Has President Obama Chosen the Right Strategic Approach to Iran With the 2013 Dual Track Policy of Diplomacy and Sanctions?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
Pagination or Media Count:
President Obamas Dual Track policy of diplomacy and sanctions has been successful in persuading the Iranian leadership to enter meaningful negotiations at the Geneva talks. However the policy, as it stands, may not deliver the regional stability it seeks without broader regional engagement and integration with a regional strategy that recognizes the rapidly changing geopolitical situation in the Middle East. Thirty-four years of containment has institutionalized the enmity between the United States and Iran. American intervention in Iraq, the Arab Spring, sectarian violence in the Levant and the civil war in Syria have turned the geopolitics of the Middle East on its head. With growing success in its use of proxies, regional influence and national resilience, Iranian regional power is waxing as U.S. influence in the Middle East wanes. Many regional states and domestic audiences are unsure whether America has engaged in the Geneva talks to promote long term stability in the region or to facilitate an American rebalance from the Middle East to the Pacific. Ultimately however, the United States is the only regional player that can steer the region to stability. The key to engagement with Iran is their need for an economic recovery. However, neither Iran nor Americas regional allies are unitary actors, so the United States will have to engage bi-laterally with Israel and the GCC nations to identify compromises that are beneficial to all. Zero enrichment and validation of Iranian nuclear compliance will need broad and detailed consensus beyond the P51. An agreement on Irans nuclear capability will not deliver the regional security and stability that the United States and her regional allies seek. A mechanism to incrementally reduce sanctions at the same time as curbing an Iranian economic hegemony will therefore be needed to address Iranian terrorism and malign influence.
- Government and Political Science