In an interview with Muslim Press, Andrew Bacevich, the author of 'America’s War for the Greater Middle East', said that “Donald Trump’s appointment of hawkish former generals to key national security posts suggests that he will double down on U.S. military efforts in the Middle East instead of considering a different course.”
Read the full interview:
Muslim Press: How would you analyze the future U.S. interventions in the Middle Eastern countries? Do you think another war is coming?
Andrew Bacevich: It's very difficult to predict what President Trump will do. His comments are all over the map and frequently self-contradictory. However, his appointment of hawkish former generals to key national security posts suggests that he will double down on U.S. military efforts in the Middle East instead of considering a different course.
MP: Washington has supported Saudi Arabia in waging a war against Yemen. What does that tell us about the U.S. goals in that region?
Andrew Bacevich: U.S. goals become more difficult to discern with the passage of time. Presumably, the Trump administration will want to reduce the power of terrorist organizations in the region and would promote the restoration of stability. Continuing the fiction that Saudi Arabia is an ally of the United States promotes neither of those goals.
MP: How would the new U.S. administration treat Iran? Would Washington continue supporting regime change in the country?
Andrew Bacevich: The United States does not seek regime change in Iran. The question of the moment is whether Trump will preserve the JCPOA. Despite much rhetoric to the contrary, I expect that he will do so.
MP: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has said that the U.S. is "on the right course" in the Middle East and will stay that way as long as "we do not retreat." What’s your take on this?
Andrew Bacevich: This is a good example of the sort of silly posturing that has long since supplanted any serious consideration of what U.S. policy has actually produced.
MP: He has warned that Israel is "heading to a place of danger" because of its government’s policies toward the Palestinians. Is this a serious criticism? How different do you think the next U.S. president’s policy would be towards the Jewish state?
Andrew Bacevich: The Obama administration's frustrations with the Netanyahu government have been quite clear for quite a while now. We just don't know what path Trump will follow.
Andrew J. Bacevich is Professor of International Relations and History at Boston University. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, he received his PhD in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins. He is the author of the new book “America's War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History.”