Biden’s new plan for the Middle East is more of the same

Biden’s new plan for the Middle East is more of the same

Matthew Duss writes:

In the wake of the horrific Oct. 7 attacks, U.S. President Joe Biden and his administration have stressed that there can be no return to the pre-Oct. 7 status quo. “It also means that when this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next. And in our view, it has to be a two-state solution,” Biden said at an Oct. 25 press conference.

Last month, the administration offered a preview of its new plan for the Middle East via New York Times columnist Tom Friedman, a longtime favorite of the president’s. “We are about to see a new Biden administration strategy unfold to address this multifront war involving Gaza, Iran, Israel, and the region,” Friedman wrote, “what I hope will be a ‘Biden Doctrine’ that meets the seriousness and complexity of this dangerous moment.”

“If the administration can pull this together—a huge if—a Biden Doctrine could become the biggest strategic realignment in the region since the 1979 Camp David treaty,” Friedman wrote.

While I appreciate Friedman’s enthusiasm, let’s just say I don’t have a huge amount of confidence in his judgment when it comes to “big, bold” doctrines for the Middle East. The last time he seemed this excited was when he was enthusing over the revolutionary vision of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Biden plan he lays out offers little that’s new or promising—and threatens to keep U.S. policy stuck in the same failed rut it’s been in for decades. [Continue reading…]

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