Middle East MuddleIssue: Nov-Dec 2007
RARELY HAVE we faced more daunting problems in the Middle East and seemed farther away from resolving or even defusing them. There is surely no more important foreign-policy priority than finding ways to ameliorate the challenges and conflicts that confront us in the region. This won't be done with slogans or declarations or even "surges" that are disconnected from a clear political and diplomatic strategy; nor will it be done with international meetings that are not thoroughly prepared and choreographed in advance.
America's interests in the Middle East can be advanced with the application of real statecraft-not a hallmark of the Bush Administration. Good statecraft marries objectives and means. It depends on reality-based, not faith-based, assessments that make it possible to shape tangible objectives while also identifying the means available for achieving them.