Wall Street Journal

The Middle East Is a Trap for Joe Biden

He is caught between the national interest and the demands of his political base.

Ravenel B. Curry III Distinguished Fellow in Strategy and Statesmanship
The Middle East Is a Trap for Joe Biden
Tanks, armored vehicles, and military machinery belonging to the Israeli army withdraw from the central Gaza Strip on April 17, 2024. (Photo by Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu via Getty Images)

The 19th-century British prime minister Lord Palmerston supposedly said that the Schleswig-Holstein international controversy of his time was so complicated that only three people had ever understood it: Prince Albert, who died; a professor, who went mad; and Lord Palmerston himself, who had forgotten all about it.

The modern Middle East is even more complicated than the Schleswig-Holstein controversy, and while the U.S. has no shortage of mad professors, the number of Americans who understand the background of the Israel-Palestinian dispute or the limited choices among which an American president can realistically choose is vanishingly small. As a result, America’s Middle East policy debates are almost always bitter and seldom smart.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal.