On May 4, Robert Manning published his bi-weekly column in The Hill, which asked whether a Middle East with a diminished US presence may function better than it has with heavy US interference.

“There tends to be a false choice framed as the U.S. leaving the Middle East or staying. Neither is right. In fact, the U.S. retains sizeable capabilities in the Middle East, and will continue, if by default, to backstop threats to stability.

“But going forward, the U.S. is unlikely to either crusade for change or get sucked into the Middle East’s pathologies. The remarkable trends in the region suggest all sides are downsizing their expectations accordingly.”

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