Rebalancing the Middle East

Rebalancing the Middle East. YaleGlobal. Emma Sky. April 23, 2015.

The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 empowered Iran as did the American departure in 2011. Since then the region has unraveled. Emma Sky suggests that U.S. regional policy narrowly focuses on three objectives: the defeat of the Islamic State, neutralization of other extremist groups and a nuclear agreement with Iran. Bilateral approaches can present inconsistencies, she points out, as the U.S. allies with Shia-backed groups to defeat the Islamic State in Iran and then with Sunni groups to defeat the Shia-backed Houthis in Iran. Every policy in the Middle East should be measured for how it affects the region as a whole and aim for regional balance. Military force is not enough, and a pattern has emerged of weapons falling into the wrong hands. The U.S. and others must help guide Iraq and other players in the region with greater engagement to address root problems, including inequality and corruption, while guiding citizens through a process of reconciliation, integration and economic diversification. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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