America’s security “umbrella” over the Middle East may hold strong if Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton takes office next year, political science expert Dr. Thomas Schaller told Al Arabiya English on Tuesday.
“If it’s Hillary Clinton, then I do believe we will have a continuation of more of the Obama-era policies,” said Schaller, a professor at the University of Maryland, speaking in an Al Arabiya English Global Discussions session titled “US Elections 2016: Facts, Forecasts and Foreign Policy.”
In recent years, Arab officials and commentators have frequently voiced concerns over the US’s pivot away from the Middle East despite America’s long-standing connections – including military aid, training, intelligence-sharing and diplomatic support – with many Arab states.
Commenting on this, Schaller said “the lessons of the Iraq war have resulted in Americans having a much slower tolerance to place American troops abroad.
“It’s possible [that the US may retreat from the Middle East], but the defense and industrial complex will never let that happen – there’s a lot of money to be made. The cottage industry for the national security state wouldn’t allow that and Clinton, for the most part, comes from that tradition.”
“Maybe the umbrella will have a few holes in it, but it’ll mostly be there with Hillary Clinton [in office],” Schaller added.
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Dr. Thomas F. Schaller is author of “Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South” and co-author of “Devolution and Black State Legislators: Challenges and Choices in the Twenty-First Century.” He writes a twice-monthly column on national politics for the Baltimore Sun, and has published commentaries in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The New York Daily News, The New Republic, Salon, and The American Prospect, and has been a guest on MSNBC, National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and “Talk of the Nation” programs, and C-SPAN television’s “Washington Journal.”