On July 15, Foreign Policy published its biweekly “It’s Debatable” column featuring Scowcroft Center deputy director Matthew Kroenig and New American Engagement Initiative senior fellow Emma Ashford assessing the latest news in international affairs.

In their latest column, they debate the proper role of the United States in the Middle East.

The “regional sheriffs” portion of the Nixon-Kissinger doctrine largely failed. It made U.S. allies in NATO and Japan nervous and emboldened the Soviet Union… Washington would be wise to relearn that lesson for the current era of great-power rivalry with China, Russia, and Iran.

Matthew Kroenig

And we are in a period of potential U.S. decline—or, at least, of relative decline in comparison to other major powers. The research on decline among great powers is fairly clear on this: Great powers that successfully retrench and cut their commitments often manage to return to growth and power… The United States needs to redistribute its defense burdens, and the Middle East is by far the easiest place to do it. The Biden plan potentially undermines that strategy.

Emma Ashford

Related Experts: Matthew Kroenig and Emma Ashford