The United States “can’t fix” the Middle East region, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in an interview with the Washington Post.
Referring widespread terrorism in the Middle East, Clapper said he doesn’t “have an answer” to the problem and that the “fundamental issues they have—the large population bulge of disaffected young males, ungoverned spaces, economic challenges, and the availability of weapons—won’t go away for a long time.”
Clapper admitted that the Middle East’s predicament is complex, and that the expectation of America finding a solution is unrealistic.
“Somehow the expectation is that we can find the silver needle, and we’ll create ‘the city on a hill,’” said Clapper.
At the same time, Clapper still believes the U.S needs to maintain a presence in the Middle East.
“Things happen around the world when U.S. leadership is absent. We have to be present—to facilitate, broker, and sometimes provide the force,” he said.