There’s nothing especially exciting about this article co-written by Madeline Albright, Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State, and Stephen Hadley’s Bush’s National Security Advisor, except that it completely disregards the general lockstep messaging of the media and a big chunk of the Natsec establishment to ridicule, dismiss, and ignore the peace deals with Israel, and keep loudly chanting that President Trump is the greatest danger to human civilization since the invention of fire.
There’s plenty to disagree with in the Albright-Hadley article, but it’s notable for giving President Trump a certain amount of credit and discussing his policies in a larger context instead of intoning ORANGEMANBAD while the audience nods in unison. In other words, it’s an adult response at a time when those have become rare.
How Trump’s Middle East Plan Could Boost the Region – Albright, Hadley – Politico
The article, fairly predictably, is still obsessed with a PLO state, but does make some legitimate points.
Israel’s decades-old peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan began with much promise but then failed to deepen. Ultimately, they rarely extended beyond government officials. The agreements with the UAE and Bahrain envision exchanges and joint enterprises across virtually all social and economic sectors. If other Arab states follow suit and join in expanding trade, investment, cooperative building projects and people-to-people exchanges with Israel, the resulting regional integration could be an engine for economic growth, job creation and enhanced prosperity.
For this to happen, Middle Eastern countries will also need to make progress on political and security issues. The UAE’s historic decision reflects its heightened alarm at Iran’s disruptive activity throughout the region. A growing alignment between Israel and the Gulf States could do much to deter future Iranian adventurism and possibly lead to an eventual reduction in tensions.
At that point the whole thing goes off the rails and envisions the Arab states partnering with Iran to fix Lebanon and Yemen. That’s about as likely as all the plans to have Putin tell Assad to step down.
It is no secret that both Presidents Barack Obama and Trump have wanted to reduce American engagement in the Middle East. If the UAE and Bahrain initiatives lead to the kind of evolution we envision, they would not only advance the prospects for peace and prosperity in the region but also could begin a strategic shift in which the countries in the region take more responsibility for defining its future.
It’s unwise to make too much of these agreements, they’re the result of a certain amount of strategic need, and are unlikely to represent an enduring shift, but the Obama administration certainly did a good deal to tank American influence, resulting in oil states deciding to build a coalition to stop Iran that openly includes Israel, while jettisoning the “Palestinian” issue as an annoyance.
The Biden campaign is promising to bring back the Obama foreign policy gang and go back to their old policy, but all this is a reaction to their policy.