US FOREIGN POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST SINCE 1991
“Critically measure the impact of US foreign policy on the Middle East since 1991: how does the post-Cold War planetary order affect Middle East political relations, and how does conflict in the Middle East affect the ‘New World Order’ ? ”Table of contents:
Part I: Summary ;
Part II: Background to and nature of American policy in the Middle East since 1991 ;
Part III: Impact of American policy in the Middle East ;
Part IV: Decision.
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The Middle East has ever been critical to American involvements: it is a part in which all but one state, Israel, are bossy. This state, the lone non-Islamic state in the part, is the mark of changeless war with most other states in the part. This makes it the most volatile part in the universe. While American policy was aimed chiefly at utilizing some states led by Israel as a rampart against communism in the Cold War old ages, the terminal of a bipolar universe saw a extremist displacement in American policy towards the Middle East. This was brought approximately by the menace it saw to its most critical involvement –oil in the part as a consequence of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait ; at the same clip, with the sudden death of the hitherto compensating factor, the Soviet Union, the phase was now set for a decisive policy. One state in the part had attacked another and had set sights on America’s most cherished involvement in the part at a clip when the latter was being anointed the exclusive world power in the universe. This presented the juncture for America to spell out its new policy, chiefly aimed at the protection of its oil involvements. Though spelt out in a blink of an eye, the steering rule of the new policy was simple –with oil and the bar of its trespass by another province as the leitmotiv of its Middle East policy, America spelt out its philosophy for the part, the ‘New World Order’ , an disdainful pronouncement which harmonizing to which no province has the right to put claim to what it considers its right to a scarce, exhaustible resource. Since all these happened at the meeting of the terminal of the Cold War and the possible menace to its involvements, the Middle East turned out to be the phase on which America enacted its ‘New Global Order’ . Since this is the sphere in which America spelt out its policy after going the exclusive world power, it is merely natural that the post-Cold War universe gets deeply affected by whatever America does in this part. Anything that America considers its involvements in the part has a immense, marked bearing on the universe. Its auxiliary policies, such as the promotion of democracy and the devastation of Weapons of Mass Destruction ( WMD ) , impact the part greatly, as the on-going illustration of a post- Saddam Hussein Iraq shows. However, in the procedure of safeguarding that involvement, America has embarked on a unsafe enterprise. It is a policy fraught with dangers ; for all the might it may utilize in prosecuting its policy, it has to think with the local sentiment that would be a important component in steering its policy. A sound illustration of the constrictions associated with this design is the day-to-day dosage of struggle it is confronting in Iraq. In seeking to embroider the country’s oil resources beneath the attire of advancing democracy, America may good be steping a potentially risky way. This paper argues that seting democracy in societies that do non hold the necessary stipulations and institutional models to accepting the system could intend put on the lining a recoil against its policy. This could earnestly sabotage its ‘New World Order’ if other states start emulating Iraq’s illustration.
Background to and nature of American policy in the Middle East since 1991:
The importance of the Middle East to American foreign policy can ne’er be overstated– it is this part that has the greatest say in America’s fuel-driven economic system, being the biggest beginning of American energy supply. It is besides the locale of major struggles, both active and hibernating. Situations in states in the part such as the imminently explosive Lebanon, the ever-active battle for being in Israel, the revival of fundamentalist Islam, and the American perceptual experience that it is the epicenter of Islamic combativeness make it a extremely volatile part. ( Amirahmadi, 1993, p. 3 )
American foreign policy in the Middle East has undergone a dramatic transmutation in the Middle East necessitated by the political, societal and economic alterations in the part in the old ages since 1991. The first major trial of American foreign policy in the Middle East unfolded as the terminal of the Cold War was accompanied by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. As a consequence, the focal point of American engagement in the Middle East shifted from a fright of interstate aggression, the last of which caused the Gulf War, to concerns brought about by issues such as terrorist act, the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction ( WMD ) and societal tensenesss exacerbated by a autumn in oil monetary values. In the background of these developments, American foreign policy is focussed on promotion of its involvements in six countries: countering terrorist act, countering WMD proliferation, the care of stable oil monetary values, the support of governments that are friendly and attempts at guaranting their stableness, guaranting Israel’s security, and protection and publicity of America ‘s nucleus values –human rights and democracy. ( Bensahel & A ; Byman, 2003, pp. 1 & A ; 2 ) American station Cold War security aims in the part can be summarised in the followers: “ [ T ] he involvements of the United States in the Persian Gulf part have been really simple and consistent: foremost, to guarantee entree by the industrialised universe to the huge oil resources of the part ; and 2nd, to forestall any hostile power from geting political or military control over those resources… [ O ] ther aims, such as continuing the stableness and independency of the Gulf provinces or incorporating the menace of Islamic fundamentalism, were derivative concerns and were implicit in the two expansive subjects of oil and containment. Preoccupation with the security of Israel ( is ) a impulsive factor in U.S. Middle East policy…” ( Sick, 1999, p. 277 ) Israel has provided the pivot of the American scheme concretion. A militarily strong, democratic Israel situated in the bosom of the Middle East, in the thick of hostile Arab neighbor served America’s geostrategic involvements from the clip of Israel’s being. Added to this, the influence of a strong Israeli anteroom in the US has created in the American foreign policy constitution a strong committedness to the being and security of Israel. ( Lesch, 1999, p. 354 ) The chase of these aims came to be called the ‘New World Order’ , and took form when George Bush Sr. was president. He laid out his vision of a ‘New World Order’ in the background of the Gulf War. Simply put, it is the articulation of “…a new universe order defined non by the presence of peace and stableness but by the fact that there is merely one world power ; and that world power must make up one’s mind whether or non it is in its national involvement to play an activist function in the attempt to accomplish peace and stableness in many parts of the world.” ( Zogby, 1993 )
The new universe order was spelt out in response to a sudden event –the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The Soviet Union had merely disintegrated, and merely when the American disposal was fumbling to happen focal point on what policy it could put out, the instead unexpected invasion presented a opportunity for the so disposal to spell out a policy that few had anticipated had such lucidity. George Bush Sr. found in this event the perfect juncture to spell out his vision of a universe order. “…the American response to Iraq ‘s invasion of Kuwait was finally justified in footings of a vision of universe order and of the taking function America would play in the accomplishment of that order. A expansive design that prior to the crisis had remained unarticulated and partly obscured even to its designers was now laid bare.” ( Tucker & A ; Hendrickson, 1992, p. 31 ) Therefore, the Gulf War provided the ideal scene for America to “…crystallize positive feelings about a new epoch into a more tangible vision and attack while progressing its national involvements and asseverating its planetary primacy. “ ( Miller & A ; Yetiv, 2001, p. 56 )
Impact of American policy in the Middle East:
On the whole, America’s policies towards the Middle East have been less than welcome in the major states of the part. Since the primary focal point of the ‘New World Order’ has been on the procurance of oil and the declaration of the Israel- Palestine job, the impact of these two facets is taken up:
A ) In relation to oil: At the clip of the construct of the ‘New World Order’ , while America vowed to put the states of the Eastern Bloc on the route to democracy, in the Middle East, its policy was aimed at set uping its hegemony. ( Kuroda, 1994, p. 53 ) In the wake of the September 11 onslaughts, there is a turning realization in the American constitution that the publicity of democracy in the states in which it plans to ordain a policy of ‘twin containment’ , Iran and Iraq, is a strategic jussive mood. Since so, the US disposal has moved in to work on these countries with added push. In chase of these policies, the beast force that America is exhibiting has non gone down good in these states. ( Tucker et al. , 2002 ) If the progress American policy in Iraq, which constitutes the premier illustration of American battle, and the instance in which America has invested considerable resources is any indicant, the image is far from delighting –in the country of WMD, American attempts have come to a immense nothing, for the disposal has merely failed to happen any, or to implicate Saddam Hussein of any engagement in the 9/11 onslaughts and to the Al Qaeda. The lone Ag liner of this policy is that it is certain non to return the state to a dictatorial or theocratic authorities. American policy has non been any more effectual in Iraq’s neighbor, Iran. A cardinal participant in the American strategy of things in the part, Iran has started utilizing the atomic menace to debar an Iraq-like state of affairs in its state. With its elections round the corner, it is hard to foretell whether the hardliners or the reformers are traveling to be returned to power. ( Clark, 2004 ) America’s policy of coercive appropriation of the region’s merely major resource has had another secondary, though extremely profound impact. In order to interrupt free from what the states of the part perceive as the American chokehold over their resources, many states have started collaborating with each other to work the oil-rich Caspian part. Based on the thought of excepting America from the grapevine grid, this brings several states from even outside the fringe of the Middle East in close ties with each other. This could spell a entire change of the geo-strategic kineticss of the part. This thought involves non lone states of the parts such as Iran, it besides brings into its embracing some former Soviet democracies and China, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Myanmar. This has stimulated America into furthering friendly governments in the Caucasus. ( Bhadrakumar, 2005 ) These events have been rooted in America’s policy in the Middle East.
B ) In relation to the Arab-Palestine issue: In the absence of the Soviet factor, American policy in the Middle East has become more intrusive ; American policy in the part could hold a positive impact if its moves towards set uping its policy are perceived as being good. A premier trial instance of this policy is the manner its function is seen in the Israeli-Palestine issue. ( Cantori, 1994, p. 452 ) The immediate old ages after the Gulf War led to a overactive battle in the part under president Bill Clinton, for whom declaration of the Arab-Israeli struggle was a chief end. In his presidential term, America assumed the function of an ‘honest broker’ in conveying about a peaceable colony of issues tormenting the part. However, before significant headroom was made, a new government took guard under Bush Jr. , under whom the same cogency was non enforced. American interventionism, which became subdued under the new dispensation, has led to intuition in Arab quarters that America, with its sturdy tilt towards Israel, has non been the ‘honest broker’ that it promised to be. This has led to a feeling that the American disposal has no clear-cut, comprehensive policy towards deciding the Arab-Palestine struggle. ( Lukacs, 2001, p. 32 ) “The jobs of inventing and implementing a consistent regional scheme were reflected in and exacerbated by the built-in tenseness generated by Washington ‘s goals…American diplomatic, economic, informational, and military attempts seldom, if of all time, were at the same time applauded by both Israelis and Arabs. Alternatively, the norm was that whatever the United States did to back up one side was often denounced by the other” ( 1996, p. 122 ) Its compulsion with obtaining fuel has generated a feeling that America is losing its purchase in the part by neglecting to travel the distance in advancing one of its ideals in the part, peace between Israel and Palestine. One of the major impacts of this policy has been that most of the peace agreements set to be implemented to stop this difference and those between the assorted states in the part have gathered dust, with the consequence that the state of affairs on the land has barely changed. ( Lukacs, 2001, p. 32 )
Decision: In this subdivision, an analysis is made of how the precious American policy in the part can travel amiss if it is slowly implemented, or in the event of an eruption of war or a recoil against American policy, because there exist existent and plausible causes for a recoil against America in the part.
American policy in the Middle East, spelt out in its ‘New World Order’ maxim, is in the procedure of development ; hence, at this phase, the events that have been blossoming in the part offer, at best, an indicant of things to come. In the overall sense, even if the policy in the Middle East is clear, its consequence is still in an inchoate phase, and constitutes a assorted bag. Yet, a few forms can be discerned:
A new urgency has been brought about by the terrorist onslaughts of September 11, 2001. In the wake of this event of seminal importance, the Bush disposal has been forced to look at its foreign policy in an wholly different prism. The US has now adopted the aggressive stance by which it categorises states as either its friends or abetters of panic. On history of this thought, the universe has been polarised more than during the Cold War. The US is happening that it is a batch easier to take on one state at a clip and model it to its will, than taking on formless, seamless terrorist groups that can transport out panic onslaughts on merely about any portion of the universe at will. ( Rahman, 2002 ) This is the first illustration of how the Middle East gets affected by the niceties of the ‘New World Order’ .
Some of America’s staunchest Alliess ( apart from Israel ) and most acrimonious challengers in the part have had Islamic signifiers of administration. Examples of these two extremes could be Saudi Arabia and Iran. The constitution in America is inclined to believe, as some in the media are, that terrorist act is rooted in and is inextricably linked to Islam. ( Esposito, 1993, p. 188 ) Any American policy towards the part that is seen as being antithetical to Islam, ( which is a really likely result on history of American sensitivity towards Israel ) is certain to antagonize public sentiment in the part against America, if it does non take the sensitivenesss of the local public. Gawkily enforced policy in the part in the background of the strong spiritual spirit could earnestly dent America’s attempts at deriving a bridgehead in the part ; in add-on, it could unify the part against American hegemony.
In this background, it is all the easier for the states in the part to line up in defense mechanism of one of their brethren. With the conflict lines, so to talk, clearly drawn, largely the consequence of America’s ain policy, oil, atomic blackmail and faith could easy turn out to be the uniting factors against America. Emulation of the Iraqi illustration by other states could really good put the part on the route to entire pandemonium. American policy at forestalling interstate struggle may hold succeeded as of now, but there is no warrant it will digest if it goes overboard in implementing its policy. Therefore, the potency for an full-scale inferno in the part against America is really existent. If this materialises, American objectives spelt out in its ‘New World Order’ could travel haywire.
In order to pre-empt this scenario, America needs to go more good-humored and less arm-twisting in the execution of its policy: “ [ I ] n the old ages to come, the release of U.S. foreign policy from the drawn-out political deadlock of the post-cold war epoch will probably necessitate the Restoration of consensus sing the state ‘s appropriate function in foreign personal businesss. In the absence of such a consensus, the likeliness remains that U.S. policy will go on to be driven by crises overseas, ( as in ) the Middle East.” ( Hook, 1998, p. 326 )
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