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The Boston Globe

Opinion

NICHOLAS BURNS

Mideast allies crave leadership from US

Seemingly everywhere he turns these days, President Obama is facing criticism of his foreign policy leadership. And the critics aren’t the usual suspects — Russia, China or the Castro brothers — but some of America’s very best friends.

NATO allies, led by Germany, are furious over the Snowden allegations. Israeli leaders, backed ironically by the Gulf Arab States, worry the United States is leaning too far forward in nuclear negotiations with Iran. Turks allege American weakness in standing up to Syrian President Bashar Asad, Iran, and Hezbollah in Syria’s roiling civil war. The Saudis have even launched an intemperate and ill-advised public campaign on what they see as Washington’s passivity and indecisiveness as the reigning global leader.

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