Stephen M. Walt on U.S. action in the Middle East

Is the United States really ‘retreating?’
Foreign Policy, “A Realist in an Ideological Age” blog
September 24, 2012
Commentary by: Stephen M. Walt, member of the Belfer Center Board of Directors and Harvard Kennedy School’s Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs
Topic: U.S. action in the Middle East

“By contrast, if this trend [of retreating] is seen as a farsighted and voluntary adjustment to new conditions and strategic priorities, then the risk of backlash will be reduced and the shift won’t have much if any effect on America’s perceived credibility elsewhere. In this sense, the idea of a strategic ‘pivot’ to Asia was smart rhetoric. We aren’t being driven out of the Middle East; we’re just choosing to assign resources where they can do us the most good.”

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