Friday, June 05, 2015

Post 9/11 Middle East

Vox has the best summary of the Middle East I've seen recently, Yes, Bush helped create ISIS — and set up the Middle East for a generation of chaos. He walks through the history of post 9/11 US involvement and concludes:

It's not that the failure of the freedom agenda caused all of the regional problems we see today. It's that its legacies — civil war in Iraq and the Saudi-Iranian competition — bled into the post–Arab Spring conflicts and made them much worse than they had to be.

So there still isn't really an American plan for a Middle East full of failed states and civil conflict. Its old strategies helped make the problem: its key authoritarian ally, Saudi Arabia, helped spread violent Islamic extremism. Its new strategies exacerbated it: Bush's democracy-promotion strategy collapsed Iraq, sparking an uncontrollable regional cold war. The US desperately needs a new approach. But the scary thing is that no one seems to know what a good one would look like.

No comments: