Jim Jeffrey retired from his post as President Trump’s special representative for Syria and envoy for the Western coalition against Daesh (ISIS)* in November. Shortly before doing so, he frankly admitted to disobeying the president’s orders to reduce the US military contingent in Syria, and to playing “shell games” with the White House.
Jim Jeffrey has penned an article in Foreign Affairs magazine urging President-elect Joe Biden to stay the course on Donald Trump’s Middle East policy, encouraging him to avoid George W. Bush and Barack Obama-style nation-building and “endless wars,” and to focus on “containing” Russia and Iran and “fighting terror” instead.
“Both US Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama pursued transformational campaigns in the Middle East based on the erroneous belief that by burrowing politically and militarily into states there, the United States could address the underlying causes of Islamist terror and perpetual regional instability,” Jeffrey wrote in his piece.
According to Jeffrey, these “American interests” have included “avoiding entanglements” in regional conflicts, while “still pushing back on near-peer” competitors Tehran and Moscow, including by supporting “Israeli and Turkish military actions against Iran and Russia in Syria” and relying “on the Gulf states, Jordan, Iraq, and Israel to stand up to Tehran.”
As for Syria, the…