The region needs stability, Kissinger writes in the Wall Street Journal, and that is a lot more important than toppling the Regime of Bshar al-Assad in Syria, which is prioritized by the Obama Administration. ISIS is a lot more dangerous than Assad, Kissinger maintains, and must be the number one priority to liquidate, no matter who defeats them. On the other hand he hopes that Iran will not emerge as the predominant power, and hopes in the end that their influence will stay within their present borders. Looking at a long term vista of the present situation, Presidents Nixon and Ford’s former Secretary of State contends that the retreat of the United States from a predominant position of power in the Middle East created a vacuum that has been filled by ugly forces, which much be defeated. The rapid withdrawal of US forces from Iraq ceded our position of leadership in the Middle East that had existed since after the Israel-Arab War of 1973, when the United States eclipsed Russia as the predominant world power in the Middle East. Rather than bemoan the fact that such power has been ceded, Kissinger maintains, it is more important to achieve stability in that important region, so that it is less important to grouse about who restores stability, as long as it is restored.