"....However, he warned, those gains could be in jeopardy if U.S. interest in the country is allowed to flag. "So I think what Americans need going forward is a sense of strategic patience," he said. "If we decide we are tired of it, if we decide we don't want to do it anymore and that it is time to turn our attention to other things, this could all go the other way," Crocker warned. "And it is certainly my sense as someone who has served in the Middle East for the better part of three decades, that you would pay a major long-term price."He suggested it could be seen as a repeat of the U.S. withdrawal from Lebanon in the early 1980s, a move that led countries like Iran and Syria to draw assumptions about U.S. lack of resolve and to embrace an attitude of defiance. "These kinds of actions have profound and very far-reaching consequences,"