On September 7, the citizens of Basra, Iraq, poured into the streets chanting “Iran, out!” while targeting the Iranian consulate with several rockets. These protests have, in fact, been stirring for several months, with this most recent eruption of violence in Basra serving as a microcosm of the issues Iraq, if not the rest of the Middle East, faces as the result of Iranian militarism.
Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko announced… a new plan to seek European leadership in war-stricken areas of the nation still in government hands… “establishing a kind of patronage by certain countries over certain cities and towns of Donbass, let Germany take responsibility for Kramatorsk, let Greece for Mariupol, let Great Britain for Volnovaha, let other countries take Severodonetsk, Lisichansk, Avdeevka”
A former counsel to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, William C. Triplet, even went so far as to say that “the Ukrainians are getting away with taking the U.S. taxpayers’ money in the one hand while stabbing the U.S. Navy in the back with the other.”…the threat to American security stemming from Ukraine must be responded to; the U.S. ought to pressure an ally who may be betraying its interests.
Given the inherent tension between support for Israel and aversion to military action in the Middle East, the United States must find ways to support Israel without engaging in military conflict. One soft power approach to consider would be supporting Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights.
The trade war between the world’s two largest economies is entering its second round, and China is taking a beating. Bloomberg writes that China has recently ceded its position as the world’s second largest economy in terms of market capitalization to Japan, whose equities it eclipsed previously in 2014. Chinese equities dropped in value to $6.09 trillion USD slipping well below the Japanese equity market, which is currently valued at $6.17 trillion USD.
With ISIS largely defeated, Iraq has retreated to the periphery of American attention; America and its allies abroad have left Iraq on its own after over a decade of intense involvement.This lack of engagement leaves a power vacuum open for exploitation by Iran, and yes, even a resurgent ISIS. A policy of complete disengagement is not only to the detriment of American interests, but those of its regional allies. The United States must decide whether it will stand idly by as the modest but appreciable gains made by trillions of dollars and the lives of thousands of US service members are swept away by Islamic extremism, or selectively engage in the region to counterbalance growing Iranian influence.