by Eliot Abrams
Reviewed by Norvell DeAtkine
Dr. Abrams, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, presented a succinct and all-encompassing review of the turmoil in the Middle East, putting it in context of the increasing threat to the security of Israel. While not as imminent a threat to the United States as Israel, the title could well have been safeguarding American security.
Taking a panoramic view of the Middle East, Abrams noted the following: the jihadi forces taking over the Syrian revolutionary forces; the iffy situation in Egypt, in which the Muslim Brotherhood after decades of often violent struggle have attained power, with an even more radical Salafi organization waiting in the wings; and an unpredictable Iranian regime edging closer to having nuclear weapons.
In expanding on the situation in Egypt, Abrams reminded the congressmen that after decades of often violent struggle against the Egyptian governments, the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s new president have not had sudden epiphanies and transformed into Jeffersonian democrats. With the demise of the Mubarak regime, the security situation in the Sinai has deteriorated dangerously. Abrams rightly paints the “Arab Spring” as having unknown consequences.
Dr. Abrams criticized the Obama administration for its policy of widening the gap between Israel and the US. It is not a path to a more peaceful region but actually the reverse. Any indication of a weaker Israel will provoke Arab states to gamble on war as a solution to the Arab-Israeli impasse.
Abrams opined that there are three elements to maintaining Israeli security. First the US must assist Israel in maintaining military superiority. Second, we must bring greater military power to bear in confronting Iran. Third, we should encourage democratic forces in the Arab countries. He criticized the Obama administration for rushing into the arms of radical Islamic forces, while abandoning “those whose views are closer to ours.”