America edges back into the Middle East

U.S. soldier guards Patriot missile battery in Qatar
U.S. soldier guards a missile battery near Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar; this hub of American air operations is now the focal point of a quarrel among Sunni Gulf states (source: dpa)
  • The U.S. is ramping up its Syrian presence while trying to avoid a conflict with Russia
  • The scramble for territory controlled by Islamic State is especially dangerous
  • The Qatar crisis meanwhile threatens the main U.S. hub for air operations

The United States has become active again in the Middle East, even if it is still treading carefully. To deal with an explosive situation that threatens world peace, President Donald Trump must first tackle the legacy of the Obama years, which left Russia and Iran well entrenched in some of the region’s Arab countries – each aggressively pursuing disparate goals that could ultimately hurt the entire area.

Forcing them out may not be possible, but the U.S. could restore some equilibrium by interposing itself as a counterforce in the region. Though some in the Arab countries accuse the U.S of being against Islam and Arabs, all would prefer American assistance to Iranian Shia dictatorship.

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