Beyond Camp David: Emerging Alignments and Leaders in the Middle East

By Paul A. Jureidini; R. D. McLaurin | Go to book overview

5
U.S. Policy in the Emerging Middle East

SINCE WORLD WAR II American Middle East policies have been driven by two conflicting approaches--on the one hand, to view the region in terms of the strategic U.S. competition with the Soviet Union; on the other, to deal with the Middle East on its own terms and for its own sake. This ambivalence in American policy has weakened both interests and is particularly lamentable at a time when direct U.S. interests in the Middle East have become vital.

Notwithstanding the manifest importance of the Middle East, including the Arab-Persian Gulf, to the United States, this country has attempted to interact with that region for several years without the benefit of a general strategy or a regional policy designed to optimize the realization of American interests. An area as complex and as characterized by conflict as the Middle East necessarily poses critical problems of choice at times. Without a general strategy, policy is inconsistent and policies are often incompatible.

We have criticized the step-by-step method to a Middle East settlement favored by former Secretary of State Kissinger. Such an approach undermines the long-term prospects of settlement by misconstruing the integral nature of Middle East problems and needlessly increasing the costs of even small steps toward a peace. Yet, despite our dissent from the policy, the period from 1973 to 1976 did see progress, and progress in the context of a general strategic understanding of the Middle East and its relationship to the United States. Indisputably, this period laid the foundation for Anwar Sadat's own initiative.

Since the Sadat initiative, however, American policy has been to "muddle through." Camp David can only become a triumph for peace, for American policy, and for American "full partnership" if it is followed by a strategy to bring about autonomy on the West

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Beyond Camp David: Emerging Alignments and Leaders in the Middle East
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Introduction ix
  • Actors and Forces 1
  • 2 - Bilateral, Multilateral, and Regional Pressures 27
  • 3 - Emerging Alignments 59
  • 4 - Regional Leadership Changes 75
  • 5 - U.S. Policy in the Emerging Middle East 93
  • Appendix A 105
  • Accompanying Letters 115
  • APPENDIX B Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty 121
  • Notes 157
  • Bibliography 187
  • Index 193
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