Going Their Own Way in The Mideast -- New alignment is not a full defeat for the United States -- more like a draw.
What happens when a superpower becomes preoccupied by a costly war and loses some of its ability to coerce friends and enemies toward the outcomes it favors? We're seeing a demonstration of that change now in the Middle East, as Arabs and even Israel reckon with the limits of American power -- and begin to cut their own deals.
The new power dynamic is clear in two developments over the past several weeks -- the Lebanon peace deal brokered by Qatar on May 21 and the Israel-Syria peace talks, with Turkish mediation, that were announced the same day. Both negotiations could help stabilize the region, albeit not on the terms the United States might prefer.