"It really isn't clear to me who in the administration is the point person on this," Singh says. "This comes at a time when there really are quite unclear lines of responsibility inside the administration."
Berman says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had "a lot of settled opinions about what the Middle East should look like" but now the administration appears more adrift.
"My sense is from in the second term, the cabinet appointments you see – John Kerry, Chuck Hagel, Susan Rice, Samantha Power – this is not intended to create a band of rivals so that they thrash out policy internally," he says. "This is intended to essentially create an echo chamber effect. My sense is that the guy in charge is the president. They may inform his decisions, but I don't think they are going to steer them."