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The American Middle East Policy Lacks Vision

GCSP Policy Paper 2012/9

Release Date:

September 2012

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Key Points

  • The uncertain situation in the Middle East calls for a departure from America’s current issue-by-issue policy in favour of an all-encompassing regional approach.
  • In particular, the United States should dramatically shift its policy and openly endorse the discussions on the creation of a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)-Free Zone in the Middle East, towards which, instead, Washington
    has thus far maintained a very low profile and a detached attitude.
  • The negotiations on a WMD-Free Zone are crucially important because they could represent a unique opportunity to break the impasse in the controversy surrounding Iran’s nuclear programme and address the Iranian-Israeli hostility, while at the same time tangibly advancing America’s declared non-proliferation agenda.
  • Considering the special relationship between America and Israel, and the centrality of the United States in the Iranian security calculations, Washington has the potential to exercise a crucial role.
  • However, the prospects for a real shift in US policy currently appear very grim. A longer-term vision and the definition of a clear strategy are needed in order for Washington to be able to exercise leadership and support the process which could lead to the creation of a new security structure in the Middle East.


NB: This paper is solely the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official view of the GCSP.

Photo by: MC1 R. Jason Brunson