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Let the Middle East Govern Itself

NEW YORK – It is time for the United States and other powers to let the Middle East govern itself in line with national sovereignty and the United Nations Charter. As the US contemplates yet another round of military action in Iraq and intervention in Syria, it should recognize two basic truths.

First, US interventions, which have cost the country trillions of dollars and thousands of lives over the past decade, have consistently destabilized the Middle East, while causing massive suffering in the affected countries. Second, the region’s governments – in Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and elsewhere – have both the incentive and the means to reach mutual accommodations. What is stopping them is the belief that the US or some other outside power (such as Russia) will deliver a decisive victory on their behalf.