Donald Trump has a vision to bring a lasting peace in the Middle East. It need not be a peace 'agreement' but just 'peace'. Which should be more than good enough, if it lasts.
A couple of days ago US Vice President Mike Pence visited Egypt, Jordan and Israel. In Jerusalem he addressed the Israeli Knesset (Parliament). If you are so inclined you can read the full text of his speech here. He said a few things but two points should be noted:
"I am here to convey one simple message. America stands with Israel. We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight"
In other words all of Israel's enemies are America's enemies as well. Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran are America's enemies as well. This strong statement also torpedoes the hopes of the US playing a 'peacemaker' role or 'middle man' role in the Israeli-Palestine issue. That part has become history. The US has clearly said that they will take the side of Israel. Trump has given the order to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem - formally recognising Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish people.
Yet Donald Trump wants to make the 'deal of the century' and bring peace to the Middle East. I think they are going to take the 'remove the obstacles' approach.
The main obstacles now are Shia Hezbollah, Shia Iran and to a smaller extent Hamas (aka the Muslim Brotherhood). The Muslim Brotherhood has been smashed in Egypt, Sudan, they have capitulated in Tunisia, they have lost in Syria and are under stress elsewhere.
There is a view that Israel will launch a war against the Hezbollah if not this year then by next year. The Hezbollah have become very powerful. They effectively control Lebanon and their army is more powerful than the Lebanese Army. Their active participation in the Syrian Civil War (where they have won) has given them tremendous battlefield experience, they have built up massive military hardware including tank brigades and they have a substantial missile arsenal. More of their missiles are guided and can cause serious damage to Israel. The end of the Syrian Civil War has brought home thousands of battle hardened Hezbollah fighters and field commanders who are now itching for a fight with Israel. They must go to war again before they eat too much home cooked food and become overweight. For the Shia Hezbollah, peace is not an option. The Jews must be chased into the sea.
Whether Hezbollah moves against Israel or not, the Israelis will attack Hezbollah according to their own time table. The Israelis too do not foresee any peace agreement with the Shia Hezbollah either. Out of the question.
The Israelis have a plan to remove the Hezbollah threat almost entirely. This will be a replay of their limited 2006 incursion into Southern Lebanon (which has managed to secure the peace for 12 years now.)
This time they have in plan a massive air war that will take out a substantial part of the Hezbollah's arsenals. Then they will most likely invade Lebanon and hold territory - a wide buffer zone along Lebanon's southern border - cutting through Hezbollah territory.
The idea is to break up the Sunni - Druze - Christian - Shia Hezbollah coalition that is ruling Lebanon now. The Hezbollah will be taken out, leaving the Druze (Walid Jumblat) - Sunni (Saad Hariri) and Christian groups (Michel Aoun) intact. Lebanon may see sectarian strife again.
But if successful, this will bring peace to the northern borders of Israel for some time. The idea is to bring lasting peace. Not necessarily a peace agreement.
The Trump version of solving the Gaza (Hamas) and West Bank (Fatah) problem will be for Egypt to absorb Gaza and Jordan to absorb parts of the West Bank. Gazans become Egyptians and West Bankers become Jordanians. This has happened before in history. Jordan "formally gave up" administrative control of the West Bank only in 1989.
After that Egypt will be responsible over Gaza and Jordan will be responsible over portions of the West Bank. Egypt will smash Hamas in the Gaza. There will be no more Palestinian statehood issues. No more need for a peace agreement. There will be lasting peace.
The last remaining problem will be Iran. Here lets listen to what Mike Pence told the Knesset about Iran :
'But I have another message today – a better message – from the people of America to the proud and great people of Iran: We are your friends, and the day is coming when you will be free from the evil regime that suffocates your dreams and buries your hopes. (Applause.) And when your day of liberation finally comes, we say to the good people of Iran, the friendship between our peoples will blossom once again. (Applause.)'
'the day is coming, your day of liberation finally comes' - this has to be within the next three years of Trump's term in office. The US is planning regime change in Iran.
I think this time it will be more of 'assisting' Iranians who are fed up - to overthrow the Ayatollahs - than imposing regime change from outside. The British MI6 is already busy on the ground in Iran. Even without American interference this will happen. The Iranians are just getting fed up with the Ayatollah morons.
My prediction is the Iranians will not only overthrow the Ayatollahs but they will chase them down the streets. Iran will become a fully democratic, secular nation again after that. There will be no more exporting Shia ideology around the world. The world will become a better place.