Oct. 16, 2015
America’s Fading Footprint in the Middle East – Yaroslav Trofimov
The U.S. has been the Middle East’s principal power for decades. Now, however, with Russia and Iran thrusting themselves boldly into the region’s affairs, that special role seems to be melting away. The void created by U.S. withdrawal is being filled by the very powers that American policy has long sought to contain. “If you look at the heart of the Middle East, where the U.S. once was, we are now gone – and in our place, we have Iran, Iran’s Shiite proxies, Islamic State and the Russians,” said former ambassador Ryan Crocker, now dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.
Constraints on the U.S. bombing campaign against Islamic State in Iraq have made the U.S. military, in effect, a junior partner of Iran, providing air cover to Iranian-guided Shiite militias that go into battle with portraits of the Ayatollahs Khomeini and Khamenei plastered on their tanks. (Wall Street Journal)