Is the U.S. Headed for Another Foreign Policy Misstep?

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What a week this was. A victory for the Republican Party in the elections and the revelation that the Administration is sending secret letters to Iran regarding ISIS. The former was instructive as to how many Americans are frustrated with the last six years of government. The latter is frightening.

Some will say that it is just practical to try to negotiate with a major player in the region who might have a very narrow common interest for a few minutes in history. After all, Nixon negotiated with China secretly some say. There is no comparison. Iran is not a rational nation state, but a nation that backs terrorism throughout the region. It backs Hezbollah and the regime of Assad. It is desperately trying to become the most powerful state in the region – to promote its Shia version of Islam and to gain nuclear weapons and to crush Israel. Opening the door to China is not under any circumstances similar.

America’s long time allies are the Sunni nations of the region. These are the ones who have consistently worked with the U.S. to promote stability in the area. Even though they felt stabbed in the back when this Administration held secret negotiations with their enemy Iran over its nuclear development, they agreed to actively go after ISIS. Don’t misunderstand me – I am a critic of the treatment of women in countries such as Saudi. I am not a fan of autocratic governments. But at least the Sunni nations do not back terrorists whose goal is to kill Americans and anyone else that doesn’t follow their beliefs. Iran does all of that, and is an autocratic state that treats women abysmally so it has no saving graces.

It is also disturbing that the White House was willing to try to negotiate with the same country that very recently cyber attacked Saudi Aramco and managed to make computers that run the company inoperable. Imagine if Exxon employees showed up for work on a Monday and all of their computers were erased. That’s what the government of Iran did to Aramco. And this White House is trying to negotiate with the same state on coordinating ISIS strategy and on nuclear weapons development.

There have been so many foreign policy missteps in the past six years, and it is depressing that a new one has been added. I shutter to think what might be next. No wonder countries such as Turkey are leery of aligning themselves with the U.S. For the past few years, we haven’t had a very good track record of supporting our allies and keeping our word. I shudder to think about what might be the next wrong decision that will be made.

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