Eisenhower – and Obama – got it wrong

Michael Doran explores why the US fails to stand by its friends in the Middle East and succumbs to the siren call of traditionally hostile states.

By GLENN C. ALTSCHULER
October 27, 2016 13:40
4 minute read.
Port Said

Smoke rises from oil tanks beside the Suez Canal hit during the initial Anglo-French assault on Port Said in November 1956. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

 
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Before he took office as secretary of defense in 2013, US Sen. Chuck Hagel distributed three dozen copies of a study praising president Dwight D. Eisenhower’s management of the Suez crisis to members of the Obama administration – including the president, secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and secretary of defense Leon Panetta. The lessons, Hagel implied, were clear: military intervention does not work and the United States should be prepared, when such action is in our national interest, to stand up to Israel and its American supporters.

Michael Doran – a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and assistant secretary of defense under George W. Bush – believes that the study, and Hagel, “got it entirely wrong.” In Ike’s Gamble: America’s Rise To Dominance In The Middle East, Doran maintains that Eisenhower’s policies in the Middle East were deeply flawed.

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