Challenges for America in the Middle East offers a comprehensive and contemporary analysis of the foreign policy challenges the United States faces in the Middle East. It takes a close look at the critical policy dilemmas posed by radical Islam, the Arab Spring, the Shia Crescent, and Israel–#x2013;Palestine relations. Authors Richard W. Mansbach and Kirsten L. Taylor examine the issues from a historical perspective and in the context of the current state of affairs, and analyze options for future action. Throughout the text, they emphasize the interplay of foreign and domestic issues in the United States and overseas, and show how that interplay shapes American policy towards the region.

Conclusion: America and the Complex Middle East
Conclusion: America and the Complex Middle East

President Obama at West Point commencement, May 2014, emphasizing the crucial role of America’s global leadership

Official White House Photo by Peter Souza

This text has described the trends characterizing American foreign policy in the Middle East in the past and present, as well as future alternatives. Perhaps the most outstanding features of the country’s foreign policy visible in the Middle East during President Barack Obama’s two terms in office have been:

  • A greater concern for “realist” power and security, though mixed with a desire to spread “liberal” values.
  • A shift from the unilateralism of the George W. Bush years to greater multilateralism in dealing with Syria and Iran.
  • Greater caution in use of force ...

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