Tags: Middle East | robert gates | long | range | strategy | mideast | cold

Robert Gates: US Needs Cold War-Type Strategy for Mideast

Image: Robert Gates: US Needs Cold War-Type Strategy for Mideast
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By    |   Wednesday, 21 Oct 2015 10:27 PM

The United States needs a "long-range game plan" in the Middle East similar to the Cold War because the Obama administration is "thinking strictly in month-to-month terms," former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Congress on Wednesday.

"We face a generation of conflict in the Middle East," Gates, who served from 2006 to 2011, told the Senate Armed Services Committee, The Daily Caller reports. He was questioned by Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama.

"We have four, at least four, conflicts going on simultaneously," he said. "Shia Islam led by Iran versus Sunni Islam led by Saudi Arabia: reformers versus authoritarians, Islamists versus secularists.

"Then, the question of whether these artificially-created countries — Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria — comprised by historically adversarial ethnic and religious groups can hold together at all," Gates added.

Noting that all the activity is centered in Syria, Gates reflected on the "containment strategy" of the United States during the Cold War with Russia, according to the Daily Caller.

"My concern is that I don’t see an overreaching or overriding strategy on the part of the United States as to how we intend to deal with this complex challenge for the next 20 or 30 years," he said. "I will always believe that critical to our success in the Cold War was that we had a broad strategy called 'containment' that was practiced by nine successive administrations of both political parties.

"It had bipartisan support. We don’t have anything like it with respect to the Middle East.

"We are kind of dealing with each of these crises individually," Gates said. "Rather than backing up and saying: 'What’s our long-range game plan here and who are going to be our allies? Who are going to be our friends? Where do we contain? Where do we let it burn itself out?' — we just really haven’t addressed those long-term questions, it seems to me.

"We are thinking strictly in month-to-month terms."

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The United States needs a "long-range game plan" in the Middle East similar to the Cold War because the Obama administration is "thinking strictly in month-to-month terms," former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told Congress on Wednesday.
robert gates, long, range, strategy, mideast, cold, war
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2015-27-21
Wednesday, 21 Oct 2015 10:27 PM
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