After the frustrating Obama years, the conservative Arab states and Israel look forward with cautious optimism to the Trump era. But can the new administration address the numerous problems left by its predecessor? A quick review of the region’s main trouble spots offers some clues:
- Iran. While the nuclear agreement seems likely to stand, it remains to be seen whether the administration will sustain its tough approach to Tehran’s ballistic missile tests, which were not covered by the agreement. Judging by their cancellation of a new missile test following the American reprimand, the Iranians are likely to adhere to the agreement in the foreseeable future for fear of a U.S. or Israeli strike. The moment of truth will come when the agreement sunsets in seven or eight years, allowing Tehran to develop nuclear weapons virtually undetected.
- Turkey and the Kurds. Given longstanding Turkish-Kurdish tensions, the administration will need to weigh the relative balance of costs and benefits attending the Kurdish contribution to the anti-ISIS campaign and the military bases offered by Turkey. The administration may seek to allay Ankara’s fears of the growing Kurdish assertiveness by increasing U.S. military presence in Syria.
Source: for MORE