The United States and the Middle East: A Search for New Perspectives

By Hooshang Amirahmadi | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 4
U.S. Policy Toward the Arab-Israeli
Conflict

Naseer H. Aruri


INTRODUCTION

Since the end of World War II the Middle East was largely viewed by the U.S. establishment through the prism of the Cold War and East-West relations. The U.S. strategic doctrine underlying the entire course of the Cold War was based on a distorted assessment of Soviet intentions. The Carter Doctrine as well as the Reagan codicil remained consistent with the substantive assumptions of the Truman Doctrine, which had set a pattern of direct or indirect intervention in the Middle East to keep the balance overwhelmingly in the U.S. favor.

The policy was built on the proposition that a legitimate world order existed, for which the United States assumes the major responsibility, and that the Soviet Union, together with disaffected Third World nations including Arab nationalist forces, were intent on challenging that order. A succession of U.S. doctrines and strategies, which expressed a resolve to contain that challenge, included the Truman Doctrine ( 1948), the Eisenhower Doctrine ( 1957), Kennedy's flexible response, the corollaries of limited nuclear war, counterinsurgency, the Johnson Doctrine ( 1965), the Nixon‐ Kissinger Doctrine ( 1969), and finally the Carter Doctrine ( 1980) and Reagan's codicil ( 1981).

America's global posture had thus been characterized by an impressive consistency in terms of policy objectives, since Kennan's

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