Strategic Horizons: The Middle East Is Not Obama’s to Lose

President Barack Obama, according to pundits, is losing the Middle East. The charge recalls those leveled after Mao Zedong’s 1949 victory in the Chinese civil war, when anti-communists in the United States accused the Truman administration of “losing China.” While advocates of this position never explained how any feasible level of U.S. support could have staved off Chiang Kai-Shek’s defeat, the idea that refusing to back friendly dictators leads to preventable strategic disasters subsequently became ingrained in American thinking. It later inspired Lyndon Johnson’s refusal to disengage from Vietnam even when it became clear that the Saigon regime could not […]

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