Andrew Bacevich argues that the U.S. finds itself enmeshed in never-ending conflict in the Middle East not because of combating terrorism but rather due to the pursuit of broader geopolitical goals such as maintaining access to Middle Eastern oil reserves, protecting Israel, and projecting U.S. power and influence in the region.The U.S. has been involved in the Middle East for decades, and its interests in the region have been driven by a complex web of economic, strategic, and ideological factors. One of the most significant drivers of U.S. foreign policy in the region is the need to secure access to Middle Eastern oil reserves, which are critical to the functioning of the global economy. The U.S. has also sought to protect Israel, a close ally in the region, and has pursued a broader policy of promoting democracy and stability in the Middle East.In addition, the U.S. has sought to project its power and influence in the region, both to counter the influence of rival powers like Russia and China and to advance its own interests. This has often involved supporting authoritarian regimes and engaging in military interventions, which have contributed to the instability and conflict in the region.Bacevich’s argument is that the U.S. needs to fundamentally rethink its approach to the Middle East and prioritize diplomacy, economic development, and regional cooperation over military intervention and unilateral action.
Bacevich argues that the pursuit of “freedom” at home and “empire” abroad are connected in the sense that the same set of ideological assumptions underpins both. Specifically, the belief in American exceptionalism and the idea that the U.S. has a responsibility to spread democracy and freedom around the world has led to a foreign policy that is characterized by a willingness to use military force to achieve its goals. However, Bacevich also argues that this approach is fundamentally flawed and has led to a cycle of never-ending wars and conflicts. He suggests that the way out of the U.S.’s “forever wars” is to adopt a new approach that emphasizes diplomacy, engagement, and regional cooperation, rather than military intervention and unilateral action. This would require a fundamental rethinking of U.S. foreign policy and a recognition that the U.S. cannot solve all the world’s problems on its own.Bacevich also emphasizes the need to address the underlying economic and social factors that contribute to instability and conflict in the Middle East, such as poverty, inequality, and political corruption. He suggests that the U.S. should focus on promoting economic development, supporting civil society, and encouraging political reform, rather than relying on military force to achieve its goals.
One thought on “Week 14”
I agree with your view on the U.S. wanting the oil reserves in the Middle East. It is a big reason why we stayed involved in the Middle East even today. If it were not for the mass amounts of oil, the U.S. may not be as involved as they were for the past three decades. I also like how you talked about Bacevich’s view on the United States’ tactics in the Middle East and how he believes they should worry about helping society and encouraging political rebuilding. Though I do not agree with it because the U.S. tried to do that with Vietnam, which was the whole reason war broke out. The Vietnamese people did not want our government policies and did not agree with U.S. involvement in their country. I believe the same could happen in the middle east and the U.S. would create many more enemies due to this.