Washington Institute For Defence & SecurityWashington Institute For Defence & SecurityWashington Institute For Defence & Security
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Redefining Middle East policy: Order emerging from conflict and chaos

During her visit to Jerusalem on July 25, 2006, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice presented a vision for change against the turbulent backdrop of the Israel-Lebanon conflict

Middle East policy shift: Stability through conflict

According to her, the current conflict portends a “new Middle East,” in which liberal and democratic forces will alter the region’s geopolitical configuration. Since making that declaration over twenty years ago, America’s drive for “change” has wandered throughout the Middle East, stopping in Afghanistan and Iraq before reaching China, Russia, and Eastern Europe. This journey of transformation has taken many shapes: from military build-up in Eastern Europe to embargoes against China and Russia, and from fighting terrorism to forming coalitions with groups like the Taliban. 

The journey towards realizing this revolutionary vision has taken unexpected and even disastrous turns. A collective response to the wave of neo-colonial political movements is shown in the Russia-led conflict in Ukraine, the strategic maneuvers of Iran and Russia in Syria and Lebanon, and the possibility of Chinese intervention in Taiwan. Rejecting the accepted standards of a geopolitical makeover, these countries have chosen an alternative to the binary choice of surrender or destruction. 

New strategy aims for order amid Middle East turmoil

This opposition has strengthened resistance movements and sparked a change in the balance of power, undermining conventional American hegemony both domestically and internationally, especially in the Middle East. These events indicate that using force to impose revolutionary changes is unsuccessful. Although there is a complex relationship between strategic goals and conflict, the US has used the weapons of war to use the Greater Middle East as a canvas for change. In this concept, war is not a given; rather, it is a tool for bringing about changes in politics and territory, leading to the formation of new coalitions and alliances and the redrawing of boundaries. Recalibrating regional power balances through military operations can have a secondary effect of simultaneously strengthening and weakening certain regimes and groups. 

War and chaos in new Middle East plan

Conflicts may also reinforce ideological narratives, which, depending on the parties involved, may strengthen democratic values or religious fundamentalism. The fight for domination in commerce and resource control is a primary driving force behind wars and has significant effects on the global economic landscape. Another aspect is the pursuit of global domination, as outside factors frequently ignite wars in an effort to increase their influence in a certain region. This inclination to wage conflict is further encouraged by decreased direct expenses and geographic distancing. Furthermore, post-war power realignment and interest sharing are significantly influenced by the Middle East’s colonial past and crucial oil reserves. Ideological narratives that, depending on the parties involved, may support religious fundamentalism or democratic principles may also be strengthened by conflicts. One of the main causes of wars and one that has a big impact on the world economy is the struggle for dominance in trade and resource management. The quest for worldwide dominance is another element, since external forces often start conflicts in an attempt to gain more power in a particular area. Reduced direct costs and physical distance both contribute to this tendency toward wage conflict. Furthermore, the Middle East’s vital oil riches and colonial past have a big impact on post-war power realignment and interest sharing. 

Navigating chaos for Middle East stability

American foreign policy has left its mark on the settlement of regional conflicts, taking the form of a sharp reminder of the secretly enforced directives of the past. In this situation, war has become an instrument for enforcing rules unilaterally. The war that Israel started, allegedly in line with US goals to alter the Middle East, now poses a threat to go beyond its original parameters and could turn into an international battle. 

The Middle East war that persists today is a result of continuous covert agreements like the “Deal of the Century” and the “Great Middle East Peace Plan,” which aimed to establish domination through pressure from the top down and coercion. These initiatives have disregarded the reality that unilateral measures are ineffective and that the region’s problems have remained unsolved for more than 70 years. The United States is no longer the defender of international order and security that it once was; rather, it is a participant in the exact unrest that it aims to put an end to. This is made abundantly clear by the recent destruction in Gaza and the impending prospect of a major confrontation between Iran and Israel. For Middle Eastern countries, this may be a pivotal time to reevaluate their foreign policy and escape a Stockholm syndrome-like dependence.


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