Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"..Current US officials & Obama advisors see 'significantly improved relations with Damascus' inevitable!"

Excerpts from MEPGS.
"...The highest priority for Obama's advisers is the situation in Iraq. While serving US officials are privately very upbeat about the military and political trends in Iraq, the Obama team still sees the war as essentially a drain on resources both at home and in the greater war on terrorism. While State Department officials point to "a fundamental change in the dynamic and attitudes of the various Iraqi communities" [One State Department official's words], Obama advisors these changes only facilitating their candidate's goal of a speedy withdrawal...
If Iraq is the highest profile issue Obama will face, Iran may be the most dangerous, say his advisors as well as currently serving US officials. Although the Bush Administration continues to try to ratchet up the economic pressure on the Iranians to force them to stop their nuclear enrichment program, little progress appears to have been made. Strained relations with Russia over its actions in Georgia have contributed to the lack of a concerted effort by outside powers, but there seems to
be an increasing acceptance that no amount of likely outside economic pressure will be successful in thwarting Iran's nuclear ambitions. ..
Some Administration officials have long believed that the US would have to learn to live with a nucleararmed Iran. Some Obama advisors privately adhere to that view. However, well placed officials both inside the Administration and those former US officials advising the Obama campaign admit that while the US may be able to find a way to come to terms with Iran's nuclear ambitions [eg. They could all but assemble or testa weapon before crossing an American "red line"], they admit that Israel may not, in the words of one Obama advisor "have that luxury." No one in Washington [nor perhaps in Jerusalem, either] purports to have a definitive view of Israeli plans.
As current Administration officials as well as Obama's foreign policy team grapple with the Iranian "problem", the idea of Israel's outreach to Syria has come in for renewed interest. At first, Administration hard liners were upset with Israel's unexpected shift. Even now, the Administration has warned the Israelis not to seek any deal with Syria that could be at the
expense of Lebanon
-- particularly one that could allow Syrian troops back into that country. However, current US officials and Obama advisors see as inevitable the next Administration significantly improving relations with Damascus. "The potential rewards are obvious," says one veteran US analyst. "A deal between Israel and Syria would be at the expense of Syria's relationship with Iran, notably its backing of Hezbollah. It could also cause a split within Hamas leading to a more moderate approach to the Palestinian issue." Even the Israelis admit that since their raid on Syria's facility in September 2007, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has shown considerable restraint and, in their view, good judgement. They argue that the Syrians were stunned by the near total indifference the rest of the world, including Arab countries, showed to the Israeli attack. Finally, US officials have long believed that the Israeli security establishment prefers and would be willing to press for a clear cut peace treaty with Syria rather than continue primarily down the tortuous path toward a two state solution with the Palestinians."

1 comment:

William deB. Mills said...

Even by the writer's own words, the "main danger" to an Obama administration is not Iran but Israel: it is Israel that threatens to start a new war, not Iran...and a nuclear one at that! This country really needs to wake up and figure out who is manipulating us.