United States Approach in Middle East
When World War I ended, the only power that came to save or let say intended to save the world was America. Since then the US has played a pivotal role in the politics on the world stage. The US has increasingly been interested in others territory ever since the world was beginning to be a bipolar set of regime. Today the US is the only power that stands tall to call itself the sole super power. Nobody can deny that US is the colossus of all when one sees the areas of politics, entertainment, science and technology or virtually anything. The disintegration of USSR has paved way for US to show its dominance. The Cold War era could not be forgotten when it comes to disintegration of USSR (Little, 2008).
The majority of issues dominating international politics and international relations relate to the Middle East and the US. Therefore, it is essential to examine the issues that have influenced the fragile relationship between the world’s super power, the United States and the ever so important Middle East. United States has always been interested in areas such as Middle East since World War I till present. Back in 1914, the Western powers became increasingly interested in the oil supplies of Middle East. The British troops landed in Southern part of Iraq, Basra. The purpose was to protect the reserves of oil against its neighbors Persia. United States then was not very much interested in the reserves of oil. The US was mainly concentrating on its Latin region along with West Asia and Pacific (Mahdi, 2011).
When the Ottoman Empire crumbled, Britain offered America the leftovers, which they refused. The refusal was a temporary one and during the Truman rule American troops were stationed in Iran for the protection of its oil. They were also stationed on the front to look after British and Soviet troops transferring military supplies. When Joseph Stalin withdrew Soviet troops after WWII, Harry Truman questioned and threatened to boot USSR out of United Nations (Little, 2008).
During the first part of 1950s, Mohammad Mosaddeq, the Iranian prime minister had to experience tough opposition in form of the duo of US and Britain. This was because of the fact that he had nationalized the oil industry owned by Britain. Thus he was overthrown and replaced by the autocratic ruler Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was associated with the interests of US and Britain intelligence services.
The Britain and US besides being on the cooperative side were also contradicting one another in many issues. One of them was the issue of Palestine- Israel (Zureik, 2011). The Zionist movement was the conflict Britain was faced with. It was now strong enough to stand on its own and make a mark in Palestine. United States started to create its impact when Palestine issue was all boiled up during 1946. US and Britain formed the Anglo- American Committee to facilitate both Israel and Palestine. This Committee opted for the urgent access into Palestine of 100,000 Holocaust survivors.
However the efforts of the British were undermined in large extent as they were trying to keep up their promises to Arab clients within the region. Thus Britain was left with no choice other than to give up Palestine issue in 1947. The task of Palestine was handed over to United Nations, as Yishuv Palestine was increasingly becoming insurrected. Britain thought it was impossible for them to look after the region. Therefore UN took matters in its own hands and passed it to the General Assembly. The US played a pivotal role and intended that two immediate states Israel and Palestine to be created. On May 1948, the United States was the first in line to recognize Israel at the time of its creation. US also replaced Britain as the major Western patron of conservative Arab regimes.
In the 21st Century, going to war require not simply premeditated controls but normative ones as well (Bruce, 2011). Standards of international society have distorted to a large extent in the past decades, to oblige coalitions and states to give explanation for their verdicts to go to war with reference to concerns such as peace, disarmament, justice and, above all, international (as opposed to national) security. Simple raisons d'ėtat calculations, even if the primary driving force behind such decisions, are no longer considered sufficient to justify going to war. This does not mean that the principal factors determining a decision to go to war have changed radically (Reeves, 2011).
At the broadest level, decisions of war keep on to be based on the decision makers' perceptions of how national interest will be advanced or retarded by going to war. In the current context, when international norms do demand that war-making decisions be justified before the bar of international opinion, such essentially realist considerations usually have to be dressed up in moral garb in order to assuage skeptics, silence critics, and provide emotional comfort both to the government decision makers and to the leaders of the international community, who may have to endorse such decisions or at least live with their consequences (Tella, 2011). Normative justifications of decisions to go to war have, therefore, become routine since the end of the Cold War. For much of the 1990s, the United States used its hegemonic position with some restraint, popularizing the notion that it was a liberal hegemony different from all previous (presumably realist) hegemony. This apparent demonstration of liberal hegemony, which was sensitive to institutional restraints and at least ostensibly committed to building international consensus, also succeeded in sending the message that normative considerations were as important as strategic ones as far as the management of international order was concerned (Vine, 2011).
In a liberal hegemony, the hegemony voluntarily allows itself to be bound by restraints imposed by multilateral institutions as a quid pro quo for using these institutions to serve both its own purposes and those of the membership at large. Consequently, a symbiotic relationship develops between these multilateral institutions and the hegemony. In fact, it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish the interests of the hegemony from those of such institutions and structures. The hegemony frequently sacrifices some of its immediate interests in order to promote the legitimacy and credibility of multilateral institutions. It recognizes that in the long run these institutions will promote and augment its preferred vision of international order, which in turn guarantees the protection of its strategic interests. In other words, it is necessary for a liberal hegemony to be committed to a strategy of multilaterally, especially since it espouses goals that are couched in normative terms.
During the 1990s, it was recognized even by the most dogmatic of the neo-liberals that reality will continue to fall short of the ideal, but the expectation was that reality would approximate the ideal sufficiently to maintain the credibility of both the liberal order and the liberal hegemony. Several policies adopted by the Bush administration, however, ranging from the nuclear to the environmental arenas, have seriously challenged these neo-liberal assumptions.
No one has challenged them more fundamentally than the decision to go to war against Iraq despite the opposition of both the majority of people in countries allied to the United States and a significant number of important states within NATO, the central security concert underpinning and legitimizing America's liberal hegemony. This war could turn out to be a watershed dividing the post-Cold War era from what comes afterward.
America's alienation of major European states as well as the deep sense of unease felt by Russia and China at Washington's unilateralist are likely to lead over the next two or three decades to the emergence of a new global balance of power which would spell the end of American unipolar hegemony. At the same time, the impact of the war on the Middle East and the wider Muslim world, where many perceive this campaign as America's first war against Islam, may well turn the clash-of-civilizations thesis into a self-fulfilling prophecy.