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Israeli invasion of Gaza threatens to collapse Washington's Middle East strategy

The Biden administration thought painstaking diplomacy could contain Iran and, by extension, its proxies in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. But by papering over the Palestinian question, Washington handed its adversary a strategic opportunity.
Israeli Merkava tanks take part in a military drill near the border with Lebanon in the upper Galilee region of northern Israel on Oct. 26, 2023, amid the ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

This is an excerpt from Security Briefing, Al-Monitor's weekly newsletter covering defense and conflict developments in the Middle East. To get Security Briefing in your inbox, sign up here.

Short of a nuclear-armed standoff, the stakes arguably couldn’t be higher across the Middle East right now.

The Pentagon — faced with the prospect of getting dragged into a broad regional war that could likely collapse Washington’s entire Middle East strategy — has dispatched veteran commanders of the defeat-ISIS campaign to Tel Aviv in a bid to temper and channel the Israeli resolve.

But as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear on Wednesday, some sort of invasion of the Gaza Strip is certain.

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