November 22, 2006
MENA Moving Forward: Policy Shifts
This is something of an open thread, but motivated by my sensation that the there may be (on the margin) some meaningful reorientation of American policy, which for better or worse (often both) is a key external driver in the region, I thought we might have some thoughts on subjects worth discussing regarding future MENA developments. I personally have the penchant for the economic, but understand it is not of general interest.
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Few things have caught my eye recently:
1. Iraq Study Group
2. Various remarks by Blair re Iraq being a disaster and the need for a comprehensive ME policy (perhaps alluding to resolving the festering I-P conflict)
3. US desire to negotiate with Syria/Iran from a position of strength will not be fulfilled without some serious rethinking of current policy
Have more thoughts but busy at the moment...
Posted by: eerie at November 22, 2006 06:36 PM
Same shit, different pile.
In other words: I don't believe it 'till I actually see it.
In yet other words: I don't think that the U.S. admin is fundamentally capable of a "serious shift".
Posted by: MSK at November 22, 2006 07:14 PM
The Iraq invasion was a bloody serious shift. The change from near-conditional to unconditional support of Israel was pretty serious too.
Posted by: Frandroid Atreides at November 22, 2006 11:14 PM
I also gather the various dictatorships are failing to contain government-critical debate - and not just on the internet, on which the number of blogs are exploding.
I think there was a shift.
I think the Iraqi study group got knocked out before they got started. Baker underestimated President Bush, and thought what they had to say would actually mean anything to this administration. Bush absorbed a part of the study group and at the same time destroyed the cabal between Rumsfield and Chaney. It is now the President and the military looking at the next move; I think it will be interesting to see Bush try to fake interest in what the study group has to say.
Posted by: Larry at November 26, 2006 03:01 AM
Lounsbury, what do you make of the continuing decay of the dollar? Will this have much effect in MENA? The oil exporters certainly can't be happy that their dollar denominated exports are losing relative value. Is there anything to the petro-Euro conspiracy theories?
Posted by: Djuha at November 28, 2006 01:12 PM