WORLD ROUNDUPImagining Deterrence without Nuclear Weapons | Far Right’s Ties to Russia Sow Rising Alarm in Germany | America Fueled the Fire in the Middle East, and more

Published 16 April 2024

·  America Fueled the Fire in the Middle East
Israel is in growing dangerbut the responsibility lies more in Washington than in Tehran

·Chinese Security Presence in the Pacific Comes into Focus Ahead of Major Political Events
China’s growing security presence in the Pacific will be scrutinized this week as the Solomon Islands holds its national election

·  John Bolton Says Growing U.S. Isolationism Threatens Ukraine’s War Effort
If Trump, as expected, is the Republican candidate in November and if he wins the election, Bolton warned he thinks Trump “will try to withdraw from NATO.”

·  The U.S.-Japan-Philippines Trilateral Was a Success, but Other Southeast Asian States Are Unlikely to Follow
The success of the U.S.-Japan-Philippines trilateral summit underscored Biden’s dedication to building partnerships in the Indo-Pacific, but Southeast Asian nations are less interested

·  Imagining Deterrence without Nuclear Weapons
AI-driven non-nuclear deterrence could prove to be a compelling alternative to the grim doctrine of nuclear MAD

·  Why Israel-Iran War Is a Lifeline for Netanyahu
An isolated leader who faced widespread criticism a week ago now has the backing of the West and has deflected global attention from Gaza

·  Far Right’s Ties to Russia Sow Rising Alarm in Germany
As cases proliferate, opponents fear the Alternative for Germany party is becoming a tool of Russian influence operations to undermine support for Ukraine

America Fueled the Fire in the Middle East  (Stephen M. Walt, Foreign Policy)
Consider where the “special relationship” has led over the past 50 years. The two-state solution has failed, and the question of the Palestinians’ future remains unresolved, in large part because the lobby made it impossible for U.S. presidents to put meaningful pressure on Israel. Israel’s ill-advised invasion of Lebanon in 1982 (part of a foolish scheme to consolidate Israeli control of the West Bank) led to the emergence of Hezbollah, which now threatens Israel from the north. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials tried to weaken the Palestinian Authority and block progress toward a two-state solution by covertly backing Hamas, thereby contributing to the tragedy of Oct. 7. Israel’s internal politics are more polarized than the United States’ (which is saying something), and its actions in Gaza, which most groups in the lobby defend at every turn, are helping turn it into a pariah state. Support among younger Americans—including many Jews—is cratering.
And this unhappy situation has allowed Iran to champion the Palestinian cause, get closer to having a nuclear weapon, and thwart U.S. efforts to isolate it. If the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its allies were capable of self-reflection, they’d be mortified by what they have helped Israel do to itself.
By contrast, those of us who have criticized some of Israel’s actions—only to be falsely smeared as antisemites, Jew-haters, or worse—were in fact recommending policies that would have been better for the United States and Israel alike. Had our advice been followed, Israel would be safer today, tens of thousands of Palestinians would still be alive, Iran would be farther from having the bomb, the Middle East would almost certainly be more tranquil, and the United States’ reputation as a principled defender of human rights and a rules-based order would still be intact. Finally, there would be little reason for Iran to smuggle weapons to the West Bank if these lands were part of a viable Palestinian state, and less reason for Iran’s leaders to contemplate whether they might be more secure if they possessed their own nuclear deterrent. (Cont.)