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By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
Topic - Anthony Cordesman
The Middle East pro-democracy movement hailed over the past two years as the Arab Spring was transformed Wednesday when the military junta now controlling Egypt opened a bloody assault on protesters — a Tiananmen Square-style crackdown that seemed to expose the limits of American diplomatic power to pursue lofty goals once envisioned for the region.
Security inside Iraq is unraveling at an alarming pace, and al Qaeda terrorists there aren't just pulling the thread; they're setting it on fire.
Russia’s decision Tuesday to go ahead with the delivery of a sophisticated air-defense system to Syria will prove a a huge advantage to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in its war against Western-backed insurgents.
The United States on Monday stood by its hands-off policy toward Iraq after more than 100 Iraqis died in a wave of 37 coordinated terrorist attacks across the country — the most intense assault since American forces left seven months ago.
The long-term partnership that President Obama signed with the Afghan government commits the U.S. to a role in the troubled nation for at least a dozen more years, leaving critics fuming over the uncertain costs of a conflict that already has stretched for a decade.
U.S., Afghan and Taliban officials this week have offered contradicting accounts about the purpose of the Taliban establishing an office in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
The small boats, minisubs and guerrilla tactics of an Iranian militia pose the greatest threat to oil shipping in the Persian Gulf, where even a single incident would send oil prices spiraling upward, analysts say.
Within the U.S. military's rank and file, there are growing doubts about winning in Afghanistan, a mood that contradicts upbeat war reports delivered to Congress last week by the top commander and officials.
"Key Arab Gulf states — Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the UAE — will continue to fund violent Sunni Islamist factions, and truly dangerous extreme movements like al Qaeda and [the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria] will continue to gain funding and volunteers," he said. "The spillover of violence into Lebanon and Iraq will continue, and likely will expand."
"The maxim that any dialogue is better than no dialogue — 'to jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war' — may produce some benefit, although there are times when better understanding does lead to even more hostility," Middle East analyst Anthony Cordesman wrote in an assessment published Wednesday by the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.