding an uncertain tone,seemingly signaling to everyone that its top priority is to not get the United States into any sort of military engagement—that it wants to not just avoid a new Vietnam but even a new cruise missile raid,or small continuing military presence in Afghanistan,or the dispatch of a few dozen uniformedU.S. counterterrorism experts to advise Iraqis on how to take down al-Qaeda in Fallujah. The result has been an extraordinary collapse of U.S. credibility in the region despite many commendable administration steps.......

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: iraq; middleeast; military; usleadership
James Jeffrey is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He served as ambassador to Iraq in the Obama administration.

Of course he's biased but he's also bemused. Is this distancing himself from the disastrous consequences of this administration's policies?

How is their international "leadership" ......"uncertain tone" different from other U.S. areas of concern?

The economy?


Space program?


And of course now there is former Defense Sec. Gate's revelations in "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War."

1 posted on 01/08/2014 2:00:36 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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