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Saudi soldiers on the Yemeni border in 2015. Photo: Cihan / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Foreign policy analyst Max Boot sums up the skepticism of many Middle East experts regarding reports that President Trump wants to replace U.S. troops in Syria with an Arab military force, tweeting: “Saudi/UAE forces are bogged down in Yemen, Egyptian forces in Sinai. Somehow I doubt they are the solution in Syria.”

Between the lines: Egyptians have their hands full dealing with terrorists in the Sinai and the Libyan instability on their western border. It seems unlikely they’ll substantially extend themselves further by deploying in Syria. And the Gulf countries are unlikely to want to make further financial commitments beyond those they already have in Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan. From their perspective, they’re already picking up plenty of the tab for the problems in their neighborhood.

More emailed analysis from Elliott Abrams, a Middle East expert at the Council on Foreign Relations and former deputy national security adviser under President George W. Bush:

“Egypt has resisted sending troops to Yemen despite significant Saudi pressure (and the promise of rewards) in recent years. This is likely because the generals know their troops are not well prepared for such duty and could suffer casualties that would be highly unpopular at home. For the same reasons I don’t think they will send their troops to Syria. More generally, any useful Arab force would have to be led by the United States and our soldiers, not be a substitute for us. They could at best be force multipliers.”

Go deeper

Updated 53 mins ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.

New wave of strikes will test worker power

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Thousands of John Deere workers hit the picket line this week after the union smacked down a new worker contract from the farm and equipment maker.

Why it matters: There’s a wave of worker angst spreading across the country. They wield new power that’s come with a historic worker shortage.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
4 hours ago - Technology

The smart city comes of age

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Better sensors, more intelligent AI, and the coming wave of 5G wireless could finally fulfill the promise of the smart city.

Why it matters: How we organize, run and power our cities will be increasingly important in the years ahead, as urbanization expands and the damaging effects of climate change compound.