Now that the Obama administration has dealt with the Egyptian uprising, it’s time for the next foreign policy tightrope act: Bahrain. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and other officials urged restraint Thursday, asking Bahraini officials to appease the protesters and adopt political reforms. Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, and the fall of the monarchy would change the entire power structure in the Middle East—and even strengthen Iran. As of late Thursday evening, at least five people had been killed in clashes between police and protesters, causing U.S. officials to decry the violence, but stress the importance of maintaining peace.
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