Back

JINSA CEO Makovsky in Washington Post on Obama Administration’s Failures in the Middle East

Can we agree to stop cozying up to Iran?
By Jennifer Rubin


Can we agree to stop cozying up to Iran?
By Jennifer Rubin

Two Democrats from the center-left Brookings Institution, Steven Pifer and Strobe Talbott, write that eight “former U.S. national security practitioners — the two of us, plus former U.S. representative to NATO Ivo Daalder, former undersecretary of defense Michèle Flournoy, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine John Herbst, former deputy undersecretary of defense Jan Lodal, former NATO European commander James Stavridis and former U.S. European Command deputy commander Charles Wald –” are calling for a sharp reversal in U.S. policy on Ukraine. They call for:

First, the White House and Congress must commit serious money to Ukraine’s defense: $1 billion in military assistance this fiscal year, followed by an additional $1 billion each in fiscal year 2016 and 2017. Congress should not only authorize assistance, as it did in the Ukraine Freedom Support Act last year, but also appropriate funds.

Second, the U.S. government should alter its policy and begin providing lethal assistance to Ukraine. To be sure, most of the above funds would go to nonlethal assistance. For example, the Ukrainian army desperately needs counter-battery radars to pinpoint the source of enemy rocket and artillery fire, which cause about 70 percent of Ukrainian casualties.

But the Ukrainians also need some defensive arms, particularly light anti-armor weapons. The antitank missiles in the Ukrainian inventory are more than 20 years old, and a large proportion of them do not work. U.S. anti-armor weapons could fill a crucial gap.

Third, the U.S. government should approach other NATO member states about assisting Ukraine, particularly those countries that operate former Soviet equipment and weapons systems compatible with Ukraine’s hardware.

This is one instance in which the president’s policy is so abjectly wrong that even Democrats cannot support him. This is not the only one.

The president’s multiple failures in the Middle East are largely attributable to a hugely dangerous notion: that we can reverse historic alliances with Sunni monarchs and Israel to reach a sort of detente with Iran. This noxious idea is permeating many separate actions, all disastrous: serial concessions to Iran in nuclear arms talks; refusal to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as the bloody civil war dragged on and jihadists intervened; turning a deaf ear on the Green Revolution; our attempt to broker a deal to end the Gaza war on terms more favorable to Hamas (the Qatar plan) than one the Palestinian Authority, Israel and Egypt all favored; refusal to confront Iran on state-sponsored terrorism and arms transfers; ignoring Hezbollah’s ongoing violations of the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701; allying ourselves with Iran-backed rebels in Yemen and the overt hostility toward Israel. The notion that we could abandon our allies, cozy up to Iran — whose ambitions and values are antithetical to our own — and bet on a radical Islamic country’s desire for normalized relations with the West is absurd and is wreaking havoc in the region. “Obama doesn’t see us at war with radical Islam partly because he’s taken sides among elements,” says Michael Makovsky of the pro-Israel group JINSA. “He’s sympathetic to Shia radicals in Iran and its proxies and allies in Lebanon, Syria and Yemen, and has been sympathetic to (Sunni) Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Gaza and Turkey, but he opposes Sunni radicals al-Qaeda and Islamic State.” He warns: “His most consistent regional policy seems to be realignment toward our traditional enemy Iran and against our traditional regional allied states–Israel and Sunni Arabs. This is his biggest and most dangerous failing, as the strengthening regional power of Iran and its growing nuclear potential represent the preeminent and immediate strategic threat to U.S. interests.”

Click here to read in the Washington Post

Publications

How a Bureaucratic Change Helped Save Israel
Published on April 28, 2024
U.S., Israeli, Arab Coordination in Mideast Against Iran Comes to Fruition
Published on April 18, 2024
How Does Iran’s Attack on Israel Impact the Fate of Saudi Normalization?
Published on April 16, 2024
John Hannah on the Brian Kilmeade Show 4.9.24
Published on April 9, 2024
U.S.-Israel Tension Over Security Council Vote
Published on March 26, 2024
How is the PA’s Agenda not Genocide?
Published on March 26, 2024
The day after: A plan for Gaza
Published on March 7, 2024
​​Joe Biden’s Plan for a Palestinian State Will Harm America and Israel
Published on March 6, 2024
To solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: First confront Iran
Published on January 4, 2024
The Palestinian Authority cannot govern Gaza
Published on November 13, 2023
Israel-Hamas war: It’s not too late to salvage peace with Saudi Arabia – opini...
Published on October 26, 2023
Why Bibi Should Listen To His Late Father’s Address
Published on September 30, 2023
The Corrupt Palestinian Authority Must Not be a Part of Any Saudi-Israel Deal
Published on September 8, 2023
If Israel Strikes Iran Over Its Nuclear Program, the U.S. Must Have Its Back
Published on August 14, 2023
The Abraham Accords Deserve a Special Envoy, Not More Bureaucracy
Published on July 17, 2023
The Biden Administration Is Prioritizing the Iran Deal Over Ukrainian Security
Published on June 30, 2023
Biden & Co. Keep Funding Palestinian Terror — in Defiance of Congress
Published on June 20, 2023
Now is the Time to Integrate Mideast Air Defenses
Published on May 4, 2023
Were There Clues Foreshadowing Saudi Arabia’s Diplomatic Shift?
Published on May 2, 2023
JINSA Fellows React to Iran-Saudi Deal
Published on March 10, 2023
A welcome Senate visit to Saudi Arabia
Published on February 22, 2023
End America’s Complicity in Iraq’s Sanctions Busting
Published on February 8, 2023
Washington is Oblivious to the Importance of Saudi Reforms
Published on January 17, 2023
Israel Can Normalize Ties with Saudi Arabia – with Biden’s Help
Published on January 4, 2023
It’s Time to Make Iran Think Twice About Harming U.S. Citizens
Published on August 22, 2022
Biden Should Revive the Carter Doctrine for the Middle East
Published on July 13, 2022
No More ‘Pay to Slay’
Published on July 13, 2022
Will Biden Seize His Middle East Moment?
Published on July 5, 2022
Enough of the ‘Tenuous’ Iran Nuclear Deal — It’s Time for Plan B
Published on June 8, 2022
Don’t Look Now, but Biden’s Iran Policy Is Still Failing
Published on June 3, 2022
The Ukraine War’s Nuclear Fallout
Published on May 3, 2022
It’s Time to End the Iran Nuclear Deal Once and For All
Published on April 19, 2022
An Airlift Could Save Ukraine
Published on March 15, 2022
Capturing Kyiv will be a ‘really difficult’ operation for the Russians: Hannah
Published on March 9, 2022
FOX Business interview with JINSA Senior Fellow John Hannah on Russia Sanctions
Published on February 24, 2022
Iran nuclear deal will be a tough sell in Congress
Published on February 9, 2022
Could Saudi Arabia Help Save Biden’s Flailing Presidency?
Published on February 8, 2022
Here’s How The US Can Reestablish a Measure of Deterrence Against Iran
Published on February 4, 2022
Why Has Biden Stopped Pushing for Arab-Israeli Peace?
Published on January 19, 2022
America should re-envision the Eastern Med as a multi-theater power-projection platform
Published on November 20, 2021
America’s Lesson from Gaza: Prepare for Disinformation War
Published on November 15, 2021
Israel Needs Weapons to Stop Iran’s Bomb
Published on October 15, 2021
Amb. Yousef Al Otaiba deserves a Nobel Peace Prize
Published on September 22, 2021
As the U.S. Steps Out of the Middle East, It Must Help Israel Step Up
Published on August 23, 2021
FOX Business interview with JINSA Senior Fellow John Hannah on Taliban Takeover in Afghani...
Published on August 19, 2021
FOX News interview with JINSA Senior Fellow John Hannah on Biden remarks on Afghanistan
Published on August 18, 2021
Reflections on the Fall of Kabul
Published on August 15, 2021
No Matter What Biden Calls U.S. Troops in Iraq, Iran Is Gunning for Them
Published on August 2, 2021
Iran’s Latest Ploy for New Nuclear Deal Is Doomed
Published on July 14, 2021
FOX News interview with JINSA Senior Fellow John Hannah reacts to withdrawal of U.S. troop...
Published on July 14, 2021
U.S. Should Bypass Palestinian Authority to Provide Aid to Gaza
Published on June 21, 2021
Sticks, Not Carrots
Published on June 21, 2021
Pledges to Restore Israel’s Defenses Must Go Beyond the Iron Dome
Published on June 8, 2021
Gaza Proves that Iran’s Next War on Israel Will Be Far Bloodier
Published on May 26, 2021
The ICC’s Fundamental Design Flaws Have Only Become More Evident
Published on May 24, 2021
FOX Business Tonight interview with JINSA Senior Fellow John Hannah on rising anti-Semitis...
Published on May 22, 2021
FOX Business Interview with JINSA Senior Fellow John Hannah on Biden’s handling of I...
Published on May 18, 2021
By Renewing Palestinian Aid, America Is Funding Terrorism
Published on May 10, 2021
The Countdown to an Israeli War With Iran Has Begun
Published on May 6, 2021
Biden’s ‘open door’ to the Palestinian Authority
Published on April 26, 2021
FOX Business Interview with JINSA Senior Fellow John Hannah on Russia
Published on April 16, 2021
Biden Faces His First Disasters in Yemen and Afghanistan
Published on April 13, 2021
How Defense Secretary Austin Can Help Israel Help America
Published on April 9, 2021
FOX News Interview with JINSA Senior Fellow John Hannah on Iran talks
Published on April 5, 2021
Red Lines Can Help Address Iran’s Nuclear Escalation
Published on March 13, 2021
Is the Biden Administration Planning on Violating the Taylor Force Act, as the PA Continue...
Published on March 10, 2021
Why a Return to the JCPOA Will Be Even Harder Than Many Think
Published on March 1, 2021
Here’s how the US can reestablish a measure of deterrence against Iran
Published on February 4, 2021
Shifting Israel to the Area of Responsibility (AOR) for U.S. Forces in the Middle East
Published on January 15, 2021
What Selling F-35 Stealth Jets to the UAE Means for Israel
Published on December 7, 2020
How the U.S. Can Help Israel Maintain its Military Edge
Published on October 23, 2020
America Must Do More To Prevent An Iranian Nuclear Weapon
Published on September 25, 2020
F-35s to UAE Necessitates U.S. Ensure Israel’s QME
Published on September 15, 2020
Palestinian Authority Oppresses Palestinians – Here’s How to Help People and B...
Published on August 23, 2020
Israel Needs Help Rebuilding Its Munitions Stockpile
Published on August 6, 2020
Washington Must Address Turkey’s Rising Aggression Amid COVID-19
Published on July 29, 2020
America Must Act In Libya Against Turkey, Russia
Published on June 8, 2020
Revisiting Sokolow v. PLO Gives Hope to Victims’ Families
Published on May 13, 2020
Two Years and Counting – Next Moves to Curb Iran’s Nuclear Aspirations
Published on May 13, 2020
PA and Hamas Try to ‘Coronawash’ Their Own Corruption
Published on April 16, 2020
US-Turkish Relations Could Warm Up; Turkey Should Pledge No Russian Arms
Published on April 8, 2020
Abbas’ Palestinian Authority Hurts Everybody
Published on February 9, 2020
Greece Is at the Nexus of America’s Geopolitical Crossroads
Published on February 8, 2020
Trump’s Middle East Plan Forces ‘Reality’ on Palestinians, But Meets The...
Published on February 4, 2020
To Deter War With Iran, U.S. Should Use Its Asymmetric Edge: Air Power
Published on January 8, 2020
The US and Israel Should Agree on a Mutual Defense Pact
Published on December 16, 2019
Restoring US Credibility in the Middle East
Published on December 14, 2019
Israel Needs US-Made Weapons to Contain Iran’s Aggression
Published on December 9, 2019
A Way Forward with Saudi Arabia
Published on December 9, 2019
Pull US Troops Out of Turkey: Former EUCOM Deputy
Published on December 4, 2019
Why the U.S. Should Change Its Approach Toward the Palestinian Authority
Published on October 9, 2019
Trump Can Do Even More on Iran
Published on September 25, 2019
A Return to Geopolitics in the Mediterranean
Published on August 3, 2019
Lesson Learned in Bahrain
Published on July 26, 2019
Qatar is Helping Iran. Trump Has the Leverage to Force a Change — But Will He?
Published on July 9, 2019
Greece: America’s New Key Strategic Partner
Published on May 23, 2019
The Palestinians Should Support Greenblatt, Who’s Telling Them the Truth
Published on April 5, 2019
Trump Shouldn’t Pull Out of Syria Right Now – Our President First Needs a Tougher ...
Published on February 1, 2019
Blood Money, Not Benevolence: The PLO’s Justification of ‘Pay for Slay’
Published on January 8, 2019
Iran’s Ballistic Missile Test Shows U.S. Defense of Middle East Allies Must Change. ...
Published on December 19, 2018
End Funding of Palestinian Terror
Published on October 9, 2018
Beating Back Iranian Aggression by Supporting Israel
Published on September 25, 2018
A Comprehensive Strategy That Secures Real And Lasting Changes In Iran’s Behavior
Published on September 19, 2018
Helsinki Summit an Opportunity to Win Russia’s Support for Constraining Iran in Syri...
Published on July 15, 2018
The Palestinian Authority Sponsors Terrorism, and the Taylor Force Act Has Finally Put it ...
Published on June 5, 2018
Congress is Overdue to Pass the Taylor Force Act
Published on March 4, 2018
Trump’s Quick Fix Approach to Iran Nuclear Deal Creates Untenable Policy Dilemma
Published on February 21, 2018
US Must Bolster Its Presence In MidEast As ISIS Falls
Published on December 6, 2017
How Trump Can Prevent a Nuclear Iran
Published on November 1, 2017
North Korea Proved Allowing the Iran Deal to Collapse Could Lead to Proliferation
Published on September 27, 2017
The Two Faces of Qatar, a Dubious Mideast Ally
Published on April 24, 2017
Stop American Aid to the Palestinians Until the Terror Ceases
Published on January 27, 2017
Time to Take Aim at Iranian Missiles
Published on April 12, 2016
Gen Charles Wald, USAF (Ret.): UNHRC Report on 2014 Gaza Conflict Unbalanced, Fails to Acc...
Published on June 22, 2015
Sending a Bunker-Busting Message to Iran
Published on April 8, 2014