- Michael C. Hudson
This chapter examines the roots of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. It begins with an overview of the origins and development of the United States’s involvement in the region over the past century, focusing on the traditional American interests. It then considers the structure of Middle Eastern policymaking and its domestic political context, as well as Washington’s response to new regional tensions and upheavals since the late 1970s. It also discusses new developments in the region, including the rise of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Al-Qaeda and the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S.-led interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the Palestinian–Israeli impasse. The evolution of U.S. policy since 2000 in the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama is explored as well. The chapter concludes with an analysis of an ‘Obama doctrine’ and ‘American decline’ in the Middle East and the world.