After ignoring the underlying issues for years, it is difficult for Washington to appear reliable to the Middle East unless its new policy is consistent, sustained and views reform as one of the key issues.
How the U.S. Can Back Mideast Reform | Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Washington should not impose reform by force — engagement à la big brother — or opt for total disengagement. Rather, it needs to walk a fine line between these two extremes.
There is no reason why the United States can’t engage Arab countries in a serious dialogue about a gradual, sustained reform process that can lead to a new political opening and enhanced power-sharing. This could help stabilize the Arab world and reduce the likelihood of future crises.