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November 19, 2012

America’s Middle East Lost

America has lost significant sway in the Middle East, and American influence will continue to erode with Russia and China taking their turns at center stage.

In the wake of two Gulf wars, several failed puppet regimes (including the 1979 Iranian Revolution), add the Arab Spring into the mix, and you get an America finding itself without a chair when Bashar Moussa stops singing.


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About the Author

is a former U.S. Navy SEAL with combat deployments to Afghanistan, and Iraq. During his last tour he served as the west coast sniper Course Manager at the Naval Special Warfare Center. He is Editor-in-Chief of SOFREP.com, and a New York Times best selling author (The Red Circle & Benghazi: The Definitive Report). His writing has been featured in print, and digital media worldwide. You can follow him on twitter here.

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  • Tobiathan

    Rogue1 - that struggle b/w Shia and Sunni may be, to some, the very reason for the "Arab" Spring. Some might benefit greatly by an internecine war b/w Islamic sects.

  • Tobiathan

    The troops don't lose these wars- liberal politicians do.

  • Robinsky

    Proxy wars do seem to drag on &on.

  • Robinsky

    I also watch Aljazeera English and have since 2011 when Libya was cranking up. Now that Aljazeera America is on Dish (also on Direct), I check the news there every day. Cuz ya know, MSM can get rather boring at times.

  • chrishutch13

    @alimhaider  This was a very interesting post. I certainly cannot argue with the history you mention nor the misperception of the Arab world of us, but truthfully, I can't tell if I agree or disagree with it overall because some of your comments were a little too ambiguous for me to assume exactly what your position is regarding the Middle East. I do agree that it's never been "our Middle East" in the way most Arabs imagine. Although, I do believe we've had enough influence since 1956 to justify the statement we're losing the Middle East.   My question is more if it's a big deal or not to "lose it,"  or more precisly, with what resources, and to what degree, do we wish to stay engaged. Your last few sentences are a little ambiguous to me and I can't tell if you think we shouldn't be engaged at all or if you believe it's inevitable we "lose' it and have resigned to that fact and don't have much a problem with it as long as they "keep their dogs on their side of the fence." I don't really know exactly what your position is, or even exactly what mine is for that matter, but it seems I favor a more robust response than you.   How much more, I'm not sure. I ask myself that question all the time. I finished my military career as a Chinese linguist, so not only is China a top priority for us nowadays, it is something I have a personal interest in. Also, I'm a strong proponent of strengthening our ties with India. So, some other areas I feel should be higher priority than the Middle East. Plus, as you mentioned, it's less painful with a shift in global energy production. But I guess what is always a concern with me in acquiescing any of our influence anywhere is how we look to others, whether they be allies, enemies or potential enemies. I believe what we do is very much paid attention to and I worry if it looks like we give up too much too easily, we invite unintended consequences in other areas.   I mean, even regarding what you mentioned about us being asked to broker a peace between the Arabs and Israelis after Sadat dismissed his soviet military advisors and technicians in 1972, I believe things could be drastically different in the Middle East now if not for what happened in Indochina. Sadat and Rabin were very prepared to sign a peace agreement in March 1975. With our McGovernite Congress cutting off funding at the same time, we were fully disengaging from Indochina and leaving South Vietnam and Cambodia completely on their own. I strongly believe this was paid attention to by Israel's cabinet and played a role in the failure. And in turn, the failure in negotiations was was said by King Hussein and P.M. Zaid Rifai to be interpreted by others in the region as one more example of giving up our friends and allies.   Our threat of "reassessment" of relations with Israel helped bring about Sinai II six months later but damage was already done to us and Sadat by that time, much less by the time the Camp David Accords came around. I don't know, maybe I'm wrong, but I always worry when I start hearing we should just leave the Middle East completely. Besides, I don't have a lot of confidence they would keep their dogs on their side of the fence and quiet.