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White House officials have said they are reviewing the troop presence in Syria — an announcement that has raised concerns that Biden could reconsider the deployment as part of a larger scaling back of U.S. troops in the Middle East and a planned shift of Pentagon focus to Asia. Link To News Article
Biden has frozen a shipment of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia and has also ordered a review of weapons sales to the United Arab Emirates. He has shown little interest in chasing peace between Israelis and Palestinians, a grail pursued by the past five presidents. His defence secretary, Lloyd Austin, has begun a review of American deployments that is expected to consider a shift from the Gulf. “That’s a lot for leaders in the region to digest,” said Martin Indyk of the Council on Foreign Relations, who was Mr Obama’s special envoy to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
In the magazine Foreign Affairs last year, Jake Sullivan, now Mr Biden’s national security adviser, and Daniel Benaim, now the deputy assistant secretary of state for Arabian Peninsula Affairs, wrote that the shift in interests did not mean America “should leave the region outright”. But skilful diplomacy, they concluded, “will ultimately allow for sustained military reductions”.
According to the vision of Mr Sullivan, the national security adviser, a new framework for regional powers to address their differences, together with nuclear diplomacy, would allow America to begin to pull back.