National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the Biden administration had “restored” relations between Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip just days before the terrorist group carried out brutal surprise attacks on Israeli soil.
Sullivan acknowledged the situation remained tense but said the administration had managed to de-escalate when hostilities flared up and rebuilt diplomatic ties between Israel and the groups in charge of the Palestinian territories, Sullivan wrote in an essay for the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs magazine, screenshots show. Sullivan touted the administration’s progress in re-integrating the region and deterring conflict just days before Israel declared war on Hamas.
“The region is quieter than it has been for decades. The progress is fragile, to be sure. But it is also not an accident,” Sullivan wrote.
President Joe Biden’s “approach returns discipline to U.S. policy. It emphasizes deterring aggression, de-escalating conflicts, and integrating the region,” he said.
Sections related to the Middle East were scrubbed or modified in the online version of the essay published Oct. 24.
“The original version of this article emphasized that this progress was fragile and that perennial challenges remained, including tensions between Israel and Palestinians and the threat posed by Iran. The October 7 attacks have cast a shadow over the entire regional picture, the repercussions of which are still playing out, including the risk of significant regional escalation,” Sullivan wrote.
An editor’s note also acknowledged the passage concerning the Middle East was updated to reflect the Hamas terrorist attack in Israel and subsequent events, which occurred after the article went to print.
The Biden’s administration approach to the Middle East will not change and guides the way the president plans to navigate present crises, he added.
Some perceived Biden administration successes, such as contributing to joint infrastructure projects involving Israel and its Arab neighbors and planning to build an economic corridor between India and the Middle East, remained, Sullivan wrote.
“There was material progress,” Sullivan wrote. “Conflicts had cooled.”
Jake Sullivan wrote an essay for Foreign Affairs that went to print before Oct 7. For the online version that came out yesterday, they let him not just add new material but scrub the sections embarrassed by events. Some deleted gems from the original, not available online (1/6): pic.twitter.com/53e7E2Di9g
— Jeremy Stern (@JeremySternLA) October 25, 2023
In the previous version of the article, Sullivan emphasized that when Biden took office, “U.S. troops were under regular attack in Iraq and Syria… . Such attacks, at least for now, have largely stopped.”
“We have acted militarily to protect U.S. personnel, and we have enhanced deterrence, combined with diplomacy, to discourage further [Iranian] aggression.
Iran-backed militia groups since launched at least 13 confirmed drone and rocket barrages against bases housing U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria, the Pentagon said Tuesday. More than two dozen troops sustained minor injuries.
The Pentagon is shuttling additional air defense assets to the region to protect against a “significant” threat of escalation by Iran, according to The Wall Street Journal. Several administration officials and Biden have pledged to respond but provided no further details.
The National Security Council did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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