• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

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.

Arab Spring or Arab Winter?
Arab Spring or Arab Winter?

Protesters in Cairo’s Tahrir (“Martyr”) Square during Egypt’s revolution

Khaled Elfiq/epa/Corbis

America’s relations with the Arab world (defined here as the members of the Arab League) that stretches from Morocco on the Atlantic Ocean to the Sultanate of Oman at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and the Comoro Islands off East Africa emphasized stability and expediency rather than values until the “Arab Spring.” U.S. policy aimed to maintain secure sources of oil, support oil-rich friends in the Persian Gulf, limit Soviet influence in the region, contain aggressive foes like Saddam Hussein and Shia Iran, and ensure Israel’s security. As the Arab Spring swept across the region in 2011, Washington came to believe that liberal values were ...

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