Donate

The Red Sea: Next Flashpoint in the Middle East?

Fifty years ago, Egypt blocked the Straits of Tiran, thus denying Israel access to the Red Sea and precipitating the Six-Day War. Today, the Red Sea remains vital to international shipping and still holds the potential to spark conflict. That conflict, explains Dore Gold, could arise from a variety of recent developments: tensions are increasing between Egypt and Ethiopia; Iran has built up a presence in the waterway with help from the Houthis in Yemen; Turkey and China are both establishing their own footholds along the Horn of Africa. (Video, 8 minutes. Text is available at the link below.)

Read more at Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

More about: Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Israeli Security, Middle East, Politics & Current Affairs, Red Sea

In Dealing with Iran, the U.S. Can Learn from Ronald Reagan

When Ronald Reagan arrived at the White House in 1981, the consensus was that, with regard to the Soviet Union, two responsible policy choices presented themselves: détente, or a return to the Truman-era policy of containment. Reagan, however, insisted that the USSR’s influence could not just be checked but rolled back, and without massive bloodshed. A decade later, the Soviet empire collapsed entirely. In crafting a policy toward the Islamic Republic today, David Ignatius urges the current president to draw on Reagan’s success:

A serious strategy to roll back Iran would begin with Syria. The U.S. would maintain the strong military position it has established east of the Euphrates and enhance its garrison at Tanf and other points in southern Syria. Trump’s public comments suggest, however, that he wants to pull these troops out, the sooner the better. This would all but assure continued Iranian power in Syria.

Iraq is another key pressure point. The victory of militant Iraqi nationalist Moqtada al-Sadr in [last week’s] elections should worry Tehran as much as Washington. Sadr has quietly developed good relations with Saudi Arabia, and his movement may offer the best chance of maintaining an Arab Iraq as opposed to a Persian-dominated one. But again, that’s assuming that Washington is serious about backing the Saudis in checking Iran’s regional ambitions. . . .

The Arabs, [however], want the U.S. (or Israel) to do the fighting this time. That’s a bad idea for America, for many reasons, but the biggest is that there’s no U.S. political support for a war against Iran. . . .

Rolling back an aggressive rival seems impossible, until someone dares to try it.

Read more at RealClear Politics

More about: Cold War, Iran, Politics & Current Affairs, Ronald Reagan, U.S. Foreign policy