Atlantic Council Senior Adviser Harlan Ullman writes for United Press International on the Obama administration’s Middle East policy:
The White House has announced that it is reviewing its military options for what was once the intention of “disrupting and destroying the Islamic State” in Syria and Iraq. Critics (or realists) have argued that the Obama administration has already chosen to withdraw from the Middle East in favor of a strategic pivot to Asia and the president’s aversion to being trapped in the quagmire that is consuming Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. No one can fault Mr. Obama for attempting to avoid committing billions or trillions of dollars and U.S. lives to another failed enterprise.
Yet, without strong U.S. leadership, as nature abhors a vacuum, others will assert themselves.