The Obama Dominoes

August 1, 2011

I wrote over the weekend how the situation in Iraq is suddenly crumbling while the (what should have been) certain victory in Libya is also slipping away.   The Obama Administration is preparing the ground for a withdrawal from Afghanistan.  The Arab Spring has swept away our longtime ally Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.  Turkey is turning its back on secularism, and casting eyes toward our rivals Russia and China in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.  With American power and prestige in the region in obvious decline, even the linchpin of American strategy in the region – stalwart ally Saudi Arabia – is seeking an entente with our regional nemesis, Iran.  From Stratfor lst month:  Something extraordinary, albeit not unexpected, is happening in the Persian Gulf region. The United States, lacking a coherent strategy to deal with Iran and too distracted to develop one, is struggling to navigate Iraq’s fractious political landscape in search of a deal that would allow Washington to keep a meaningful military presence in the country beyond the end-of-2011 deadline stipulated by the current Status of Forces Agreement. At the same time, Saudi Arabia, dubious of U.S. capabilities and intentions toward Iran, appears to be inching reluctantly toward an accommodation with its Persian adversary.

Is this the end of the American Era in the Greater Middle East, or can the decline be reversed – or at least halted – by a renewed focus by the current Administration?   Perhaps, after being frustrated and dominated by the Republicans in Congress (and with domestic policy making hamstrung by the stagnant economy), the White House will seek to make a mark in foreign policy.    This is a pivotal moment for a United States that has been operating without a coherent grand strategy for half a decade.  Let’s hope the Administration siezes the opportunity before any more dominoes fall.

One comment

  1. […] nexus of energy, geography and politics « The Obama Dominoes Unconventional is the new conventional #gas #oil #fracking #energy » Crunching the […]

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