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US Foreign Policy

US Foreign Policy (3rd edn)

Michael Cox and Doug Stokes
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date: 11 December 2023

p. 17312. US foreign policy in the Middle Eastlocked

p. 17312. US foreign policy in the Middle Eastlocked

  • Toby Dodge


This chapter examines the main dynamics that have transformed US foreign policy towards the Middle East since World War I from the time of Woodrow Wilson to that of Donald Trump. It first considers the applicability of realist, Marxist, and constructivist theories of international relations before discussing the ways in which the Cold War, oil, and Israel have shaped American foreign policy. In particular, it shows how the United States’ tactical approach to the Middle East has increased resentment towards the Americans, destabilized the region, and undermined the USA’s long-term strategic goals. The chapter also explores the Bush Doctrine, launched after 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, and President Barack Obama’s attempts to deal with the Middle East during and after the Arab Spring. Finally, it asks whether the Trump administration’s policy toward the Middle East represents a radical change or a continuity with previous presidents.

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