While it is preferable to see Arab countries find paths to peace without U.S. government involvement, the deal brokered by President Trump between Israel, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) could be a sign of progress towards peace in the Middle East. I hope it is. Who wouldn’t want to see friendship and the freedom to trade and travel replace endless conflict?
While the deal enables new peaceful relationships, a key sticking point remains: Bahrain and the UAE both demand a Palestinian state, while Israel still opposes one. Continued U.S. involvement in the region puts Americans on the hook for Israel’s Palestinian policy. It also places Americans in the middle of the ancient dispute between Shia and Sunni Muslims. Americans have no stake in either conflict or any ability to solve them.
As President, I would divorce the United States from the Middle East. I want Americans to face fewer enemies and bear lower tax burdens. I would achieve both goals by making the U.S. like one giant Switzerland, armed and neutral. There would be no more expensive and dangerous meddling in the Middle East and its intractable problems. We will trade with everyone, but quarrel with no one.