Arab allies also watched in stunned horror as desperate people clung to the sides of departing U.S. military cargo jets during America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war and the Taliban takeover of the country. Decisions by both the Trump and Biden administrations led to that moment — and upended strategic thinking calcified by the Cold War and the conflicts that followed the Sept. 11 attacks. Read more

After years of looking abroad for answers, countries in the Middle East now appear to instead be talking to each other to find solutions following two decades defined by war and political upheaval, AP reports.

The American withdrawals from Afghanistan and Iraq have played a part in that change. Once ostracized autocracies such as President Bashar Assad in Syria, and shunned former top figures such as Moammar Gadhafi’s son in Libya, are back in the political arena amid the still smoldering ruins of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Much remains unsettled and this inward search may not provide the answers most want. There are no quick fixes to Lebanon’s unprecedented economic free-fall, the plight of Afghans desperate to flee the country’s new Taliban rulers and Iran’s increasingly hard-line stance over its nuclear program.

The diplomatic maneuvering signals a growing realization across the region that America’s interest is moving elsewhere and that now is the time for negotiations that were unthinkable just a year ago. The United States still maintains a strong military presence, including bases across the wider Mideast. Tens of thousands of American troops operate tanks in Kuwait, sail through the Strait of Hormuz and fly missions across the Arabian Peninsula.

But its Arab allies also watched in stunned horror as desperate people clung to the sides of departing U.S. military cargo jets during America’s chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan after 20 years of war and the Taliban takeover of the country. Decisions by both the Trump and Biden administrations led to that moment — and upended strategic thinking calcified by the Cold War and the conflicts that followed the Sept. 11 attacks.

Read more

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