A responsible policy in the Middle East, consistent with American security interests in the region, should be based on de-emphasizing U.S. alliances, including that with Saudi Arabia. It should also include a change in popular attitudes toward the United States’ supposed dependence on Middle Eastern oil.

Reshaping U.S. policy in the Middle East would enhance American security and help alter the perception that U.S. policies are guided by double standards. Maintaining a frail balance among all of Washington’s commitments in the region is becoming ever more costly, dangerous, and unnecessary. Americans are paying a heavy price to sustain a U.S. military and political presence there. A change is long overdue.

More on North Africa, Middle East, and the Persian Gulf

Commentary

‘Should We Have Waged the Iraq War?’ Is Not a Gotcha Question

By Justin Logan. Newsweek. May 22, 2015.

The Glaring (Ir)Relevance of Ramadi

By A. Trevor Thrall, Erik Goepner, and Maxwell Pappas. National Interest (Online). May 22, 2015.

Gulf States Undermine U.S. Interests, Demand Special Favors: Washington Should Tell Whiny Allies No

By Doug Bandow. Forbes. May 14, 2015.

Cato Studies

Friends Like These: Why Petrostates Make Bad Allies

By Emma Ashford. Policy Analysis No. 770. March 31, 2015.

The Dead Hand of Socialism: State Ownership in the Arab World

By Dalibor Rohac. Policy Analysis No. 753. August 25, 2014.

Solving Egypt’s Subsidy Problem

By Dalibor Rohac. Policy Analysis No. 741. November 6, 2013.

Articles

Tangled Web: The Syrian Civil War and Its Implications

Ted Galen Carpenter. Mediterranean Quarterly. Vol. 24. No. 1. Spring 2013.

Economic Transitions: Learning from Central Europe

Dalibor Rohac. Hoover Institution Policy Review. Vol. 175. October 2, 2012.

Middle East Vortex: An Unstable Iraq and Its Implications for the Region

Ted Galen Carpenter. Mediterranean Quarterly. Vol. 20. No. 4. Se, 2009.

Public Filings

The Rise of ISIL: Iraq and Beyond

By Doug Bandow. Testimony. July 15, 2014.

Escaping the Trap: Why the United States Must Leave Iraq

By Ted Galen Carpenter. Testimony. January 11, 2007.

Events

The Global Village Myth: Distance, War, and the Limits of Power

Featuring Justin Logan. May 26, 2015. Book Forum.

In Search of a Syria Strategy

Featuring Emma Ashford and Justin Logan. April 30, 2015. Policy Forum.

America and the Middle East Mess

Featuring Emma Ashford and Caleb O. Brown. April 23, 2015. Sponsor E-Briefing.