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The Unholy Mess of US Middle Eastern Strategy

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The Unholy Mess of

US Middle Eastern Strategy

Fear of instability looming large

Anatol Lieven

 President Donald Trump’s recent surprise acquiescence to a Turkish incursion into northern Syria is being increasingly seen as a betrayal of a loyal partner, and it has made American allies in the region jittery as they are alarmed by his sheer unpredictability. His inconsistent and rapidly shifting positions in the Middle East have injected a new element of chaos into an already volatile region and have left allies guessing where the United States stands and for how long. The uncertainties only compound simmering worries about the durability of the American commitment to the Middle East.  As American troops in armoured vehicles pulled out of towns in north-east Syria and headed east to Iraq, Syrian Kurds hurled rocks, rotten vegetables and insults at the departing soldiers. “What happened to America?” is a question many in the Middle East are asking.

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