Essay: Foreign Policy With Regards to the Middle East

Pages: 3 (1158 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: History - Israel  ·  Buy This Paper

U.S. Foreign Policy -- Middle East

What is the U.S. foreign policy with reference to the Middle East following the uprisings in that region of the world commonly known as "Arab Spring"? This paper delves into issues surrounding the position of the United States now that leadership dynamics have changed in the Middle East, and new realities are being presented. The biggest threat for the U.S. vis-a-vis the Middle East has not resulted from the Arab Spring however; it is the ongoing menace, Iran, and the possibility that Iran will successfully develop nuclear weapons.

In the December 10, 2011 edition of the respected publication, the Economist, the author refers to the 4,500 Americans that were killed in the "eight-year misadventure" in Iraq and posits that the next phase of U.S. foreign policy might better be played out in Asia. While the U.S. has already indicated it will in fact make its presence more visible in Asia, no one in Washington, or in the Obama Administration, really believes that the U.S. can or will "…turn away from the wretched Middle East immediately," the Economist asserts.

The present thinking among those in the administration (whose names are not published) is that because of the "Arab awakening" in the Middle East, America now has a chance to make new alliances. Instead of backing brutally corrupt rulers like former Egyptian president Mubarak -- which the U.S. had done for years principally because he helped broker a peace arrangement with Israel -- the U.S. now will entertain diplomatic relations with the new Egyptian government. This may be tricky though because signs are pointing to the radical hard-line "Muslim Brotherhood" movement making strong gains in early electoral returns in Egypt.

And notwithstanding the rallying cry for democracy and freedom in Egypt, Libya, and elsewhere in the Middle East, the politics that will be reflected by the new leadership in key countries is up for grabs, and there no doubt will be serious challenges for the U.S. In terms of whom to trust and what manner of diplomacy to embrace. In the Economist piece the author asserts that "…the dictatorship of Bashar Assad is about to collapse, and that will pull down the evil axis of Iran, Syria and Hezbollah." However, even the Arab League's attempted intervention into Assad's campaign to kill his own citizens failed, so that situation is in flux.

The most "wretched" of all the controversial states in the Middle East is Iran, which Western leaders believe is working toward the development of nuclear technology. President Obama has worked harder on the Iran situation that "…he gets credit for," including his coaxing of allies to impose "unprecedented" sanctions against Iran, the Economist article continues.

On the subject of Iran and its nuclear program, Nikolay Kozhanov, former attache in the Russian embassy in Tehran, has written a scholarly article in the journal, Middle East Policy. He makes some interesting points about the sanctions that the U.S. has put in place -- supported by the UK and the entire European Union (France, Germany, and 25 other European countries) -- which includes cooperation in boycotting the purchase of Iranian oil, and other pressures on Iran's financial institutions.

Among the salient points Kozhanov offers in the article is that Iran can "mitigate the negative influence of U.S. sanctions" by establishing an "appropriate system of international relations" (Kozhanov, 2011, p. 145). In order for Iran to build those international relations it would need to: a) have an impact… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Foreign Policy With Regards to the Middle East.  (2012, January 24).  Retrieved July 22, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/foreign-policy-regards-middle-east/156567

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"Foreign Policy With Regards to the Middle East."  Essaytown.com.  January 24, 2012.  Accessed July 22, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/foreign-policy-regards-middle-east/156567.