Us Policy In The Middle East Politics

Essay add: 28-10-2015, 19:31   /   Views: 254

From a number of reasons the Middle East region is becoming increasingly important for the implementation of U.S. foreign policy strategy, therefore, Washington's policy in the Middle East is aimed at strengthening its influence in the region, primarily - by consolidating its military presence here on a permanent basis. 

The main components of American policy in the countries of the region is geopolitics (security sector), geo-economics and democratization in accordance with the American recipe of "democratic standards". U.S. policy in the region is defined by the desire to dominate the world, characterized by - in spite of pragmatism and effectiveness - the contradictions and double standards, ignoring the local political realities and socio-cultural specificity.

At this stage, the U.S. military presence in Middle East is aimed at ensuring security in the region. With some adjustment of goals, objectives and methods of implementing the U.S. policy at this regional direction, this policy can and should help to stabilize and improve the situation in the countries of the region and in the world. Such goals are particularly important in the U.S. due to the acute problem of world security.

International terrorism has long been recognized as a foreign and domestic security threat, but the tragic events of September 11, 2001 have dramatically changed the nation's focus and resolve on terrorism. The new US foreign policy in the Middle East since then was aimed to promote democracy in the Middle East , and that has become a national security priority, stating that greater political freedom can undercut the forces of Islamic radicalism and indoctrination.

The terrorist attacks of September 11 clearly demonstrated that U.S. policy in the region was far from successful. More importantly, the terrorist attacks helped to realize the danger that may be from such unstable countries as Afghanistan and potentially some of the Middle Asian states, as a breeding ground for international terrorist organizations operating against the U.S.

 For the national interests of the United States it is vitally important to significantly improve relations with Middle Asian countries and help them find ways to implement political and economic reforms required for long-term prosperity and stability.

The public opinions of foreign countries about the U.S. policy is raised believing that America really is the enemy. Unless the U.S. acts to change these perceptions, it will continue to face image and security problems in the future.

The level of popularity of the U.S. in the Arab world is extremely low, the result of it are difficulties faced by the United States in foreign policy, international trade, etc. As a result, the U.S. started a major struggle for "hearts and minds" of Arabs.

Anti-American sentiment in the Arab world emerged long before the formation of Al Qaeda and the Islamic Revolution in Iran - they began in the 1950's, not by Islamists but by nationalists, who preferred the socialist path of development of the Arab civilization.

Commission of the U.S. Congress to investigate the causes of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 has come to an exponential conclusion: "If the U.S. does not act aggressively, explaining the Islamic world its intentions and actions, then this job for us will do the extremists." (Levin)

Robert Satloff, director of the Institute for Near East Policy, in his book "The Battle of Ideas in the War on Terror: Essays on US Public Diplomacy in the Middle EFTA" shares Muslims into three groups:

- The smaller group really hates the U.S., this group includes the extremists and terrorists;

- The other group consists of supporters of evolutionary changes, which outraged some aspects of American foreign policy. It is unlikely that U.S. foreign policy will fundamentally changed, so Satloff offers to insure access of this part of the population to objective information about the U.S. and to various points of view.

However, tens of millions of Muslims are indifferent to foreign policy and US ideological view, because they live below the poverty line and spend all their energy on survival. Therefore, U.S. policy should promote economic and social infrastructure, so that these people could be included in political processes. Satloff said that the struggle of ideas was going on within the Muslim community, so the U.S. should support the moderate forces and common people in the fight against extremists. (Levin)

U.S. Democracy Promotion Policy in the Middle East

Since September 11, 2001 the U.S. Government has started a new public diplomacy, aimed at democracy promotion as an instrument for combatting terrorism. The Bush Administration has made the promotion of democracy in the Middle East a national security priority. (Epstein et al. 2007)

The important aspect of the topic is U.S. Democracy Promotion Policy in the Middle East. The purposes of this aid is the service of American interests, the support of allies, and the establishment of peace - are sound, reasonable, and just. The idea of using America's vast economic power to mold the international arena has always been an important element of American foreign policy.

President George W. Bush's stated the reason for starting the war in Iraq was to bring democracy to that country. He stated in December 2006 that: "We are committed to a strategic goal of a free Iraq that is democratic, that can govern itself, defend itself and sustain itself." (Epstein et al. 2007)

The United States employs a variety of diplomatic tools and policy instruments to promote democracy in the Middle East. Behind the scenes bilateral diplomacy, in which U.S. officials engage Arab governments on the reform issue, is considered by many experts to be one of the most effective ways of promoting democracy. (Albright, 2005)

The U.S. policy towards Middle East coutries is based, according to the the American strategy to help countries in the region, "to ensure the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity" .These global objectives of the United States intended to achieve by: 

1.Create democratic political institutions. 

2. Provide market economic reforms with a view to accelerating economic development. 

3. Develop cooperation among regional states and integration into the global community. 

4. To hold effective security policy, including the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking. (Epstein et al. 2007)

It should be noted that the tasks are solved in general, and democratic institutions are created, but the fact is that not complied with the principles that form the basis of these institutions.

Middle East Policy of the new Abama's Administration

President Obama has won support not only in the United States but also in the Arab world, as the Arab world has great expectations and hopes that Obama will rebuild trust relations between the United States and Middle East countries.

One of the main regional concern is the situation in Iraq, because any serious step toward ending occupation there will have a tremendously positive effect on world opinion toward the USA. It is a well known fact that Arabs saw the invasion of Iraq as a war on the whole region, so they will welcome any initiative that restores sovereignty and control over their resources to the Iraqi people as a step toward rectifying Arab-U.S. relations. (Ottaway et. al, 2008)

The American policy is interpreted as aiming to strengthen its power and control in the region: for example the fight with autocratic regime of Saddam Hussein was not viewed as democratic regime change but as an imperialist war intended to control Iraq's oil and destroy the Arab military power. It is possible to say that any policy by the United States will be seen as a war with Arabian world, even if it is based on a moral pretext ( such as the removal of a dictator Saddam Hussein). (Epstein et al. 2007)

The failure of the Bush administration policy was due to ambiguity in its policies, from conflicting priorities in the Middle East: supporting Israel's security while pressing for the democratization of the region, ensuring the flow of oil, protecting allied regimes while fighting terrorism, and pursuing public diplomacy. Because of these conflicting policy goals, the United States found itself without true allies and with limited and ineffective achievements. So the success of U.S. policies in the Middle East under the Obama administration depends on avoiding these policy flaws.

Today the United States see its task in the development of new geo-strategy for the Middle East region. In the short term (5-10 years) the U.S. intend to rebuild the existing now geopolitical pluralism in the Eurasian region. In these circumstances, political maneuvering and diplomatic strategy of the United States is aimed to exclude the possibility of formation of hostile coalitions, independent units able to challenge the national security and American leadership.

The administration of U.S. President Barack Obama has recently completed the revision of its policy priorities in Middle East. Senators noted the importance of the Middle East coutries to implement a new strategy for Obama in the region, as well as the need to further strengthen ties with all states in the region. "The task of the United States in the Middle East is to help countries to strengthen stability, as well as solve the problems of terrorism and the efficient allocation of energy resources," - said in his speech, Senator Robert Casey. 

In turn, the U.S. Assistant Secretary George Krol outlined five key priorities of official U.S. policy in the Middle East:

1. Increase cooperation with countries to support the efforts of the International Security Assistance Force.

2. Development and diversification of energy resources in the region. Middle East countries have a lot of energy that must developed and establish an international energy security. So countries should benefit from international experience and strive to diversify trade relations with various countries. 

3. Support for political liberalization and respect of human rights. According to George Krol, the Obama administration is trying to impose political principles of the Middle Eastcountries, but this does not mean that the U.S. would not continue to actively support democratic governance and human rights.

But the path the Obama administration should take is to engage in a serious discussion with Congress about a gradual but profound reassessment of U.S. policies in the Middle East. The Anti-Taliban campaign held by Washington in Afghanistan, gave a real chance for the United States to consolidate its military presence in the region. Moreover, the U.S. army today advocated for these countries as an indispensable defender from threats of terrorism, or that much closer to Islamic extremism. (Ottaway et. al, 2008)


This paper analyzed the development of the situation in and around the Middle East region, the U.S. foreign policy in the region, that include democracy promotion policy and activities. The conclusion from all the said above can be:

the Middle East region is becoming increasingly important for the implementation of U.S. foreign policy strategy, aimed at strengthening its influence in the region;

many see U.S. foreign policy internationally as obstructionist and selfish, and the U.S. Middle East policy is identified as the cause of anti-Americanism;

in order to prevent future terrorist attacks, it is essential that the U.S. have partners to work with to identify and destroy terrorist threats, support the U.S. war on terrorism

The new Middle East policy of the President Obama Administration should avoid the policy flaws of George Bush administration, that is stated in the new policy course of the US in the Middle East.

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