Regarding the Syrian civil war and the possibility of the U.S. being able to influence its outcome, Elliott Abrams suggests that the most feasible resolution acceptable to American interests would be the replacement of the Assad regime with a weak central government and the division of the country into enclaves along ethnic and religious lines. (Interview by Michael Graham. Audio, ten minutes.)
“Soft Partition” Is Syria’s Likely Future
A New American Peace Proposal Could Be Very Bad for Israel
The White House may well be considering the revival of a plan for the creation of a Palestinian state authored by the American general John Allen during the Obama administration. The plan calls for Israel’s withdrawal to a modified version of the pre-1967 borders, leaving the major settlement blocs in Israeli hands but not allowing for an IDF presence in the Jordan Valley. To counter the threat to the Jewish state (and to Jordan) that this arrangement would pose, a U.S. force would be permanently stationed along the Jordan River. Gershon Hacohen finds this proposal less than reassuring:
The basic problem is the notion that Israel will rely for its security on foreign forces. Not only is it difficult to ensure that such forces would fulfill their duty successfully, but it is uncertain whether they would stay in place—particularly if they suffer casualties like those they have suffered in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past decade. Recall [also] that during the waiting period before the Six-Day War, the security guarantee given by President Eisenhower to Ben-Gurion after the 1956 Sinai campaign evaporated. . . .
There is, however, a larger question:
Do we want Israel to be no more than a haven for persecuted Jews where they can subsist under foreign protection? Or do we want Israel to be a place of freedom, a homeland, in which we alone are responsible for our own security and sovereignty? . . .
Perhaps we have forgotten that protecting our national existence, in terms of how the IDF defines national security, does not pertain solely to ensuring the physical existence of the citizens of the country but also to safeguarding national interests. . . . [The plan] completely ignores the possibility that the people of Israel, in renewing their life in their homeland, are motivated by something much greater than the need for a technical solution to security concerns.