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USA and the Middle East- Impact on Relationship Since 9/11

Relationship between the USA and the Middle East dates back to the era of pre- World War II. However, America has exceeded its grip in the Middle East mostly during the period of 2001 to 2008. This is the period post 9/11 attacks when the US has slushed protracted wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and established the Department of Homeland Security. All these aspects created big impact on the relationship between the United States of America and the Middle East countries. Here, we will get a brief review on this aspect.

Gap Between Theory and Practice Post 9/11

There seems to be a big gap between the theory and practice of U.S foreign policy about certain subjects in the Middle East especially after 9/11.

Whenever there is any survey on the national interest, analysis has been made on America's policies towards Israel, Iran and Iraq. Inconsistencies in U.S Middle East policy have not started with the administration of George W Bush, nor has it ended there with the emergence of Obama administration.

Influence of Foreign Policy between 2001-2008

During the era of 2001-2008, a chronic gap between US Foreign Policy's means and goals became evident when Washington increased the region's geographical boundaries for including Afghanistan, Pakistan and North Africa. The policy makers must look forward to get the right combination of military, cultural, economic and diplomatic foreign policy instruments particularly towards the regions like Israel, Iran and Iraq.

Impact of Gilad Shalit's Release in 2011

In 2011, 1,027 Palestinian prisoners were released in exchange of an Israeli soldier named Gilad Shalit, who was imprisoned in 2006 by Hamas. Then the Israeli defense minister sent a formal apology letter to Egypt after they brokered the agreement and the news attracted happy reaction all over Middle East people due to the return of national heroes. However, one thing that must be questioned in this whole episode - what was the United States doing when the Middle East regions finally engaging with no influence from the US, Russia and EU. This deal was successful and proved that the nations involved in the Middle East crises are capable enough to negotiate on their own with no interference from America.

Foreign Aid for Israel

Every year, the United States spends around $3 billion for Israel as foreign aid. This amount is more than the aid that the entire African continent received annually. In addition, $2 billion approximately is additionally provided through military grants, which Israel has used to purchase weapons mainly and used in the second Israel Lebanon war and Gaza strip.

Post Arab Spring

Probably the time has come when the USA should reduce its role to shape Middle Eastern politics. This is evident from the several research studies conducted over recent years. Even after two years of Arab Spring, the Middle East unrest still continues and people in the US are skeptical about the political changes that have been generated. A majority of US people wants to prioritize stable governments in the region even if that leads to minimize democracy. Now, the public is more focused on the domestic aspects, mainly the economy. They support less involvement of the United States in the Middle East.

Public Opinion on US Involvement in Syria Crisis

The anti-government groups and government forces in Syria continues to fight. A majority of people believe that the US should not be much bothered about this conflict. There is also a substantial opposition to send arms to Syrian anti-government forces.

The sympathy that the United States got after the 9/11 tragedy seems to have faded with time. Many part of the Arab world have showed dislike of Iraq occupation by the US. There has been a strained relationship with Pakistan after the hunt and killing of Osama Bin Laden. Since more than a decade after the attacks, Pakistan and Middle East keep on showing protests against the US.

Paul Yandura
Washington, DC

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