Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Mideast 'Drivers for 2014'

    ".... As compared to former Secretary of State Clinton, Secretary of State Kerry will enjoy more autonomy from the White House to pursue foreign policy initiatives, for example over the Middle East Peace Process. As a decade of expeditionary wars comes to an end, Kerry also will be able to wrest back some degree of foreign policy leadership from the Pentagon and Intelligence Community, though he will still have to contend with powerful foreign affairs committee chairs in both the Senate and House 
   US public opinion will put a low priority on foreign policy. Skepticism about the value of the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan is growing steadily. This will constrain pressures from certain parts of the Administration and Congress to undertake humanitarian interventions – for example in Syria, Lebanon or Africa – or counter-terrorist missions – for example in the Sahel. Drones will remain the power projection instrument of choice...
  Iran will be a major agenda item – and will be politically red-hot. While Administration officials have no illusions about the difficulties involved in reaching a final agreement with Tehran, they are motivated to do so. If negotiations fail – still the most probable scenario – we see the emergence of a containment approach rather than military action. This will further strain relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia..."

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