Donald Trump’s bluster has done little except backfire in the Middle East. In a region already in flames, his attitude has every chance of lighting new fires. The US under this president is manifestly incapable of using its unique military might to reach the delusional goals he is pursuing — such as eliminating Iran’s influence across the Middle East and even toppling its Shia Islamist regime. This US preference for posturing over policy has, by default, left Vladimir Putin’s Russia holding the mediation ring in the region. Even if the Russian president’s main goal is to preserve his own fragile gains — above all Moscow’s mastery of Syria as a springboard for Russia’s return to the top table of world powers — this presents him with a problem. To recap: a year ago Trump went to Saudi Arabia and Israel for his first trip abroad as president. In Riyadh, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto Saudi ruler known as MbS, laid on a roomful of about 50 Arab and African leaders — most...

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