“There is an obvious systemic shift in the US national security apparatus that will alter the dynamics of the Trump administration’s decision-making process on the Middle East,” said Joe Macaron, a fellow at the Arab Centre in Washington.
Macaron said he expected Defence Secretary James Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly, two former generals seen as supporters of a moderate approach, “to be balanced by the hawkish civilians” Pompeo and Bolton. “However, the verdict is out on how these bureaucratic changes will translate into policy making,” Macaron added via e-mail. “The Pentagon seems to have the upper hand for the foreseeable future.”
Macaron noted that Trump’s hard-line position on Iran was “in rhetoric only.” The administration’s main goal was to distance itself from the JCPOA without hurting US interests in the Middle East but it did not know how to go about that, he said.
“The United States has no strategy in the Middle East. There is neither appetite nor willingness to embark on new military adventures in the Middle East,” Macaron said.
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On the 7th year anniversary of the Syrian war, the German newspaper Der Tagesspiegel asked me how this conflict can come to end, click here to read my take.
Joe Macaron, a fellow at the Arab Centre in Washington, said the US strategy assumed that the war in Syria was almost over but “recent events proved otherwise.” There were “new doubts now about [US] commitment to Kurdish forces and a potential confrontation with Turkey in Syria,” Macaron wrote via e-mail. “At any rate, this US strategy lacked specifics and did not convey a clear game plan in Syria.”
Es ist unklar, wie die USA auf diese Konkurrenz reagieren werden. Außenminister Rex Tillerson stellte im Januar zwar ein Syrien-Programm seines Landes vor, doch dieses ist von den Ereignissen bereits wieder überholt. Washington gehe in der Tillerson-Strategie davon aus, dass der Krieg in Syrien zu Ende gehe, sagte Joe Macaron vom Arab Center in Washington unserer Zeitung: Doch der Krieg könnte noch lange dauern. Und es ist möglich, dass Syrien am Ende ganz zerrieben wird, in einzelne Einflusszonen zerfällt und auf Jahre hinaus ein Krisenherd bleibt
You can click here to read my full interview.
You can click here to read the full interview in Portuguese.