Cards falling Israel’s way
Paradoxically, the Obama administration’s retreat from the region is enhancing Israel’s strategic position.
The Obama administration’s withdrawal from firm involvement in Middle Eastern affairs has had the paradoxical result of greatly enhancing Israel’s strategic position. The “Southern Arc” of countries, stretching from Egypt through Jordan to the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) states of the Arabian peninsula, now includes Israel. Cooperation between Israel and Egypt on security and intelligence is at an all-time high. Hamas in Gaza is isolated and now totally dependent on Israel for simple survival. Feverish diplomatic activity between Israel and the GCC is resulting in an informal strategic alliance to confront Iran, leader of the “Northern Arc” of Shi’a Islam, from Lebanon (and Hezbollah), through Alawite Syria, and Iraq, which is forced to keep a wary eye on the Kurdish regions outflanking it on the north. Truly, a fundamental strategic shift.