National Security Council

You’ve just been hired to work for the incoming National Security Council as a staffer. The NSC is the US President’s principal forum for considering national security and foreign policy matters. You receive the following memo from President-elect Biden’s recently announced National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan: ************* President-elect Biden is looking to develop a sound policy towards the Arab-Israeli conflict. After these last 4 years, we need fresh ideas & options. When it comes to the A-I conflict, we were witness to the abject failure of outgoing President Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” and except for the recently thawed relations between Israel and some Arab Gulf states, there has been no resolution of the core conflict. I want you to consider the following questions WITHOUT REFERENCE TO DOMESTIC POLITICS. We are looking for good ideas, and since we are a brand new national security team, we don’t need to worry about how it will play in Congress, or with American Jews or Zionist Christians, or with other constituencies. Whatever we develop, we will “sell” it to our domestic supporters and adversaries when the time comes. Here is the assignment: For President-elect Biden, prepare a 1250 word (+/- 200) explanation and defense of the position you are advocating. In this document for the President-elect, discuss the validity and possible success of anyone or combination of the following former diplomatic documents concerning the A-I conflict based on what you have learned in your course at Trinity College and any further research you might do. President-elect Biden needs this by Tuesday, December 15, at 12-noon pm. – the main issue is this: it seems the Trump administration had all but abandoned the diplomatic formula of “the two-state solution.” Now that we are taking over, should we revert to pressing for a 2-state solution to the A-I Conflict, or should we take the approach advocated by the Trump administration? What other options are available? For example: should we do nothing, and let the parties stew for a while? Should the Biden administration openly advocate for a single-state solution? If so, what kind of single state? – validity is important! Call on your knowledge of the history of the conflict and whether the measures called for are legitimate or “practical” requests. – then discuss whether the agreements presented would “hypothetically” lead to success. In other words, how would the various parties (Israelis, Palestinians, Arab states) react to whatever we propose? – simultaneously, evaluate whether the agreements presented will “actually” lead to success. Here you can consider how it might work in the current environment of the post-“Arab Spring” conditions now in place, and the recent announcements by the Trump administration concerning US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and US recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. Which, if any, of these policies should we reverse? Should the US be more engaged or stand back? Have we gone too far in support of Israel and against Palestinian interests? Or should we continue our support of Israel by recognizing Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank? 

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