President Trump’s Jerusalem Decision And Winning The Fight Against Extremism

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al-aqsa-mosque-196846_960_720A media discussion on a VOA Urdu Program Jahan Rang hosted by Behjat Gilani on December 10, 2017. The Panel included:

Arif Ansar, Chief Analyst, POLITACT, Washington DC
Sangeen Shah (Tariq Ahmed), Senior Research Fellow, Kings College, London
Dr. Asim Yousafzai, Analyst of Geopolitics, Kent University, USA

Listen to the Interview (first 35 minutes)

Strategic Insight

For many President Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem came as a surprise. However, the changes in the political, economic and security landscape of the Middle East have been pointing in this direction for a number of years now. PoliTact had noted this trajectory in July 2015 as the emerging ‘Outside In Approach’ to the Middle East peace process. The variable influencing this move involve the dynamics associated with War against Extremism, Arab Spring, Iran-Saudi tussles, and the ongoing Syrian conflict.

Now that the US has taken the decision, there is an urgency to understand the wider peace plan being envisioned by the Trump Administration and preserving the two-state solution. Delaying the unveiling of this plan can cause adversaries to exploit the circumstances, especially against the Muslim allies of the US.

Furthermore, the most immediate beneficiaries of this decision can be the non-state actors participating in the War against Extremism. Groups such as Daesh and AQ will use it to strengthen their narrative against the role of UN and its failure to peacefully resolve long simmering Palestinian issue and Kashmir. This will pose acute challenges in the way of countering the ideological narrative being used by the extremists, which has already been diluted by the global power struggle.

While Daesh has been physically defeated in Iraq and Syria, reports indicate they are strengthening in Afghanistan, posing an emerging threat to the reconciliation efforts there, and to the wider South and Central Asia region. Deash and Associates are also likely to exploit Muslim resentments related to Kashmir and Rohingya genocide. This scenario was explored in PoliTact’s April 2015 assessment: Can IS jeopardize Afghan Peace Process and Pakistan India ties?

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