CNN Global Public Square Editor's Note: Barack Obama has won reelection as America’s president. But while the economy – and avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff – will inevitably take up much of his time, there are numerous foreign policy challenges facing the next administration. GPS asked 10 leading foreign policy analysts to name 10 things that Obama should focus on next. The views expressed are, of course, the authors' own.
A perfect storm is approaching the Middle East – and Iran is its eye. Debate about whether Iranian nuclear weapons capability or their acquisition should be the American red line misses the point: The difference between the two could be a week. Enriched uranium stockpiling suggests the international policy of procrastination will end. A military strike will unleash a cascade of instability, but so too would nuclear breakout. Secure behind its own deterrent, a nuclear Iran might act upon its ideological prerogative to export revolution.
Sequestration will tie America’s hands. The headlines today report violence in Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, and Gaza, but tomorrow they could just as easily include Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Kuwait. Containment is no solution. After decades of promising no tolerance of a nuclear Iran, no Arab ally will trust a U.S. nuclear umbrella; instead, they will make accommodation with resurgent Iran. The only solution is to hasten regime collapse. Unless that occurs, get ready for renewed terrorism, nuclear brinkmanship, and $200 oil.