Engagement Doesn’t Guarantee Results

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The Obama administration’s outreach efforts — Russia here, Syria here, Iran in the works — are certainly a welcome corrective to the Bush administration’s insistence on isolation and conditioned negotiations. That doesn’t mean they’ll work any better. The problem in all three cases is that being a spoiler offers more leverage and influence than being part of the solution. So long as a stable and peaceful Middle East is a high priority for Washington, then Syrian President Bashar al-Assad can say things like, “If you want to talk about peace, you can’t advance without Syria.” But outside of a stable […]

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