October 13, 2020

IntelBrief: Middle East Absent from the U.S. Election

President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden participate in the first presidential debate Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Bottom Line up Front

  • With selected exceptions, discussion of U.S. policy in the Middle East region has been absent from the U.S. presidential election campaign. 
  • The lack of U.S. debate over Middle East policy reflects public fatigue over the costly U.S. military interventions there since the September 11 attacks.  
  • The Administration’s facilitation of an agreement by the UAE and Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel has not altered the U.S. campaign. 
  • On the one regional issue that has been significantly discussed – Iran policy – President Trump and former Vice President Biden differ sharply.