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

Cato Studies

Solving Egypt’s Subsidy Problem

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

Arms and Influence in Syria: The Pitfalls of Greater U.S. Involvement

By Erica D. Borghard. Policy Analysis No. 734. August 7, 2013.

Congress Surrenders the War Powers: Libya, the United Nations, and the Constitution

By John Samples. Policy Analysis No. 687. October 27, 2011.

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.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Events

Did the Military Intervention in Libya Succeed?

Featuring Benjamin H. Friedman and Christopher A. Preble. March 19, 2014. Policy Forum.

Understanding the Continuing Violence in Iraq

Featuring Christopher A. Preble and Justin Logan. February 11, 2014. Policy Forum.

Dangerous World? Threat Perception and U.S. National Security

Featuring Christopher A. Preble, Justin Logan, John Mueller, Benjamin H. Friedman & Mark G. Stewart. October 25, 2013. Conference.