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World's attention they're some growing concerns about the civil war in -- spreading out in Israel confirming it fired missiles into Syria.
Administrative machine gun position in the Golan Heights is is after its soldiers they say came under a hail of gunfire.
Along the border separating the two countries.
And the Golan Heights -- -- strategic plateau was captured by Israel in the six day war.
And while this is not the first time Israel has been forced they say to return fire.
The fear is that the fighting this time could escalate being where we are two years into this conflict.
Peter Berkowitz senior fellow at the Hoover institution at -- Stanford University he wrote on the topic of the Middle East just last week in real clear politics and he's our guest now Peter thank you so much for the time.
Good to be with you thank you before the president's trip he raised this question in your writing you said when the lingering tensions.
And conflicting assessments about our administration right now in this country.
As whether or not.
We want to increase our role in the Middle East.
Or pull back on our role in the Middle East now that you've seen the president's trip and some of the latest news headlines what are your thoughts on that.
Well I think the president would prefer to pull back on our involvement but in -- in the Middle -- not cooperating.
I think he recognizes and I hope this team recognizes.
Just how significant Syria is too.
Two regional stability not only because.
The humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Something on the order of 70000.
Syrian civilians have died at -- in the Syrian civil war.
But also because of the weapons and Syria both conventional weapons and weapons of mass destruction.
And because -- become a crucial battleground.
For Iran for -- desire to -- the Gemini over the region.
No one of the things that you say we should do.
Is look to Jordan.
Why do you think the country of Jordan is so imperative at this time to help us figure out how did -- And make sure that the chaos and Syria doesn't spread more.
-- -- Jordan is a crucial ally for the United States it's a pro western Sunni monarchy.
It's made peace and made peace with Israel in the mid 1990s.
It's always been supportive of us.
Meanwhile though during the Syrian civil war the Jordanians have already absorbed 400000.
Refugees from Syria who flooded the country.
And the country was already facing problems because they have a a -- 70% Palestinian.
And there witnessing the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood there.
And -- and provides the kind of anchor with its feet you know its shares borders with Israel with Syria with Iraq with Saudi Arabia.
So -- With that sent the central country we very much it's very much in our interest to maintain its stability and maintain -- King Abdullah.
In policy -- we do what would that look like specifically Peter as far as supporting Jordan to make sure again that that Syria did not spend further out of control that's possible.
Well in the first place it involves increasing financial support for the king.
So that he can absorb these 400000.
400000 or so refugees.
It might also mean weapons for the Jordanians and over the long term.
What it means -- helping with the education of Jordanian citizens.
Means even my own view is a lot could be done in the intermediate term.
Buy American programs that would educate Jordanian children from his so they've learned English and so they so they could operate computers so that accessing the Internet.
So really engage and and different levels throughout the generations of that country it's at the Washington Post has -- -- come out with an article today.
Whether or not the Obama administration.
-- a contingency plan.
Two years since this conflict that -- administration's been vague about what they want to do with the Red Line is crossed a chemical weapons are what really the plan is moving forward.
Do you think that's because they don't want to release that planned to the public because it's classic -- -- do you think they'd.
The -- don't have a plan.
I hope it's because.
They don't want terrorists -- to the public.
I worry that they haven't formulated -- and we we always have to understand in the Middle East.
And I think it's taken the Obama administration.
Taken the president and -- -- a long time to realize that.
This that typically in the Middle East we're not confronted with a good option and a bad option.
We're confronted by crummy options and awful options.
And that's the situation in regard to Syria which on the one hand you have the Iranian backed Asad regime we don't want to see Iran.
Increase its power in the region.
On the other hand.
The rebels are very mixed bag -- you have among the rebels.
I'll Qaeda forces you have.
Muslim Brotherhood forces that want to impose.
I -- a regime in.
In Syria so figuring out just where to throw support just -- to prevent a humanitarian crisis and how to secure.
The chemical weapons -- the unconventional weapons.
Is a very big challenge it should involve.
And it's an if then the challenge is -- she's getting cramming an awful it's important probably to have the right expectations.
As well between those two options Peter thank you for the time today appreciate very much.
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