Anti-Imperialism/Foreign Policy

Why Is Washington Addicted to War?

By Scott McConnell

The American Conservative

Even as Obama was making peace with Iran, the U.S. moved into conflict with Russia on the side of neo-Nazis and Islamists.

Olivier Douliery/dpa/picture-alliance/Newscom

Most now assume that the defining foreign policy legacy of President Obama will be his Iran deal, which will seek to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon and open the doors to Iran’s reintegration into the world economy and regional politics. I believe Obama and good sense will prevail over the Israel caucus in Congress, and as a result of the deal Americans will fairly soon come to see Iran both as a market for American goods and ideas and as a valuable ally against ISIS, the Sunni jihadist group that controls much of Iraq and Syria. There will of course be much debate and possibly a major political donnybrook in the months to come, and unexpected twists are always possible.

But what a surprise it would be if the principal legacy for Obama were not the opening to Iran, even if it were to fulfill all positive expectations, but a deepening cold war, potentially even hot war, with Russia. Everyone in Washington knows that Obama and his top aides have devoted 10 times more attention to Iran than to Russia, assuming perhaps that the logic of geopolitics would keep American-Russian relations on relatively even keel. But events have a way of surprising. Oh bitter irony were we to have peace with Iran, war with Russia. It could happen.


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