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The Realignment

In the Middle East, Biden is finishing what Obama started. And his top advisers are all on board. A detailed overview.

This project to create a new Middle Eastern order, which now spans two presidential administrations, deserves a name. The “Obama-Biden-Malley-Blinken-Sullivan initiative” is quite a mouthful. Instead, we hereby dub it “the Realignment.” That it should fall to us, and at this late date, to name a project on which many talented people have been working for the better part of a decade is more than a little odd. Typically, presidents launch initiatives as grand as this one with a major address, and they further embroider their vision with dozens of smaller speeches and interviews. One searches in vain for Obama’s speech, “A New Order in the Middle East.”

Obama, it seems clear, felt his project would advance best with stealth and misdirection, not aggressive salesmanship. Biden, while keeping Obama’s second-term foreign policy team nearly intact, is using the same playbook. He and his aides recognize that confusion about the “ultimate goal” makes achieving it easier. Indeed, confusion is the Realignment’s best friend.

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