America Signals Weakness in Syria

March 30 2023

Last week, an Iranian proxy group launched a drone attack on a U.S. military base in Syria, killing a contractor and wounding five soldiers. In response, American warplanes struck military targets affiliated with Tehran—taking care, according to the Pentagon, “to limit the risk of escalation and minimize casualties.” Iran-backed forces attacked two other sites with a U.S. troop presence the next day, wounding another serviceman. Clifford May comments:

This was not an isolated incident. U.S. troops in the region have come under attack from Tehran-backed groups 78 times since the beginning of 2021, according to General Michael “Erik” Kurilla who, as head of Central Command, oversees American troops in the Middle East.

If you’re a proponent of peace through strength, the conclusion you draw is that deterrence has failed, and that re-establishing deterrence must now be a top priority. Those who don’t see the situation this way are calling for retreat from Syria—the response Iran’s theocrats intended to elicit.

To do so would repeat the strategic error President Biden made in 2021 when he surrendered Afghanistan to the Taliban and, by extension, to its ally, al-Qaeda. President Obama made the same mistake when he withdrew from Iraq in 2011, giving rise to Islamic State, which went on to conquer 40 percent of Iraq and 33 percent of Syria, establish affiliates in at least eight other countries, spark a refugee crisis, and launch terrorist attacks in the U.S., France, and elsewhere.

Read more at FDD

More about: Iran, ISIS, Syria, U.S. Foreign policy

In the Aftermath of a Deadly Attack, President Sisi Should Visit Israel

On June 3, an Egyptian policeman crossed the border into Israel and killed three soldiers. Jonathan Schanzer and Natalie Ecanow urge President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to respond by visiting the Jewish state as a show of goodwill:

Such a dramatic gesture is not without precedent: in 1997, a Jordanian soldier opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls visiting the “Isle of Peace,” a parcel of farmland previously under Israeli jurisdiction that Jordan leased back to Israel as part of the Oslo peace process. In a remarkable display of humanity, King Hussein of Jordan, who had only three years earlier signed a peace agreement with Israel, traveled to the Jewish state to mourn with the families of the seven girls who died in the massacre.

That massacre unfolded as a diplomatic cold front descended on Jerusalem and Amman. . . . Yet a week later, Hussein flipped the script. “I feel as if I have lost a child of my own,” Hussein lamented. He told the parents of one of the victims that the tragedy “affects us all as members of one family.”

While security cooperation [between Cairo and Jerusalem] remains strong, the bilateral relationship is still rather frosty outside the military domain. True normalization between the two nations is elusive. A survey in 2021 found that only 8 percent of Egyptians support “business or sports contacts” with Israel. With a visit to Israel, Sisi can move beyond the cold pragmatism that largely defines Egyptian-Israeli relations and recast himself as a world figure ready to embrace his diplomatic partners as human beings. At a personal level, the Egyptian leader can win international acclaim for such a move rather than criticism for his country’s poor human-rights record.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: General Sisi, Israeli Security, Jordan