US and the Middle East

Of all the mistakes the US can make about an especially turbulent Middle East, one should be especially easy to describe and avoid. The mistake is to assume that a surge in production of oil and gas from unconventional resources in North America means the US has diminishing reason to worry about Middle Eastern affairs. Falling into that trap would be easy. The US has had troops fighting and dying in Iraq or Afghanistan or both at the same time for most of the past two decades. The effort mostly has created local resentment. Americans are tired of the sacrifice and cynical response. The fatigue is one reason the administration of Barack Obama has implemented a so-called pivot of American a...

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