KERRY'S ENGAGEMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST IS NECESSARILY LIMITED DUE TO FINITE RESOURCES-Bremmer '13
[Ian; Consultant and President of the Eurasia Group; John Kerry: an able performer in a tough role; Financial Times A-List Blog; 28 February 2013; http://blogs.ft.com/the-a-list/2013/02/28/john-kerry-an-able-performer-in-a-tough-role/; retrieved 3 August 2013]
But beyond early assessments of whether Mr Kerry is up to the job, we must acknowledge that success as secretary of state depends increasingly these days on the ability of a skilled manager to do more with less. This president’s stated policy goals focus overwhelmingly on the domestic side, and when boasting of his first-term foreign policy achievements, Barack Obama speaks mainly of bringing soldiers home, reducing the leverage of US diplomats at international bargaining tables.
As for this first trip, it’s no surprise that Mr Kerry begins his work in Europe and the Middle East, the two regions he knows best. Friendships in London, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Ankara, Cairo, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Doha will serve him well. His challenge in Europe will be to keep the US involved in the process of eurozone reform without offering much direct material help and to create momentum behind a transatlantic trade pact that will take years to negotiate.
In the Middle East, the first step will be to try to stop the carnage in Syria and help prepare the ground for a capable new government. He…