Altherion Posted April 20, 2016 Share Posted April 20, 2016 1 hour ago, Kalbear said: Obama does not, full stop, like being an ally of the Saudis. Especially given their brand of Islamic teaching and their proclivity for human rights abuses. He wants the US to get out of dodge and get away from them. He's stated this pretty publicly. Similar but not the same as Israel, save that he feels that Israel is really jonesing for war that he doesn't want to support. He seeks more diplomatic ends and more balanced power struggles in the region. Mostly, Obama is a fatalist when it comes to the Middle East. He has seen intervention just fail over and over, and even the best intentions and ideas fall flat. He wants to help, but he doesn't want to do so with such uncertainty. Nobody particularly liked being an ally of the Saudis, but they have the most easily accessible massive oil reserves in the world and thus to a considerable extent control the price of oil. They're also one of the larger military and economic powers in an extremely contested region. It's not obvious how moving away from being their ally is going to make anything better since we can do even less from a position far away from them than we could before. Something similar is true of Israel: our patronage of them gives us a sort of leash we hold them by and the less they depend on us, the less constrained they are. Also, Obama has hardly shunned intervention -- he shied away from deploying American troops, but he diplomatically supported "regime change" in several countries. This combination obviously turned out to be an unmitigated disaster orders of magnitude worse than Iraq which even managed to harm our European allies and may quite plausibly mean the end of the EU as we know it. It also meant that while we were negotiating with Iran on one matter, we were actively opposing them on another (Iranian "military advisers" were fighting in Syria along with the Russian ones). Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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