President George W. Bush set a high bar for success at Annapolis by calling for an Israeli-Palestinian agreement by the end of 2008. As Senator George Mitchell, said immediately after the Annapolis conference: “[The administration has] to stay at it. They have to be determined; and that determination has to be communicated by word and action to everybody in the region” if its efforts to achieve that worthy goal are to be credible, and to ensure the situation is stabilized and oriented for meaningful progress by an incoming administration.
Four months after Annapolis, the administration has not applied sufficient determination to the task. The appointments of General Jim Jones and Lieutenant General William Fraser were positives; as were the earlier appointments of Lieutenant General Keith Dayton and Prime Minister Tony Blair by the Quartet. Yet, with all due respect to three stellar U.S. generals and a former British prime minister, we cannot rely on star power alone.
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