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Washington is Caught Up in the Middle East

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30.11.2021

Even though the US has been seeking to withdraw from the Middle East to relocate its sources to the Indo-Pacific region to tackle China’s growing influence in Southeast Asia, extricating itself from a region the US has been dominating since the end of the Second World War has proved to be a lot harder than the US policy makers might have expected when they decided to revive the “Asia Pivot 2.0” after Biden’s victory in 2020. While reducing the number of troops or withdrawing air missile defense systems is one thing, a relational extraction – in particular, at the level of deeply entrenched state-to-state ties – is completely another thing. Therefore, despite Biden’s vow to extricate the US from its ‘forever wars’, the US Secretary of Defense, Lloyd Austin, had to reassure the US’ traditional allies in the Middle East of Washington’s continuing support for the region. As Austin said during the recently held regional security meeting in Bahrain, “America’s commitment to security in the Middle East is strong and sure.”

A key reason for the US inability to abandon the Middle East is the very chaos it has itself helped created directly and indirectly in the Middle East over the last two few decades. Even in the current scenario, it is the very US withdrawal from the Iran-nuclear deal that has created a lot of tension in the region, which the Biden administration has so far failed to diffuse because of its insistence on negotiating a new pact than re-joining the JCPOA.

For many states in the Middle East – in particular, following the chaos that the US’ irresponsible withdrawal has crated in Afghanistan – a........

© New Eastern Outlook


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