There is no disputing that a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program is preferable to the alternative. But America’s allies in the region fear that the lack of US strategy will not curtail Iran’s power. And the US has not been able to sufficiently reassure them.
As Iran negotiates its nuclear program with Western powers, one assumption made by all sides is that Israel’s threat of a preemptive strike is merely a bluff. But on closer inspection, the reasoning behind such an assumption does not stand up.
Israel seems to be the odd man out in its resistance to striking any easy deal with Iran. Nevertheless, talks are under way and Israel’s skepticism may be welcomed in silence by many of Israel’s neighbors.
With all the changes and upheavals in its neighborhood, it is not surprising that Israel is watching developments attentively. Despite seemingly countless variables and scenarios, there is one constant – stability – that has a huge bearing on its relations.
To intervene or stand by: it’s a classic no-win situation. The uncertainty surrounding the Syrian uprising breeds fears of a regional conflict in the event that outside forces get involved. And yet, inaction could be worse.
Ten months on, the Arab explosion has shown its truer – more nuanced and complicated – colors. Rather than indulge in euphoria, the West should keep in mind that the dignity that people demand cannot be equated with Western freedoms.
The United States is now following Europe’s precedent of cutting military spending in the name of shoring up its economy. While in the short run this may seem wise, the price to pay in the future could be incalculable.
Europe’s approach to military crises has been characterized by dithering, wavering, and tortuous consensus-seeking. Now with the US taking a back seat in the Libyan crisis, this pattern has already set the scene for what is likely to be a long, complicated adventure.