Term Paper: Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East

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Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East

The Administration's New Middle Eastern Policy

Peace, the promise of a new United States image in the region, and greater independence from the nations that would harm us. These must be the goals of future U.S. Middle Eastern policy. Thus, the three main goals of the next administration should and must be to begin to bring the current conflict in Iraq to a successful or at least manageable political and diplomatic solution rather than a military conclusion, to facilitate new negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, and finally to reduce U.S. dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

Political scientist Richard Haas warns: "Iraq, traditionally a center of Arab power, will remain messy for years to come, with a weak central government, a divided society, and regular sectarian violence," if the current situation is allowed to continue (Haas 2003:3). "At worst, it will become a failed state wracked by an all-out civil war that will draw in its neighbors" (Haas 2006:3). At present, Iraq is a failed state and American military policy is a failed policy. The Iraqi government cannot protect its people, deliver services, collect revenues, or administer its laws. Renegade Iraqi militias are the real legal powers. Embedding more U.S. troops will simply result in further U.S. causalities. A diplomatic solution is the only hope.

The goal of the next administration must be to create a representational Iraqi government over the next four years that is able to exert control over its oil reserves, force the militias to transfer military power to the state regime, and enforce minority rights. In exchange for turning over arms there will be amnesty for all combatants, to avoid diverting important resources into show trials that will only further divide the nation, as did the trial and execution of the former dictator Saddam Hussein. "With a political understanding must come the first lesson of dealing with failed states: create a secure environment that allows basic governance and people to begin to reclaim normal lives. If a security vacuum prevails, it will drive besieged Iraqis to choices -- such as supporting vicious sectarian militias" (Pascual & Pollack 2006). But no external nation or organization's military forces can impose a new legal system or a permanent peace. Thus the United States cannot continue to bolster a failing government with a permanent military presence and indefinite military support, whatever its responsibility for the current conflagration.

Rather, Iraq's regional neighbors who have a self-centered interest in creating at least some stability for the nation must exert pressure upon the warring factions and offer to provide some assistance, at very least, in refusing to harbor terrorists. An abrupt pull-out from Iraq could be problematic... Iran would surely gain a stronger regional role and this would hamper efforts to monitor its nuclear program by international organizations. Israel would be more vulnerable to extremist attacks, as an Iraq with raging civil war would be a launching pad for terrorist bombings. Oil prices would spike even further if Iraq's reserves were threatened. "We can be almost assured that some form of regional unraveling would occur, with consequences we simply cannot ignore" (Pascual & Pollack 2006). Thus, holding troop numbers at current levels should be the short-term goal, so long as there is a clear time table of phased withdrawal, with the aim of pressuring for more regional cooperation to create a multi-party state in Iraq.

Any long-term stability for the United States in the Middle East, from a self-interested as well as a humanitarian perspective requires brokering a new, tenuous peace between Israel and Palestine. Despite the insurgence of Hamas, the demise of Yassar Arafat means that it is possible new, inspired leadership may come to the helm of the nation. Without an effort to make both sides come to the table and make real concessions, Arab world will continue to ally America with "highly negative and emotionally charged images of Israel's military occupation of Palestine" (Zaharna 2003). Without at least making an effort to create peace, and appearing to be allied only with Israeli interests in the region, the U.S. will continue to be viewed as a hostile actor. It has been observed that "millions of ordinary people [in the Middle East]... have gravely distorted but carefully cultivated images of… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East.  (2007, April 27).  Retrieved July 21, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/foreign-policy-towards-middle-east/3340

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"Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East."  27 April 2007.  Web.  21 July 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/foreign-policy-towards-middle-east/3340>.

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"Foreign Policy Towards the Middle East."  Essaytown.com.  April 27, 2007.  Accessed July 21, 2019.