Fouad Ajami, a Bloomberg View contributor and a longtime analyst and scholar of the Middle East, died of cancer on Sunday. He was 68.
Ajami, who was born in Lebanon, was an influential advocate of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, and he was critical of President Barack Obama’s policies in the Middle East, particularly on Syria. He knew the dangers of intervention, but in his columns for Bloomberg View he argued that half steps and shifting red lines had their own disastrous consequences for the U.S. and its allies, as well as for suffering populations from Iraq to Syria to Afghanistan.
For Ajami, last summer's military coup in Egypt signaled that “the U.S. ought to rein in the search for its role” there. After the Boston bombings in April 2013, he described the Islamic extremist threat to the U.S. from the perspective of “the children of the fault lines.”
In a Bloomberg View column in October, Ajami explained how the Kurds' optimism could be so quickly extinguished by religious and regional wars.