Swoop: Washington’s World: September 17th – 23rd, 2012 – The Fracture

Swoop: Washington’s World: September 17th – 23rd, 2012 – The Fracture
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Swoop: “In a week in which a new survey of public opinion confirmed the low priority afforded to foreign policy by the American public, the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi and the anti-American protests in the wider region have thrust foreign policy into the presidential campaign. It seems unlikely, however, that this will permanently shift the trajectory of the debate away from domestic issues – this week’s action by the Federal Reserve to ease monetary policy further will likely prove to be more decisive.

Nonetheless, both sides have been forced to respond to the fast-moving events beyond their control. In the view of many commentators, neither side has displayed a sure touch. Despite their rhetorical differences, however, the gap between the two sides may not be great. While there have been some Congressional demands to cut aid to the region, US policy remains committed to supporting the new governments emerging from the “Arab Spring.” We do not see this changing in the event of a Romney victory. There is, however, a new realization of the fragility of and threats to these governments. This concern applies especially to Egypt where there is growing apprehension about the orientation of the Morsi government.

US officials to whom we have spoken acknowledge that there are no easy options except that if Egypt is “lost”, the implications for the US position in the Middle East will be profound.  This will be especially important in relation to Iran. Despite the flurry of public differences with Israel and personal animus between the leadership on the subject of Iran’s nuclear program, US and Israeli goals remain substantively aligned: both are committed to preventing Tehran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. US officials – as shown in the report from a high level expert group – still believe that no immediate action other than intensification of sanctions is needed. Nonetheless, if this fails to produce the desired cessation of Iran’s weapon program, the next Administration will face the same choices now being urged by Prime Minster Netanyahu – at Obama made these points in a telephone conversation with the latter on September 11th, following which US officials are cautiously optimistic that no immediate Israeli military action is likely. ”

Source: Swoop / Videos added by Cap Falcon
Photo Credits: President Barack Obama, followed by Chaplain Colonel J. Wesley Smith and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, walks towards the podium during the transfer of remains ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, Sept. 14, 2012, marking the return to the United States of the remains of the four Americans killed this week in Benghazi, Libya. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)