Against this reality, all the criticism of President Obama concerning his minimalist approach toward the region seems misplaced… the president’s instincts on the politics of the region are largely correct. When people are engaged in high-stakes struggles over basic questions of identity, citizenship and nationalism, it is up to them and their leaders to discover a formula that will make their societies successful. (more…)

We have reached a watershed moment for U.S. policy in the Middle East. Some in Washington continue to play politics with good policy, but for the American people, this is a no-brainer: work the diplomatic process or get into another bloody and expensive war in the Middle East? Put boots on the ground (again) or keep nuclear inspectors in Iran?

Diplomacy has already reaped benefits: it has increased U.S. security while avoiding another war. (more…)