Lebanon recently swung away from the United States and towards Syria and Iran, when Hezbollah forced the pro-western government of Saad Hariri to fall. The new Prime Minister-designate, Najib Mikati, may be a billionaire businessman, but he is one who comes with the approval of Hezbollah – which is not good news for the foreign policy of the United States.
What should be even more troubling to the U.S. is the uncertainty about Egypt’s future. The U.S. is pushing for “orderly transition” which translates into: “Our long-time ally Hosni Mubarak should go, but peacefully, and without any radical replacement.”
As the transition takes place, how peaceful will it be, and how moderate will the new Middle East look? The U.S. is certainly going to lose some allies. “These regimes that are faltering happen to be all on the U.S. side at this point,” Carnegie’s Paul Salem noted. “This certainly puts the regional policy into question.”
Salem said that if the situation in Egypt would veer toward the Muslim Brotherhood – which it has not yet done– it would “certainly re-shuffle all of America’s calculations and plans in the region in a major way.” At this point, though, Salem noted, the Brotherhood is only one of the players in the uprising in Egypt, and has been careful not to overplay its hand.