United States Secretary of State John Kerry will try his hand at tackling some of the most serious problems facing the Middle East. These are not mild tasks by any measure. An LA Times columnist used a bicycle analogy to describe the fast-moving foreign policy and diplomatic actions of Kerry. The goal, as has always been stated by every other diplomat, is peace. In the Middle East though, talk is cheap, so Kerry must bring his A game if he is to actually succeed in any major milestones.
It is a popular strategy; however, that could also be a virtue, but for now Kerry keeps it moving. The three major components to peace in the region, in the eyes of many including Kerry, is the situation between the State of Israel and the Palestinians, Iran’s nuclear programs and the civil war that has left Syria in a state of violence and daily chaos. These are three major issues that have been shaped by decades of policy, intervention, war, civil unrest and distrust. Kerry will face the challenge of having an ear to a matrix of agendas from stakeholders across the spectrum. It will be a difficult task to break new ground. He will certainly try, though. According to reports, he has just returned from the region after ten visits. Kerry’s goal, as was the goal of many before him, is to get to the point of looking at a two-state union, U.S. diplomats told the press.
Kerry is admired by many for even going there to try his hand at some of the biggest problems of the Middle East. Recent research has cited issues in the Middle East as being among the top issues facing the world today by various government officials, business leaders and citizens. Kerry has a tall order.
The Iran situation seems hopeful for many, even the skeptics. One of the Americans held hostage told the press that it is practically a miracle that negotiations have reached the point they have, even though they can fall apart any time. Compared to previous hostility, it does seem quite a milestone to most in the diplomatic community. Details are still being worked out to make sure Iran’s nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes in the short-term and long-term.
As usual, in the struggle for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, media outlets reported that the two powers continue to blame one another for problems and failures in the peace process. This will likely stymie much of the progress that Kerry hopes to achieve, considering the timetable given, but diplomats remain optimistic.
Syria’s problems have entirely different elements, namely internal and societal upheaval. The political and social elements that have produced such violence and rebellion in Syria will be a sensitive tightrope for any working on resolving conflict there. The distrust among the resistance to the government is one thing, public perceptions and faction mediation is another. These obstacles will not be kind to Kerry as he plans to try his hand at resolving the biggest Middle East problems.
By Rob Lawson