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America’s Strategic Future Lies with India and Israel

July 28 2017

As the geopolitical balance shifts throughout Asia, and the Trump administration is formulating its foreign policy, India and Israel have moved closer together—as exemplified by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jerusalem earlier this month. The U.S., argues James Jay Carafano, should encourage this realignment and support these two democratic, pro-Western countries:

Prime Minister Modi has unmoored his country from its stagnant, “non-aligned” [i.e. anti-American] foreign policies. Moreover, India is an emerging economic power. Combined, these developments leave India poised to become a net-exporter of regional security, particularly in the Indian Ocean.

Additionally, the prime minister’s historic trip to Israel this month augurs an important shift of the Modi government on Middle East policy. For decades, India has had warm relations with Iran, if for no other reason than the country was a major importer of oil. . . . New Delhi has not walked away from Tehran. Still, once the 2015 Iran deal lifted many sanctions against the regime, New Delhi noticeably did not race to ramp up ties. Modi’s visit to Iran last spring was restrained and very carefully orchestrated. . . .

India’s shift dovetails well with the view from Washington toward both South Asia and the Middle East. The Trump administration shows every sign of continuing the momentum toward a closer relationship with India. The recent meeting between Modi and Trump could not have gone better, and there is plenty of room to grow that relationship. . . .

[Public signs of trilateral cooperation] among India, the United States, and Israel would draw the attention of friends and competitors alike. . . . It would also reassure the other participants that Washington sees them as valued global strategic partners—not just regional allies. . . .

From terrorist attacks to Islamist ideology, the United States, Israel, and India have the same problem—stopping terrorist murderers, dangerous ideologues, and building common cause with the breadth of the Islamic world that rejects the violence and extremism that affects them worst of all. Few topics merit joint discussions and action more.

Read more at National Interest

More about: India, Israel & Zionism, Israel-India relations, U.S. Foreign policy

How the U.S. Can Strike at Iran without Risking War

In his testimony before Congress on Tuesday, Michael Doran urged the U.S. to pursue a policy of rolling back Iranian influence in the Middle East, and explained how this can be accomplished. (Video of the testimony, along with the full text, are available at the link below.)

The United States . . . has indirect ways of striking at Iran—ways that do not risk drawing the United States into a quagmire. The easiest of these is to support allies who are already in the fight. . . . In contrast to the United States, Israel is already engaged in military operations whose stated goal is to drive Iran from Syria. We should therefore ask ourselves what actions we might take to strengthen Israel’s hand. Militarily, these might include, on the passive end of the spectrum, positioning our forces so as to deter Russian counterattacks against Israel. On the [more active] end, they might include arming and training Syrian forces to engage in operations against Iran and its proxies—much as we armed the mujahedin in Afghanistan in the 1980s.

Diplomatically, the United States might associate itself much more directly with the red lines that Israel has announced regarding the Iranian presence in Syria. Israel has, for example, called for pushing Iran and its proxies away from its border on the Golan Heights. Who is prepared to say that Washington has done all in its power to demonstrate to Moscow that it fully supports this goal? In short, a policy of greater coordination with Jerusalem is both possible and desirable.

In Yemen, too, greater coordination with Saudi Arabia is worth pursuing. . . . In Lebanon and Iraq, conditions will not support a hard rollback policy. In these countries the goal should be to shift the policy away from a modus vivendi [with Iran] and in the direction of containment. In Iraq, the priority, of course, is the dismantling of the militia infrastructure that the Iranians have built. In Lebanon, [it should be] using sanctions to force the Lebanese banking sector to choose between doing business with Hizballah and Iran and doing business with the United States and its financial institutions. . . .

Iran will not take a coercive American policy sitting down. It will strike back—and it will do so cleverly. . . . It almost goes without saying that the United States should begin working with its allies now to develop contingency plans for countering the tactics [Tehran is likely to use]. I say “almost” because I know from experience in the White House that contingency planning is something we extol much more than we conduct. As obvious as these tactics [against us] are, they have often taken Western decision makers by surprise, and they have proved effective in wearing down Western resolve.

Read more at Hudson

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, U.S. Foreign policy, Yemen