By Elliott Abrams, Pressure Points—
What has the collapse of Afghanistan to do with the Abraham Accords—the agreements between Israel and several Arab states?
Last week marked Afghanistan’s collapse and also the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords. While the Biden administration congratulated Morocco and Israel last week when Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid visited Rabat, and the two countries announced that full, formal diplomatic relations would soon begin, it’s clear that the anniversary of the Abraham Accords was not going to be marked. Perhaps it was viewed as a Trump achievement that should be buried rather than saluted.
In fact the two events—the new-found willingness of Sunni Arab states to open diplomatic and economic relations with Israel, and the Biden administration’s calamitous moves in Afghanistan—are related. What transpired in Afghanistan helps explain why the Abraham Accords happened.
Simply put, Arab states face numerous threats and see their region as one where Iran, Turkey, and Israel are the most powerful nations. They also see a decline in American willingness to use power to protect U.S. interests—and to protect U.S. allies. Witness, for example, the failure of the Biden administration to respond to the Iranian drone attack on the Mercer Street commercial vessel in the Arabian Sea last month, which killed two members of the ship’s crew, or the Trump administration’s failure to respond when Iranian-backed terrorists attacked the Abqaiq petroleum facility in Saudi Arabia in 2019. Continue Reading…