Trump is restoring credible US leadership in the Middle East

Trump is restoring credible US leadership in the Middle East
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President TrumpDonald TrumpJulian Castro knocks Biden administration over refugee policy Overnight Energy & Environment — League of Conservation Voters — Climate summit chief says US needs to 'show progress' on environment Five takeaways from Arizona's audit results MORE has dramatically reshaped foreign policy in the Middle East during his first year in office. His agenda has strengthened diplomatic relations with key allies and involved a more pro-active approach to addressing threats in the region.

Indeed, these policies include hindering Iran’s growing influence, combating extremist groups, expanding U.S.-Israeli relations, and restoring relationships with key Arab-state allies. This policy agenda has helped stabilize the Middle East and the results are showing. Americans should feel assured that President Trump and his team are working to restore U.S. leadership and credibility in the region.

This task hasn’t been easy coming off the shortcomings of the Obama administration’s foreign policy agenda. Obama and his team attempted to combat threats through appeasement rather than action. Appeasement led to a failing nuclear deal with Iran, the rise of several radical Islamic terrorist groups, and a leadership gap in the region. Our allies rightfully questioned if America was retreating from its security obligations.


Thankfully, the current administration executed a 180-degree course correction to this misguided agenda. Trump decertified the Iran nuclear deal and the U.S. Treasury Department slapped new sanctions on the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). Trump recently noted that he would no longer waive sanctions against Iran unless dramatic steps are taken to fix the deal.


Trump also provided support to Iranian protestors who took to the streets to voice their opposition to the regime’s rampant corruption, constant violation of human rights, and consistent funding of terrorism abroad. “Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!” Trump noted on Twitter.

In addition to countering Iran’s growing influence, President Trump has made enhancing U.S.-Israeli relations a top priority. Nowhere is this better illustrated than with the declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering,” noted Trump during the announcement. Trump formally recognized an obvious truth: Jerusalem is the rightful capital of Israel.

Furthermore, officials from the administration and Israeli government recently penned a joint strategic initiative to push-back against Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program. The U.S. also opened its first permanent military base in the country.

Our Arab-state allies have felt motivated to combat Iran and other extremist groups after commitments from the current administration. Trump doubled-down on our alliance with Saudi Arabia days after an unprecedented rocket attack on the royal palace from an Iranian-backed terrorist group. Trump reassured the Saudi government that any attack on Saudi Arabia will be considered an attack on the US.

The administration has also stepped up efforts to counter radical Islamic groups in the region. To date, ISIS has almost lost over 98 percent of its territory — largely since President Trump took office. Bounties have been issued on top Hezbollah leaders and Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE has ordered an investigation into a recent Politico report that Obama looked the other way as Hezbollah smuggled cocaine into the U.S.

Finally, President Trump has actively worked to assist religious minorities who have been displaced by ISIS. The administration announced it will bypass the United Nations and deliver much-needed aid to Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities.

The administration has delivered on its promise to put America and its allies first and take a much more hands-on approach to foreign policy. President Trump and his team are rightfully restoring U.S. credibility and leadership in the Middle East. Americans should be proud of what Trump has accomplished.

Alex Titus is a fellow at America First Policies, a nonprofit organization supporting key policy initiatives that will work for all citizens in our country and put America first.