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Trump Tour – on the dawn of a new US strategy in the Middle East

POLICY ANALYSIS BY BJÖRN BRENNER

Following Donald Trump’s first trip abroad as president, notably to Saudi Arabia and Israel, contours are beginning to appear of a new US strategy in the Middle East.

This strategy appears to stand on three pillars:

1. Iran OUT: US takes a new, harsher, position vis-à-vis Iran and seeks to isolate and contain the Shia republic as much as possible.

2. Daesh DOWN: US aims to eradicate the Islamic State and its affiliates. In this, Trump includes Hamas and Hizbollah, putting equal signs between all radical Islamist groups.

3. Sunni states IN: US aims to form a regional alliance together with the Sunni Arab states to fight radical Islamism and Iranian international influence.

The solid support for Israel remains, but not without US expectations of some favours in return. One such favour will be to make concessions vis-à-vis the Palestinians. However, it remains to be seen to what extent the US will insist on these concessions to be made.

Here follows a three part analysis further discussing the different components of Trump’s new approach:

Analysis Part One (in Swedish)
‘Israel pressed for concessions in Trump’s new Middle East strategy’, Human Security (June) 2017.

Analysis Part Two (in Swedish)
‘Businessman Trump could resolve Israeli-Palestinian conflict’, Göteborgsposten, 19 May 2017.

Analysis Part Three (in English)
‘Trump Tour: visits to Israel and the West Bank’, Interview on TNT WORLD, 23 May 2017.
‘Experts discuss the Abbas-Trump meeting’, Interview in i24 News Debrief, 7 May 2017.
‘Trump to visit Saudi Arabia, Vatican and Israel’, Interview in i24 News Daily Dose, 5 May 2017.

Read more (by other analysts)
Trump’s Middle East strategy takes shape’, The American Spectator, 26 May 2017.
Can Trump and Netanyahu make progress toward the Ultimate Deal?’, ICG, 13 February 2017.

Photo: Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas at the Arab-American summit in Riyadh.