The Lack of Continuity in American Mideast Policy

President George W. Bush revolutionized American foreign policy on the Middle East and Islamdom by focusing on counter-terrorism and democratization. President Barack Obama wanted to align the US with Islamism and hand over Islamdom to the Islamists. President Donald Trump championed the idea of the US disengaging from Islamdom in subcontracting most US superpower duties in Islamdom to Israel. President Joe Biden realizes that America is severely overstretched and wants American allies to take over more responsibilities as the US focuses on preventing China from evolving into a rival superpower.

There was much continuity in American foreign policy during the second half of the 20th century and now the general perception among governments in Islamdom is that America’s foreign policy has become unpredictable and that it is difficult to rely on the US since every new president fashions a new policy on Islamdom. What will be the policy on Islamdom of the next US president? No one knows, but there is a general appreciation in Islamdom of the Trump presidency although the uncertainty about US policy on Islamdom means that governments in Islamdom feel uneasy about their alliances with the US. 

There is a great power struggle in Islamdom between Israel and Iran, indeed a cold war. Governments in Islamdom generally bemoan the present lack of continuity with the foreign policy of the much appreciated Trump presidency. Governments in Islamdom wonder if the US is really aligned with Israel against Iran or if it is mere rhetoric and there might even be a suspicion that a Kissingerian policy in balancing Israel and Iran might be in the offing. 

Israel has emerged as a great power in the Middle East yet one firmly committed to perpetual alliance with the United States, still the world’s only superpower. The American refusal to offer incentives (i.e. agreements and weapons) in return for Muslim countries normalizing relations with Israel – something which is a vital American interest – has sown confusion in Islamdom. Where does America really stand? What are the strategic intentions for Islamdom of the current US administration?

The US government has a severe credibility problem in the Middle East in particular and in Islamdom in general. Islamdom wants America to subcontract most of its superpower duties in Islamdom to its reliable Israeli ally, but before that do Muslim countries want assurances, agreements and commitment to sell weapons from the United States. There is an urgent need for continuity in US policy on the Middle East and Islamdom and Islamdom wants America to subcontract most of its superpower duties to Israel.

Published by Daniella Bartfeld

Daniella Bartfeld is the founding director of the Aliyah Organization

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