As the Arab Spring erupted in 2011, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton convened a group of Middle East experts for a discussion on how the United States should respond to the upheaval.
After much back and forth, one expert cut to the heart of a challenge with U.S. policy in the region: “With all due respect, when leaders from the Middle East see the secretary of state land in the region with a small group of diplomats, they respect you. When they see a U.S. general land with multiple planes, a phalanx of aides, and lots of goodies to offer, they know who runs U.S. policy.”
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