The foreign policy tragedy of the Obama administration is that it never developed a foreign policy for the Middle East. Symbolically the comment by President Obama as to his policy toward ISIS was, ” I do not have a strategy.” His problems in the Middle East began years before that statement. Does he even today have a Middle East foreign policy. In fairness, he inherited a mess from President Bush, and never figured out what he wanted to accomplish in this region of the world. Examine the reality of the Middle East.
1. The most important military centers are in Turkey, Egypt, Iran, and Algeria. Only these nations have armies.
2. Poverty is the most important driving force in this region.
3. Well educated young people lack work. This results in them winding up working with jihadist groups.
4. The unresolved problem of Palestinians hovers over the region. It is a source of anger and violence.
5. President Assad was a wild card who hated militants of the Muslim religion.
At no point did the Obama administration:
1. Address the economic realities of this area of the world. Economic aid was crucial. NO “Marshall Plan” was ever offered to the region.
2. Some form of military alliance between Turkey, Egypt and Algeria might have created an armed force that could handle militants.
3. The issue of Israel HAD to be addressed. It never was.
In other words, a Mediterranean Marshall Plan just might have won over young educated Muslims in the region. The key element of the original Marshall Plan was -no money without cooperation between nations seeking funds.