Kenneth M. Pollack is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where he works on Middle Eastern political-military affairs, focusing in particular on Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf countries. Before joining AEI, Dr. Pollack was affiliated with the Brookings Institution, where he was a senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy. Before that, he was the center’s director and director of research.
At bottom, it sends the message that America sees Iraqis as untrustworthy, That they are not our partners. It reinforces Trump’s idea of taking their oil; that we don’t view them as allies but something much less than that.
The intelligence community certainly can be wrong about these kinds of things, and you do want to take everything with a certain amount of skepticism. That said, it seems like in this case [of the Russian election hacking], they’ve found the tracks—that’s kind of the nice thing about cyber, as best as I understand it, is you can actually go back and see the keystrokes … which was not something that we had in Iraq.
[Our Arab allies] would say [regarding U.S.-Iranian negotiations], "What is wrong with you people? You have this good, loving, loyal wife in us, and this crazy mistress in Iran. You don’t understand how bad she is for you, and yet you endlessly run off to her the moment that she winks at you."