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United States involvement in Afghanistan - Research Paper Example

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The texts explored in this discussion generally adopted case study approaches in exploring the United States involvement in Afghanistan as understood together with the policies for the Middle East. Various cases are cited in order to authenticate the central arguments. …
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United States involvement in Afghanistan
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Download file to see previous pages In their book, Myths, Illusions, and Peace: Finding a New Direction for America in the Middle East, authors Ross and Makovsky (2009) explore a range of myths and illusions that underpin the challenges that the United States has faced in dealing with the Arab world. The two authors trace the challenges of the United States policy on the Middle East from the Cold War era to the current age. Illustrations are made regarding on how faulty assumptions developed into wrong approaches regarding the interests, perspectives, and political objectives of the Middle East. For instance, the United States wrongly interpreted the response of the Middle East to the rise of Communism. The US policy makers were under the impression that the Middle East would automatically reject the Soviet ideologies because of their inconsistency with the faith of Islam.
Understanding the complexities, successes, and challenges of the United States involvement in Afghanistan acquires clearer insights when analyzed together with the core arguments propounded by Ross and Makovsky (2009). The authors make general and specific claims and arguments about the nature of the US foreign policy in the Middle East and its ramifications in the aspects of peace, balance of power, democratization, and religious extremism. The impact of the US foreign policy on the Middle East can have either positive or negative results depending on its capacity to interpret, predict, and relate with the challenges in the Middle East. Policies that have tended to demonstrate preferential treatment towards the State of Israel as particularly cited as problematic (Duncan, 2004). According to the argument, regional interests, nationalism interests, and Islam are essentially dissimilar. As such, they tend to manifest themselves in region in different forms in accordance with multiple factors. Cases have been pointed out where the pursuit of Islamic interests appears to contradict established interests. Hierarchies of interests vary and manifest themselves in multiple forms in accordance with the stakes of the region’s governments, strategies of various groups, and cultural factors (Hudson, 1996). Rigid structures and frameworks that apply across time and space cannot be developed to assess the nature of realities in the region. Therefore, the existing policies cannot apply in the interpretation of the political and social realities of the Middle East. Lack of comprehension of these forces has led to futile strategies in the formulation of peace plans in the region (Hudson, 1996). The traditional American policy for the Middle East, according to the authors, anchored on the myth of Arab Unity. The United States handled the region as a homogenous entity that relied on common interests and goals. The authors single out the case of the poor handling of the region’s peace proposals by former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat by the administration of former President Carter as a case in point where the United States failed to capitalize on the opportunity of the moment. The mistake, according to the authors was the belief that Sadat could never act alone outside the bracket of the Arab worldview. Myths that control the Arab approaches on matters, according to the authors, lead the United States policy makers to make poor judgments of situations that often prove to be very costly. The authors argue that such approaches generate a mismatch between the guiding ideology and the methods applied in the practical terms. Ideologies are equally explored in the manner in which they cloud the judgments on matters of regional balance and other issues that appertain to the relationship between the United States and the Middle East. Ross and Makovsky (2009) contend that relationships that are more productive are possible and the pursuit of peace achievable if the United States reworks its policies in the region in ways that correspond with the fluid nature of Middle East politics, religion, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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