Remarks As Prepared
The Atlantic Council Poll on Public Attitudes on U.S. policy Toward Cuba
February 11, 2014
The recent years’ decline of US power and assertiveness in the Middle East has created a power vacuum there that may end 35 years of American pre-eminence in the region, said Michael Oren, Israeli historian and former ambassador to the United States. “While it is surely premature” to proclaim the end of that American era, domestic political attitudes have pulled the US government back from its dominance in the years since it brokered the first Arab-Israeli peace deal in 1978, Oren said in a discussion at the Atlantic Council.
“There’s a sense [among Americans] … that America could go home from the Middle East, turn its back on the Middle East,” said Oren, “and that belief may prove illusory.”
“Send in the Marines” Is Now a Faster OptionFollowing the deadly September 2012 attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the Marine Corps created a new crisis response force for Africa – smaller and faster than its predecessors – and recently ordered its first emergency mission. On January 3, a team of Marines landed in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, and evacuated US Embassy personnel from amid the civil war there.
Weeks after that first test, the force’s commander, Col. Scott Benedict, visited the Atlantic Council from his unit's forward operational center at southern Spain’s Morón Air Base. At the Council's Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Benedict briefed Africa and military analysts, defense industry leaders, military officers and diplomats on his unit's mission and its challenges in the Mediterranean and Africa.