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The United States Foreign Policy in the Middle East

Introduction

The foreign policy of the United States towards the Middle East is a critical and sensitive subject. The ideology behind it can be summed up by a recent statement by Ambassador Jeffrey in a briefing on Syria. He stated that the United States president had laid forceful goals in Syria. These are defeating ISIS, de-escalation of the conflict that will see a departure of all Iranian-commanded forces, and reinvigorated and irreversible political processes facilitated by the UN and led by the Syrian people (Jeffrey). The lesson from this statement is that the United States is keen on determining the political processes in the Middle East and dominating the region to keep out any Eastern influence on the region. In other words, America has maintained a hegemonic foreign policy toward the Middle East to maintain its influence and Western ideologies.

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To understand the hegemonic foreign policy, it is important to understand its origins and rationales. Firstly, the Middle East has been one of the most strategically important regions for the United States and other Western allies since the Second World War (Prifti 1). However, the interests may date further back to World War 1. During this period, political and social turmoil in the region, followed by a reactivation of Russia’s expansionist efforts towards in Eastern Europe and a growing Chinese threat, forced the United States to react swiftly. Tony Blair, a former Prime Minister of Britain, once stated that the importance of the Middle East is based on four key elements. First, the region is the largest producer of oil in the world meaning the stability of the global markets remains dependent on these resources.

Second, the Middle East connects the major regions in the eastern and Northern hemispheres making it an important trade route. This gives the region high leverage in international trade. Any instability in the region poses a major threat to the oil flow and a clear and present danger to the countries that depend on the oil. Third, the strategic alliance between the USA and Israel and the need to support Israel gives the region further strategic significance (Prifti 3). Lastly, the fate of radical Islam depends on the political development of the region. Defeating these expansionist groups and ideologies could liberate the entire world. With the importance of the region to the US and its allies, it can be seen that it is within the best interests of the US to enforce security within the region by all means possible.

Today, news of the withdrawal of the US from the Middle East, at least in some countries, spells concerns for all parties involved. The question that arises is what happens to the security of the region and the world as a whole. According to Yom, President Trump has been blamed for the current status of affairs regarding the US policy in the Middle East (75). He has been labeled as an isolationist and a person who have hastily surrendered the US hegemony that has upheld the Middle East regional order since the 1980s. There is, therefore, the need to investigate what happens in the case of a partial or complete withdrawal. This research paper discusses the impacts of the hegemonic foreign policy in the Middle East and contemplates the impacts of the withdrawal or minimal foreign policy in the region. Additionally, a set of recommendations will be presented based on the findings from these discussions. The position taken here is that the security of the region is a top priority and a concern for the whole world.

Impacts of Hegemonic Foreign Policy

Two points of view can be adopted in examining the impacts of a hegemonic policy. The first point of view is the success of hegemony in maintaining peace and security in the region and thus achieving stability in international trade. The second is the contribution of hegemony to escalating conflicts in the region, especially those nations that have anti-imperialist sentiments. Additionally, the necessity of hegemony can be examined to counter any arguments that hegemony has failed and that this failure is the reason the US has been left contemplating a withdrawal.

The US hegemony in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region has been manifested in many ways. These include its capacity to create or transform manor geopolitical crises, reconfigure the domestic balance of power between societies and local governments, and shape the behaviors of states (Yom 76). Across the MENA region stretching from Morocco to Oman (excluding declared rivals such as Iran), journalists and researchers have expressed that the second most important building in their capital cities in the American Embassy. The reality is that the hegemonic policy is not merely a matter of presence but rather the readiness and willingness of the US to use its offensive capabilities. These capabilities have been deployed to implement a coercive force whenever the US deems it necessary to pursue strategic goals regardless of the preferences of the regional populations and states. This can be interpreted to mean that political and military dominance are the key pillars of American hegemony in the Middle East.

The history of the American hegemony can help outline its impacts on the region despite the fact most of the historic details lead to questioning how the hegemony itself was implemented. Between World War 2 and the Cold War, the focus for the United States and European allies was to keep Russia out of the Middle East. Thus far, this can be seen as the greatest success of the hegemonic foreign policy. After the Second World War, Russia sought to spread its influence along its southern border. Joseph Staling, in 1941, ordered Russian troops into Iran and increased diplomatic pressure on countries such as Turkey that had refused the Soviet troops from crossing the Dardanelles (Sarhan 457). At this stage, Britain admitted that it could no longer keep order in the Middle East without support from the US. The Truman Doctrine of 1947 confirmed that the US had decided to take over Britain’s commitment to Turkey and Greece. The US involvement, therefore, was an effort to keep the Soviets from extending their influence into the Middle East and other regions under the control of the European allies.

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When the primary goal of a foreign policy is to discourage the encroachment of a country’s or its allies’ sphere of influence, military enforcement may become a necessity. The Middle East Treaty Organization (METO), also known as the Baghdad Pact Organization, had a major goal of limiting possible Soviet expansion in the Middle East. This organization was formed with the US efforts and comprised Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Pakistan (Sarhan 458). This organization alone was not adequate to enforce the US and its allies’ objectives for the region. By the beginning of the Cold War, the US had formulated multiple tactics, strategies, and policies to keep Russia’s expansion in check. It is argued here that the fact that the US remains the dominant power in the Middle East means hegemony has been successful as a tool to counter Soviet influence and ideologies from spreading in the region.

The use of hegemony has also been intended to enforce the US’ position as the leader of the free world. The use of military capabilities in the Middle East and other regions across the world has been intended to provide security guarantees and promote individual freedoms and open economic exchange (Norrlof 63). The question of whether this objective has been achieved remains unanswered, especially because much of the literature focuses on other aspects of America’s involvement in the domestic affairs of the Middle East countries. However, it should be acknowledged that the US has been among the most influential countries in fighting against Islamic extremism and world terrorism associated with these groups. Unfortunately, most of these groups have been based in the Middle East and other Islamic countries. The security policy of the United States has been to confront dangers wherever they occur and make sure that the enemies do not develop capabilities to attack the United States and its allies. Terrorist activities have not ceased and, even though multiple attacks have been thwarted, the war on terrorism has not been won.

Therefore, the question of the success of hegemony in maintaining global security needs to be re-examined. However, other objectives have largely been achieved, including guaranteeing the US and its allies secure access to the oil resources in the Middle East. According to Sarhan, the main reason for the United States’ presence in the Middle East is securing access to oil (458). Prifti also explains that the US has struggled to revolutionize its energy industry meaning that the country and the rest of the world depend on the oil from the Middle East (1). Therefore, a hegemonic approach to ensuring the security of the region is warranted and has been a major success. Today, the stability of oil prices can be attributed to the stability of the oil-producing countries. Before celebrating this success, however, it is important to explain that the stable countries include the UAE and Qatar while the rest, including Iran, Palestine, and Syria among others, remains unstable. The success, therefore, is not complete, especially considering that control over Iran seems to have failed.

The criticism ad failures of hegemony have, however, been explained by several experts, authors, and researchers some of who explain that hegemonic policy is not sustainable. An American scholar named Robert Keohane is quoted by Acharya as saying that the dominance of one power may achieve order in global politics in certain circumstances but it is neither a sufficient condition nor necessary (271). Acharya also quotes Joseph Nye, who was a great champion of the liberal order, stating that the liberal order as contained in the American foreign affairs policy is formed by a group of like-minded states (271). That is to say, the US foreign policy in regions such as the Middle East failed to include other large and powerful countries such as India, China, and the Soviet Bloc states.

It is important to notice that the liberal order, after the end of the cold war, expanded and strengthened as a result of the economic reforms in India and China. The US considered these two to be the major challenges to the order, but Acharya argues that internal challengers were largely ignored, at least until Trump won the US election and Brexit succeeded (272). The failure to include these states in the hegemonic foreign policy in the Middle East meant that the growing power of these two countries, alongside others such as Iran and Korea, would finally lead to a power struggle as each of them displaced the US from Asia. This can, therefore, be considered the first failure of American hegemony.

The loss of control in the Middle East is best explained by the growing conflicts between the US and Iran, an aspect that depicts further failures of the American hegemony. The dealings between the West and Iran, according to Posch, have been confusing because of several issues (69). These include Iran’s nuclear program, uncertainty regarding the country’s goals, and its political and military behavior among others. While Iran maintains a diplomatic relationship with all Western countries (except the United States, Tehran is an ideologically governed political system believed to be anti-Western and anti-Imperialist. Therefore, a hegemonic approach to foreign policy in Uran will most likely cause sustained conflict rather than dominance. A country like Iran, once it gains adequate military power, will seek to challenge US dominance over the country and the region. Peacekeeping through military action in such a situation can quickly escalate into a full-blown war which will most likely destabilize the entire region. Withdrawing the hegemony may not guarantee stability and, therefore, the failure to incorporate these regional powers further indicates the failure of the American hegemony.

Another aspect of the American hegemony in the Middle East that has constantly been criticized is the costs of deploying the military to the region. In 2014, the US Air Force provided indirect air support for Iranian advisors and Shia militias in Iraq in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The decision to support Iran and its protégés may have been the headline news considering the failing relationship with Iran and it showed how serious a threat ISIS had become (Krieg 97). However, the Obama administration was effecting major military restructuring comprising huge military budgets. Due to these actions, the Obama doctrine and the US foreign policy in the Middle East have been labeled a war burden. Surrogate warfare necessitated greater reliance on new technologies to achieve the desired responsiveness, flexibility, and agility to sustain the war (Krieg 104). These technologies may have come with heavy fiscal investments which carry a tax burden on the American citizens.

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It is important to notice that the costs of war mentioned above do not reflect the scenario where the US goes into war with a particular country. In other words, these costs are for containment practices by the US military in the region. Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, US-Iran relations have increasingly deteriorated as manifested by Iran’s decision to support militant armed factions in the region (Katzman et al. 1). As mentioned above, Iran’s military and political behaviors are shaped by Anti-Imperialist ideologies. American hegemony is the current form of Western imperialism in the Middle East and it is only a matter of time before the conflict deteriorates to reach levels that cannot be addressed through containment. Hegemony, therefore, has resulted in the rise of anti-imperialist sentiment in the region with the countries now pursuing other forms of the liberal order that do not involve being dominated by a foreign power.

The case study of Iran illustrates the impacts of hegemonic policy and reveals that the US was preoccupied with keeping Russia out of the region and in the process failed to consider the interests of the local and regional governments. After the revolution, Iran changed from a stable US ally to a radical anti-American Islamic country (Halabi). The main challenge for the US in such a move was that Iran started preaching the expansion of the Islamic revolution to other Arabic countries. The process was followed by mass upheavals and the toppling of pro-Western, socialist Arab, and pro-soviet secular regimes. This is an indication that Iran did not subscribe to the hegemonic domination either by the US or Russia. The question is whether the American hegemony was a necessity since Iran had indicated that Russia too was not welcome. However, the fact that the new Islamic regimes could not guarantee stability in the region, especially since their rise was characterized by chaos, may have necessitated a continuation of the American hegemony. It is argued here that the rise of these sentiments and ideologies is the result of American domination.

Impacts of Withdrawal or Minimal Foreign Policy

The failures and the negative impacts of hegemony discussed above may lead one to make conclusions that American hegemony in the Middle East is unnecessary. This confirms the arguments presented by Robert Keohane that hegemony is not the ultimate solution to a liberal order (Acharya 271). Unlike the hegemonic foreign policies whose impacts can be determined from historical observations, the withdrawal or minimum foreign policy lacks the data from which accurate conclusions can be made. Therefore, most of the arguments regarding how such a policy will impact the US, its allies, the Middle East region, and the entire world are based on expert opinion and speculations founded on the current state of affairs. It is argued here that while American hegemony may work perfectly as a containment, withdrawal may work better in certain situations, especially where the costs of hegemony outweigh any benefits the US and the world derive from domination.

Before discussing what would be the most probable impacts of a complete withdrawal, it is important to understand that liberal hegemony has been used as a grand strategy. As such, a withdrawal means a deviation from a strategy that has been pursued for decades. According to Posen, the word ‘liberal’ is key to the concept of liberal hegemony (20). Hegemony is manifested in the efforts to make the United States the most powerful state by a large margin. Liberalism is manifested in the US’s intentions to convert the international system into a rules-based order governed by multilateral organizations and change other countries into market-oriented democracies that trade freely with others. A withdrawal will, therefore, mean that the United States concedes its position as the most powerful country which will result in a decline in its dominance and influence in the Middle East. The security of the region will then be dependent on the new power relations in the region considering powerful countries such as China and India would be keen on emerging as the new winners.

As discussed above, the American hegemony in the Middle East has been deemed to be burdensome due to the huge investments in the military. These sentiments have become more apparent during the Trump administration who has come to defy the global security alliances, seeks to abrogate free trade agreements, and keeps questioning globalization (Stokes 133). His administration has also argued that the American-led liberal order has grown too burdensome and President has even stated that those countries protected by the United States will pay or be left to safeguard themselves. This means that a withdrawal from the Middle East will leave a power vacuum and allow anti-Western factions to rule the region. It has also been mentioned above that the American hegemony in the MENA region was intended to keep Russia and its expansionist agenda out of the Middle East. It is argued here that a withdrawal is an invitation to Russia to rekindle its aggressive pursuit of the continent and its resources.

Only a few countries in the oil-rich region can be deemed stable at the moment with the rest experiencing one form of turmoil or another. Iraq, for example, is considered to be on the verge of experiencing an economic collapse and the highly corrupt political system would make matters worse for the country. Additionally, the withdrawal from Iraq is not to be done on good terms. This is because the Iraqi government decided to expel the US troops from the country after an airstrike that assassinated Qasem Soleimani. Iraq argues that the US violated the country’s sovereignty in this assassination and that of Mahdi Al Muhandis, the Popular Mobilization Forces deputy (Makhzoomi and Alobaidi). While Iraq wrote a letter expressing this decision to expel the US troops, the US has responded by calling the letter a mistake and expressed that such a move would result in retaliatory actions such as freezing Iraq’s central bank in New York. Considering the current economic and status situation of Iraq, freezing its funds will ultimately cause an economic collapse and the security of the region would again be massively disrupted.

The strategic importance of the Middle East to the US and its allies will be lost after the withdrawal. According to Prifti, the region holds massive leverage in international trade which should be maintained at all costs (1). Other researchers explain that with the region being fundamentally unstable and marred by interstate military clashes and internal clashes. The trade-in oil will become almost impossible and global prices for the commodity will affect the whole world. The oil in the region has to move through one of two chokepoints in the area, with the most important being the Strait of Hormuz. This strait connects the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman found between Oman, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates (Wechsler 17). A third of the oil traded through the seas passes here which translated to over a fifth of the global oil supply. The eminent clashes and wars will make this passage impossible and the world will suffer from unstable supply and hiked prices.

Another issue that the US may need to consider is the fate of extremist Islam and groups, for example, ISIS. Critical questions such as what the impacts will be on these groups, security, the rise of dictatorships, and the influence of communism and socialism among others. Even so, some signs show that emerging power, including China and India remain in favor of globalization and would prefer the liberal order to persist. According to Acharya, the powerful Asian countries that were thought to be challengers of the liberal order are indeed offering support to the cause, at least in the short term (275). The Chinese President is strongly against protectionism and the country’s top policymakers are leading a new wave of globalization. If these countries can take up the responsibilities previously assumed by the US, then the security and stability concerns can ease.

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A minimum foreign policy may be the solution to the current detriments and failures of the liberal hegemony. As mentioned above, emerging powers are in full support of globalization and an international climate that supports open trade (Acharya 275). The question that the US needs to answer is what happens to its interests considering that delegating the stability of the Middle East to China and/or India will allow these countries to pursue their national interests ahead of all others. A compromise is a minimum foreign policy that allows the US to retain its influence in the region without incurring heavy costs. As will be discussed in the recommendation section, a minimum foreign policy could be in the form of expanding the liberal order to include emerging powers and sharing the responsibilities. As mentioned above, there lacks adequate data to back up the arguments regarding the impacts of withdrawal or minimum foreign policy. Theoretical arguments are the best way to approach this topic at the moment until empirical data can be collected and analyzed.

The minimum foreign policy is seen as a rational alternative to both hegemony and withdrawal. This is because it has emerged that no single country can sustain hegemony in the region due to the costs involved. Europe’s influence in the region declined, as explained by Sarhan who explained that Britain could no longer keep order in the Middle East without the support of the US (457). Countries like China and India will be faced with the same challenge and their influence will decline with time as happened to both Europe and not the US. Another example of the challenges of hegemony and a justification for the minimum foreign policy is the failed attempts by Turkey to establish hegemony in the Middle East (Michael and Seufert 73). The alignment of Turkey with the West, specifically the membership in the Council of Europe and NATO, made the country an indispensable security partner.

However, efforts to pursue an independent policy failed to make Turkey regional power. The reasons for these failures include the growing alienation from the US and Europe towards the end of the Cold War and the emergence of new powers. Additionally, the political and economic salience of Europe and the weakened leverage of the US in the Middle East, as well as policy changes in regimes such as Iraq and Afghanistan thwarted these attempts (Michael and Seufert 73). The bottom line is that Europe, the US, and Turkey have proved that no country can single-handedly undertake the massive security responsibility for the region. Partnerships with the merging powers and increased participation by Europe can make the minimum foreign policy effective.

Recommendations

The impacts of American hegemony, withdrawal, and minimum foreign policy discussed above can be used to recommend several courses of action that retain the liberal order at lower costs. The recommendations made here are founded on the assumption that hegemony has failed and has been unsustainable. Additionally, the argument is founded on the notion that a complete withdrawal is unacceptable due to the political and economic upheaval that would rock the region and affect the entire world. Therefore, minimum foreign policy or similar approaches may become preferable but only if the US foreign policy can accept to concede hegemony and adopt new approaches to retail the liberal order. The most important argument is, therefore, that regardless of the approach taken liberal order has to be the top priority. Additionally, the recommendations presented here are considered to be alternatives that can be implemented based on what the US deems to be the most important interest in the country.

The first recommendation is cooperation over hegemony where the US collaborates with the Middle East and Europe to bring stability to the region. As explained above, the decline of European and American influence, as well as the failed attempts by Turkey are evidence that hegemony is unsustainable. For this reason, it is argued that the fears of Russian expansion are no longer as great as they were during the Cold War. Russia’s expansionist policy would be met with the same fate as Europe and the US where hegemony fails in the end. It has been mentioned above that countries such as Iran have grown to resent the American hegemony and, as a result, have developed anti-American and anti-Western sentiments (Posch 69). Regimes that have wreaked havoc and upheavals in the region, including overthrowing pro-Western and pro-Soviet governments as explained by Halabi means that the region is increasingly growing tired of domination and is seeking self-determination (79). It is argued that American hegemony designed to keep Russia out of the region will no longer be necessary as the region will be seeking its own identity and ideology.

With the argument given above, it would emerge that American presence in the region is no longer a necessity. However, it is important to consider the emerging threats of Islamic extremism that could pose greater threats that Russia’s expansion into the region. As explained in the press briefing by Jeffrey, defeating groups such as ISIS remain a priority for the US, and the new foreign policy of cooperation should retain this objective. If Islamic extremists were to be allowed to take total control of the region, the entire continent and the whole world would be faced with a bigger terrorism threat whose costs would surpass those of maintaining hegemony in the Middle East. The cooperation, however, has to include all states interested in the region’s resources and other strategic importance. China’s recent infrastructural investments across the world, including in the Middle East, is an example that China should play a greater role in the security and stability of the Middle East. Europe should also follow the same policy to protect its interests. That way, the costs are distributed across multiple global powers and the burden carried by the US is dramatically reduced.

The second recommendation is minimum foreign policy, in which case the government should clearly define what minimum policy is and the extent to which its presence should be felt in the Middle East. It is recommended here that Jeffrey’s concerns regarding ISIS and other extremists should be taken seriously. The minimum policy should be aimed at addressing the most pressing issues and leave the regional states to exercise their own self-determination. In any case, hegemony over nations is unsustainable, but a military presence to help the states fight against extremism is a better alternative. It is argued here that secure access to the region’s resources should also be a top priority. The military’s presence should be a matter of strategic positioning, especially in those regions that cannot be left unguarded. An example is the Strait of Hormuz where a third of the oil shipments go through (Wechsler 17). Cooperation between the regional governments and the US, either directly or through NATO, will help secure the channel and allow international trade to carry on undisrupted.

The bottom line is that the American hegemony will be replaced by better policies that can secure the region and at the same time lessen the financial burden on the United States. According to Acharya, despite the claims that the world is going through turmoil, there are several success stories of countries improving their growth and stability (281). China and India are again used here as perfect examples. These countries have grown to become global powers as they pursue their own political and economic policies. It can be assumed, therefore, that with time other Asian countries will follow suit and develop the necessary frameworks for progress. Currently, it can be argued that the US perceives these growing countries as threats to its global dominance. However, the rise of China should be a lesson that any nation in the world can rise to the levels of the US. The question is how the US can start perceiving these countries as strategic partners to further the country’s free-trade commitments.

Lastly, it is recommended that the issue of protecting Israel’s sovereignty be addressed promptly before the US can revert to minimum foreign policy. According to Sarhan, safeguarding Israel has been intended to solidify the US’s national security interests in the Middle East. This policy has resulted in a situation where the US has a troubled relationship with the Arab countries in the region. The question of what will happen to Israel after withdrawal should be answered. Unless Israel can fully defend itself against its enemies, withdrawal from the Middle East will leave the US interests in the region open. As such, the minimum foreign policy should not involve abandoning Israel. A military presence in the country to cooperate with Israel becomes a favorable and cheaper alternative.

Conclusion

The US foreign policy in the Middle East has been one based on liberal hegemony. This approach has been intended to make the US the most powerful and dominant country in the region in addition to promoting the international liberal order. Additionally, these foundations of foreign policy allow the US to create and support democracies and countries that are open to international trade. So far, it has been argued that American hegemony in the Middle East has been unsustainable. The costs of maintaining a military presence and being solely responsible for the security and stability of the region for the benefit of the entire world have been deemed a burden to the American taxpayer. The Trump administration has been the one to express these concerns and hence the isolationist sentiments. As discussed above, the American hegemony has failed and its impacts comprise both positive and negative.

The impacts of a withdrawal and a minimum foreign policy have also been examined. It has been expressed that without data, speculations and expert opinions are relied upon to reach conclusions. Firstly, a complete withdrawal will make the situation worse for the region and the whole world due to the leverage it has on international trade. A minimum foreign policy is seen as a better alternative guided by the argument that defeating ISIS and Islamic extremism, as well as protecting strategic locations should remain a top priority. The recommendations presented, therefore, have been founded on the notion that hegemony cannot be sustained and a total withdrawal is unacceptable. Additionally, the issue of Israel and the need to protect it to safeguard the US’s national interests in the Middle East has been raised. Cooperation is seen as a better alternative to hegemony considering that there are emerging powers in the region that can take up more responsibility for the security and stability of the Middle East.

Works Cited

Acharya, Amitav. “After Liberal Hegemony: The Advent of a Multiplex World Order.” Ethics & International Affairs, vol.31 no. 3, 2017, pp. 271-285.

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Katzman, Kenneth, Kathleen Mclnnis and Clayton Thomas. U.S.-Iran Conflict and Implications for U.S. Policy. Congressional Research Service, 2020.

Krieg, Andreas. “Externalizing the burden of war: the Obama Doctrine and US foreign policy in the Middle East.” International Affairs, vol. 92, no. 1, 2016, pp. 97-113.

Makhzoomi, Khairuldeen and Minatullah Alobaidi. The Dangerous Consequences of U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq. The Washington Institute,2020. Web.

Michael, Tannas, and Günter Seufert. “Turkey´s Failed Pursuit of Hegemony in the Middle East: Three Periods of Turkey´s ´Independent´ Foreign Policy.” In Johansen, Margaret, et al. Peace Report 2016, Lit Verlag, 2016, 73-88.

Norrlof, Carla. “Hegemony and Inequality: Trump and the Liberal Playbook.” International Affairs, vol. 94, no. 1, 2018, pp. 63-88.

Posch, Walter. “Ideology and Strategy in the Middle East: The Case of Iran.” Survival Vol. 59, no. 5, 2017, pp. 69-98.

Posen, Barry. “The Rise of Illiberal Hegemony: Trump’s Surprising Grand Strategy.” Foreign Affairs, vol. 97, no. 2, 2018, pp. 20-27.

Prifti, Bledar. US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Case for Continuity. Palgrave Macmillan, 2017.

Sarhan, Atallah. “United States Foreign Policy and the Middle East.” Open Journal of Political Science, vol. 7, no. 4, 2017, pp. 454-472.

Stokes, Doug. “Trump, American Hegemony and the Future of the Liberal International Order.” International Affairs, vol. 94, no. 1, 2018, pp. 133-150.

Wechsler, William. US Withdrawal from the Middle East: Perceptions and Reality. The Atlantic Council, 2019.

Yom, Sean. “US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Logic of Hegemonic Retreat.” Global Policy, vol. 11, no. 1, 2020, pp. 75-83.

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