Trump Strives to Undo 70 Years of Bipartisan U.S. Mideast Consensus

Photo: Erika Schultz / The Seattle Times

By Richard Silverstein / Tikun Olam תיקון עולם
November 27, 2016

With the Trump administration working to finalize its choices for who will run the Pentagon and State Department, it’s becoming clear that getting top national security posts in the new White House requires two qualifications: intense personal loyalty to Donald Trump himself and an almost obsessive fixation on the potential threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism.

There are alarming news reports about upcoming Trump cabinet appointments to fill key slots in the national security and foreign policy apparatus. They raise the specter of undoing nearly 70 years of carefully-constructed consensus in U.S. policy toward the Middle East. Presidents hearkening back to Lyndon Johnson have opposed Israeli settlements, and since George HW Bush they’ve supported a two-state solution. More recently, President Obama adopted an anti-interventionist course in the quagmire that is Syria. He and Pres. Bush also rejected an Israeli offer to jointly attack Iran.

Despite Trump’s avowed inclination to stay out of overseas conflicts, it’s quite possible key advisors and allies in the region like Benjamin Netanyahu could inveigle him into such military adventurism.

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