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Saudi Arabia

Obama's Choice

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President Obama can't get a break. His critics won't let up caricaturing him as a feckless failure without the resolve for an all-out war against the Islamic State group.

Worse still, he squanders opportunities to make the case for his administration's strategy. His Oval Office address to the nation December 6 was a disengaged recitation of generalities, without specifics. It lacked the narrative and rhetorical force needed to uplift and engage the audience in the cause.

Whither the Middle East?

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Authors' note: This blog post is part two of a two-part series. Read part one: "A Middle Eastern House of Cards."

Great uncertainty hovers over discussions of the shape of the new order that will emerge from the violence and chaos sweeping through the Middle East today. The old order, unnaturally born from the Sykes-Picot Agreement 100 years ago, is coming to an end, dealt a death blow by the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, and alternative visions for the region have proved misguided.

Will the US join a religious war in the Gulf?

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Even before Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states opened their air campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen, the multisided civil war in Yemen was a hornet's nest of troubles. The internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was battling al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the south of the country. Forces attached to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who resigned under international pressure in 2012, were maneuvering for a return to power.

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