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Getting Smart about America's Middle East Policy

Michael Doran

I deeply appreciate the generosity of Elliott Abrams, Martin Kramer, and Steven Cook in providing thoughtful responses to The Strategy Washington Is Pursuing Is the Only Strategy Worth Pursuing. I’ll offer my reactions to their arguments—with each of which I respectfully disagree—one by one.

In my essay, I describe what I see as a coherent strategy toward the Middle East taking shape in the Trump administration. Elliott Abrams, for his part, sees no common worldview or sense of collective purpose at all. “[T]he decisions of the past two years,” he writes,

may instead reflect the many individuals who have affected decision-making (Rex Tillerson, John Kelly, James Mattis, John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and for that matter Mohammed bin Salman, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Benjamin Netanyahu, etc.), not to mention the president’s own changes of mind.

For the sake of discussion, let’s assume Abrams is entirely correct. But will he concede that the administration has at least exhibited clear inclinations, and that these inclinations are unlikely to evaporate?

Read the full article in Mosaic here