The United States of America under President George W. Bush began aggressive overt military operations after the 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks. In 2001, the United States of America and her allies invaded Afghanistan with the aim of taking back territory occupied by the Taliban. This marked the beginning of the military occupation in the Middle East. In 2003 United States of America and her European allies invaded Iraq and removed Saddam Hussein from power, accusing him of crimes against humanity and possessing nuclear weapons.

Tactical approach towards the Middle East

The successive regime under President Obama adopted a tactical approach towards the Middle East. This was achieved by withdrawing a large number of the forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, sanctioning antagonistic states, working with progressive groups and carrying out targeted attacks against extremists. During the Arab spring, the United States of America worked with Pro-Democratic groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and authorized military action by the United Nations Security Council against Libya. The Arab spring brought removal of regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, Iraq, Libya, Kuwait and Palestine and the Start of political reforms by Kings in Algeria, Jordan, Oman, Bahrain, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia.

Obama regime foreign policy

The Obama regime foreign policy towards the Middle East had positive outcomes. The outcomes include targeted drone and military action that led to the elimination of Osama Bin Laden and the removal of regimes that committed crimes against humanity. Secondly, The United States of America adopted a collaborative approach by working with partners in the United Nations Security Council in carrying the disarmament of regimes that had nuclear weapons such as Iran. Thirdly, working with Pro-Democratic groups and Anti-Government forces in Egypt, Libya led to the removal of Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Gaddafi and a transition towards another regime.

Power vacuum

However, serious problems began to emerge as a result of George W. Bush and Obama direct military intervention. Firstly, the invasion in Iraq by the United States of America and its allies left a power vacuum that gave the opportunity for Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) to regroup and capture large territory. Similarly, after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi Libya remained unstable and provided grounds for rebels, militia and terrorist groups to thrive. In Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood which was a right-wing fundamentalist group enabled Hosni Mubarak to win elections and establish an oppressive government. The Islamic State of Levant (ISIL) and Al-Qaeda terrorist groups also took advantage of instability in Yemen to launch terrorist attacks.

As a result of the crisis that was created The United States of America and its allies were hesitant to oust Bashar al-Assad in spite of his government using chemical weapons that resulted in Killing and displacement of many people. When President Obama was criticized about his inaction in Syria stated that the United States of American involvement in Syria would create more problems. President Donald trump’s government has taken a conservative foreign policy in the Middle East by not taking any military action unless there is a direct threat to the national interests of the United States of America. There has been a withdrawal of troops from Syria and diplomatic involvement in Sudan after the removal of Omar Al-Bashir.

Secondly, President Obama’s government was involved in providing logistical support to rebels and fundamentalist groups, in addition to providing military support in Libya and Syria. This set a bad precedent as the Muslim brotherhood and successive regimes took advantage of military aid to repress any uprisings and control politics in Egypt. It was also difficult to establish the difference between genuine Pro-democratic groups and terrorists in Egypt, Libya, and Syria. Terrorist groups were a security threat to the United States national interests hence there was a risk of weapons falling into the wrong hands could strengthen the resolve of terrorists. President Obama’s regime was forced to find an amicable solution to Syria. This was achieved by destroying chemical warfare and dealing with the immediate threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) who had spilled over from Iraq to Syria and were fighting against President Bashar Al Assad’s government.

Current situation

Currently, the immediate threats and concerns to the United States of America in the Middle East are the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the refugee crisis. President Donald Trump’s regime has shifted from the foreign policy of President George W. Bush and Barrack Obama. The Trump regime seems to be the climax and end of President George W. Bush regime with cost-cutting measures such as diplomacy, issuing sanctions on non-compliance, working with allies as the main resolve in the Middle East. The United States of America is relying on allies such as Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates to deal with the crisis in the Middle East. Ground troops in Afghanistan and Iraq have been reduced with the regime currently negotiating with terrorists in Iraq. The Trump regime does not seem to be interested in any regime change in the Middle East and North Africa as The Obama and Bush regimes.

Reference Links :