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POLI 341 (39)

Challenges of Security in Post Gulf War Middle East

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Political Science
POLI 341
Imad Mansour

1The Challenge of Security in the PostGulf War Middle East SystemRegional Order or DisorderThe end of the second Gulf war stimulated much speculation about the construction of a new Middle East order The Middle Easts rampant insecurity made it an anomaly in a dawning postCold War era when zones of peace seemed to be spreadingInterdependence fostered around economic ties and cooperation in resolving common problems such as water scarcity would create interest in peace and generate confidence Pax Americana would provide the essential external support for movement toward this new order In terms of IR theory the expectation was that realist power politics would be tamed by pluralisms complex interdependence and democratic peaceThe old power politics not only persisted butwith the collapse of solidarity among the Arab states after the invasion of Kuwait it was accompanied by the increasing dominance of the nonArab periphery over the Arab core notably in the form of a new IsraeliTurkish alliancePax AmericanaIn the 1990s the Middle East regional system was subject to a new magnitude of penetration by the US world hegemon Although justified in the name of Pax Americana its effects were far more ambiguousThe US Navy in Troubled WatersThe United States had used the two Gulf conflicts to establish itself as the major naval power in the Gulf The US presence significantly increased during the IranIraq Tanker War and the accompanying reflagging of Kuwaiti tankers in the late 1980sUS policy aimed to secure unconstrained access to Gulf oil at acceptable prices The new penetration also increased the shortterm security of key Gulf allies especially Saudi Arabia that were pivotal to the protection of US interestsDual ContainmentThe second pillar of the USimposed new regional order was the dual containment of the regions two most powerful nationalist states with a record of contesting US hegemony Iran and IraqThe US
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