Summary of America edges back into the Middle East

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During his 2016 US presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump didn’t articulate a coherent Middle East policy. Although he regularly criticized former President Barack Obama’s policies in the region, including the Iran nuclear deal and US backing of Syrian rebels, Trump offered no clear vision of what he would do differently. But his administration’s stances on various challenges in the region are now starting to crystallize. While Trump’s approach to the Middle East certainly differs from his predecessor’s, Trump finds himself running into the same difficulties. In this erudite analysis, former Israeli diplomat Zvi Mazel surveys some of the challenges the current US administration faces in the Middle East. 

About the Author

Zvi Mazel is a former Israeli diplomat and Middle East expert.



The United States under President Trump’s administration is starting to reassert itself in the Middle East. America’s main challenge is to counterbalance the increased regional dominance of Russia and Iran. Trump has made it clear he considers “radical Islamic terror” and its promoters, including Iran and ISIS, the preeminent threats to the region.

During his 2017 trip to Saudi Arabia, Trump tried to revive an alliance of Sunni states, led by Saudi Arabia and Egypt, as a bulwark against Islamic terrorism. He offered American military assistance to states...

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