pp1-8-Middle East CQ 1 of 4

pp1-8-Middle East CQ 1 of 4 - n’s history. OPEC h...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–8. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 2
Background image of page 3

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 4
Background image of page 5

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 6
Background image of page 7

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 8
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: n’s history. OPEC h competing camps: t}, y Saudi Arabia, adv often greater produ' :uch as Libya, pushin ; of market condition ie it difficult for OPE CHAPTER 5 U.S. POLICY IN THE MIDDLE EAST :peated efforts to reig quotas demonstrate ‘01 over oil prices ply and demand. on. trates market leverag ' ' the self—discipline a1 . production. Although; dominates OPEC and" no guarantee that th _ especially if Saudi- 31 he history of US. foreign policy, the Middle ‘ st as a region of interest is a relative new- r. Although many Americans have traveled to he rea since the late nineteenth century, the US. " mment paid the Middle East little attention 11 the end of World War 11. Since that time, how- igzthe United States has piayed an increasing, d some would say defining, role in Middle in politics. US policy in the region has focused primarily seven objectives: ensuring the security of act; achieving an Arab~1sraeli peace settlement; raintaining access by industrialized nations to griddle Eastern energy supplies; blocking Soviet iifluence in the region (until 1989); countering errorisni; stemming the proliferation of weapons mass destruction (WMD); and in recent years moting democratic transformation in certain ntries. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, interest shifted toward an uneasy combinaw 1 of maintaining local stability and promoting nocratization. This balancing act became even re difficult when teamed with efforts aimed at scaring the United States’ traditional interests in he egion. Since the late 19703, US. policy has n complicated by l'slamist political ideologies ocated by individuals, groups, and govern— mEnts that challenge the paradigms through which 01‘6in policy is analyzed and made in the United ' and other Western nations. After the al-Qaida attacks of September ll, l, the United States launched an aggressive alllpaign against lslamist groups and others ged to be engaged in terrorism. This resulted (D an] events promised to 71d energy markets: the. if countries like Chin ternational economy asi- rorters, and the reintro-_ nto the global marke ippears to have caused 1 both the Republican; u question the United iddle Eastern oil. ll importance of the} remains unquestione ' untries with the largest lit, Saudi Arabia, and 3f the world’s potential- il prices in 2005 and- revenues for Middle )rmous petroleum and [stern nations and the; these countries enjoy; ve little doubt that theyf .he world’s oil and gafi- 1y years to come. 9... (1) Cl) notably in the overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. It also led to the ouster of the Baathist government in Iraq, based in part on questionable allegations that under Saddam l-lus— sein the regime supported terrorism, had connec— tions to al-Qaida, and was determined to acquire WMI). Long the focus of US. diplomacy, the Middle East is now the most active arena for the US. military, since 2003 eclipsing the traditional posteWorld War ll concentration on Europe and East Asia. US. policy objectives in the region have often been in conflict. In particular, the relationship between the United States and lsrael has at times made other US. policy goals more difficult to pursue and achieve. For example, US support for Israel during the 1973 Arab-Israeli war led to an Arab oil embargo against the United States. Ten years later, the United States found itself in the position of soiling tens of billions of dollars’ worth of advanced military hardware to the Gulf states re- sponsible for the boycott. More recently, the ocean pation of Iraq has led to a surge in anti—American sentiment that has damaged the US. campaign to promote democracy and strengthen civil society in the region. Regardless of the inherent contradic~ tions, successive US. administrations have agreed that these major objectives must all be pursued, and they have done so with public and congres- sional support. This chapter examines the mech»— anisms of the US. foreign policy—making process and looks at the major events in U.S.~—Middle East relations, touching briefly on the presidency of Woodrow Wilson, during which the modern era 160 emerged, but concentrating on postwrWorld War II events. US. foreign poiicy formation flows from an interplay among the president and close advisers, Congress, the foreign policy and defense bureau- cracies, and to a iesser extent the public. The president, dependent upon advisers, is the central figure in this process. Those who contend for the president’s attention include the national security adviser, secretary of state, secretary of defense, director of national intelligence, and special interest groups outside the government. Other entities involved in the process include the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Treasury and Commerce Depart— ments, other members of the intelligence commu— nity, and international organizations, such as the United Nations, to which the United States belongs. Foreign policy participants seldom, if ever, agree on all points at the same time and often have conflicting agendas. Enough overlap exists among their agendas to produce jurisdictional and resource conflicts, especially during the congres- sional appropriations process. The Executive Branch The Presidency The executive branch of the U.S. government encompasses the presidency and various depart- ments and independent agencies. Those most directly involved in foreign policy formation are the State and Defense Departments, the Central Intelligence Agency and other intelligence and national security agencies, and the Agency for International Development. Other foreign policy entities focusing on information disseminatiori and political, economic, or humanitarian develop— ment include the Department of State’s Oflice of International Information Programs, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Peace Corps. These agencies are more instruments of policy, but their very existence Speaks to the many ways in which the United States exerts its influence OVERVIEW 01" THE MIDDLE EAST abroad. The most important foreign policy f0 of the executive branch is the Office Of the pi dent, represented by the president and- National Security Council, which is headed by national security adviser. ' Presidents face many challenges in f0“, policy formation and implementation. As indi? uals, they bring different experiences to the 0 Office that shape their view of t[ including their conception of proper for-e policy making and implementation. These exp ences have rarely made them experts in the (5p- tion of the international system. The {yin pGSFWOI‘ld War I] president has come t ' White House via a state governorship, a Sum Congress, or the vice presidency and usual '- been more comfortable with domestic politic campaigning than with the larger world. _ In addition, presidents are too busy to lear complexities of all the international issu might command their attention. Time deni' therefore, leave presidents reliant on advise present information that they can use becoming experts in international rel Advisers must summarize situations quickl neatly, though facts on the ground areius complex. They must also compete for presid attention. The secretary of state and then security adviser are selected by the presid tends to favor one ever the other. The r _ _ _ between these two advisers often affects reception in the Oval Office as well. _ ' Presidential management styles influene sions in filling these important positions an the individuais will fit into the decision process. Some presidents like to take-'clla' foreign policy decisions, regardless knowledge of international affairs. Th dents might foster a collegial atmosphelle advisers, where everyone cooperatesif fully disagrees) and consensus opiniQfi Coilegiality is achieved through the 0.8! tion ofadvisers who share a worldview a clear articulation of presidential Poi! ences, both of which create clarity-pf Presidents John F. Kennedy, George H olicy forum '. 3f the Pl‘egi 1t and th :aded by the 3.: in foreign - As individ to the Oval 5 the world, '_ per foreign " hese experi- - in the opera- The typical :Ome to the .p, a stint in I usually has : politics and id. r to learn the l issues that re demands, 1 advisers to use without 11 relations. quickly and are usually I r presidents’ the national 'esident, who 3 relationship affects their .fluence decin ions and how _ ision—making ' its charge of 3 ess of their These presi- _ phere among ' 3 (or respect— ;ions emerge. ' careful sclec« :w or through )olicy prefer— ? of purpose. -. ll. W. Bush, U . “1 Bill Clinton have all employed this managew In an alternative scenario, presidents who want gm control over policy may select one key adviser, typically the national security adviser or the Secretary of state, to consult with more so than the others when deciding on foreign policy issues. In this case, the personal relationship—- perceptions of loyalty and trust—whetween presi— dent- and adviser becomes crucial. Sometimes, 31 Owever, advisers are more loyal than expert in 1113 subjects about which they offer advise. Fur— cr, it is through this individual that policy direc— "Vgs get disseminated, so the adviser or senior 1- r - anager must create a hierarchy of special— ts to turn the presiident’s directives into concrete olicics and actions. The members of this hier— rchy tend to share similar worldviews, as the top gadership has an interest in their activities but ':_d0es not want to mediate disputes. This atmo— pherc fosters consensus thinking and may freeze at points of view that do not support the pre~ ulfcrred perspective. Serious differences of opinion .-.are likely to lead to the departure of one or more dvisers, as was typical during the presidency of 'chard M. Nixon from 1969 to 1974. The alternative presidential managerial style is more hands elf, allowing advisers and subordi— nates to handle the details of foreign policy. In no cases, a president will give only general policy directives to his staff. Presidents who adopt '5 style tend to be more interested and compe- nt in domestic policy. This is hardly surprising ven the career path of most presidents, but it ay allow policy to drift, be paralyzed by disputes between advisers, or be driven more by those of this management style. The National Security Council The National Security Council (N SC) was established, along with the Department of Defense and the CIA, by the National Security Act of 1947. s original purpose was as a coordinating mech— S . POLECY 1N run MIDDLE EAST l6l anism for all national security and foreign policy information coming into the White House, pro- viding comprehensive policy reviews and a struc- tured forum for policy officials. lt functioned in this manner under Presidents Harry S Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower, in the late 1940s and the 19505, with an executive secretary and a staff of twenty. The NSC became more institutionalized during the Eisenhower administration, when a staff hierarchy emerged. The policy planning and operations boards were created to formulate and implement foreign and national security policy. The executive secretary became the assistant for national security affairs, or more commonly, the national security adviser. Bureaucratic constraints soon hampered the creative problem-solving process needed to for- mulate policy. Under the Kennedy administration, from 1961 to 1963, the national security advising system became more personalized. While circum— venting some of the bureaucratic problems of the NSC, this personalization created new ones. President Kennedy valued direct contact with lower—level officials and inter-agency working groups, believing them to be more responsive to his foreign policy directives. NSC staff appoint— ments on the basis of personal loyalty to the president, rather than expert knowledge, became more common. This trend continued under Lyndon B. Johnson, who assumed the presidency following Kennedy‘s assassination in 1963 and remained in office until 1969, during the period when the Vietnam War dominated US. foreign policy. Johnson went further outside the formal NSC system than had Kennedy, as the NSC became a body to circumvent rather than one to consult. President Nixon came to office in 1969 with a plan to revitalize the NSC by creating a number of new committees and interagency bodies under the leadership of his national security adviser, Henry Kissinger. In effect, this system allowed Kissinger to engage or ignore the NSC as he preferred. Jimmy Carter, who spent four years in the White House beginning in 1977, replaced Nixon’s system with two committees, one for long—term 162 ovunvzuw or This Minn L13 projects and planning and the other for short-term work. The personal dimension introduced under Kennedy persisted, however, and over the course of his administration, Carter shifted away from the formal NSC system to weekly meetings with select advisers. Echoing Nixon, Ronald Reagan, a two-term president, from 1981 to 1989, pledged to make the NSC system less personal but wound up with an organization that had only a small role in the for- eign policy process and was difficult to monitor. The national security adviser took a back seat to the secretaries of state and defense and to the director of central intelligence. Reagan’s lack of attention produced drift in the NSC, and when combined with the president’s laissez—faire style of policy articulation, created conditions that allowed generally unaccountable officials to implement the iiiegai sale of arms to lran and divert the profits to groups fighting left—wing gov— ernments in Latin America. At the same time, the NSC in general had become a bloated bureaucracy too occupied with procedure. Presidents George 1-1. W. Bush, 1989—1993, and Clinton, 199372001, had the most success curbing personalization in the NSC system. Both men created collegial. teams of advisers who worked well together and avoided the intramural battles typical of earlier administrations. Colle- giality, however, is not always amenable to cre— ative thinking and changing times. Such a situa— tion became a troubling aspect of the Bush administration: the president‘s closest advisers agreed on a particular view of the world, and they liked it so well that they could not see that it was Changing. Clinton led his foreign policy team through these shifts, seemingly making policy on a case—by-case basis, without the global outlook of the cold war or Bush’s “new world order.” During the presidency of President George W. Bush, 2001— , the NSC played a subordinate role to other agencies, and the national security adviser acted as a mediator between competing senior officialsm—particulariy the vice president, the sec- retary of defense, and the secretary of Staten—and enjoyed the personal trust of the president in pro- E A S ’l‘ viding advice on the conflicting opinions among .- these officials. " The Department QfSrafe The Department of State was created in 1789 as the primary foreign policy organ of the new United States of America. Its employees today. retain their positions as the country’s main rem-cg: sentatives in foreign countries and international organizations, but its post—World War II role a: home has shifted from poliCy formation to infor mation processing and dissemination. Although. the secretary of state remains an important figme- in policy formation, loyalty to the president or the department often determines his or her p051 tion in the hierarchy of presidential foreign policy advisers. The secretary’s relationship with oth” foreign policy figures, in particular the natioi security adviser, also factors into the equatio When conflict occurs between these two indivi uals, the secretary is usually the party isolat from the decision-making process. In regar Middle East policy, the assistant secretary of sta for Near East Affairs and the director of the Pol" Planning Staff are the most influential advisers" a day—to—day basis. Under some secretaries state, the deputy secretary and the underseci for Political Affairs ~~~~ --the number two and positions at State-raise have influence'..e Middle East policy formulation. in additioi USAID, the primary agency for providing fo aid, has large and long-standing commitments the Middle East. it receives guidance frofl secretary of state, as does the permanent rcpt tative to the United Nations. Public Diplomacy and Puhiic Affairs 0V8 the Bureaus of Education and Cultural 3A,. ~. ,. ' ...- L, c . grams in fulfilling what was once the miss the United States information Agency: expl and advocating US. policy to foreign p091} 5? (as well as to domestic audiences). l't cat its responsibilities primarily tlirongll '. .-- - .r,-, v -.\ L T‘ administers the Fulbright educational U :c on the conflicting opinions Before a government restructuring in the is. 79903, USIA also oversaw the well~known Eof America, which now operates under the Easting Board of Governors along with the {in satellite network and Radio Sawa, which artment of State was created in geared at the Arab world, and Radio Farda, ,i foreign policy organ of this aimed at lran. of America. Its employee? POSltlon-‘i 33 “‘3 (foumyg.mailigdfigence Community n foreign countries and intc ‘ is. but its post~~-World War 112 hifted from policy formation ltht agencies, some autonomous, some affili— cessing and dissemination. Ailth cabinet—level departments. They have in y of state remains an importing“ a mission to gather information consid— .rmation, loyalty to the presideijluable to U.S. interests, analyze it, and pre— ient often determines his or hihclusions to policymakers. Although on the fiel-archy of presidential ibrcigii each of these agencies has a distinct role he secretary‘s relationship W 1 practice they overlap, resulting in intern icy figures, in particuiar the onfiicts. The best known of the intelli— .viser, also factors into the agencies is the Central lnteiiigence Agency, lict occurs between these two responsibility for general national secu— ecretary is usually the party for gathering information on foreign gov— lecision-making process. 1n .Aniong the other agencies, the National :t policy, the assistant secreta 3; Agency (NSA) ensures the security of 1st Affairs and the director of US. signals traffic (cables, wires, and taff are the most influential tldt d broadcasts) and decodes and analyzes ay basis. Under some secr E communications. The Defense Intelli— cputy secretary and the undo Agency (DIA) oversees military intelli- 11 Affairs—"the number two 1 he National Reconnaissance Office at State-Walso have influe ioperates a system of reconnaissance satelu ist policy formulation. In ing the intelligence community. NSA, e primal-y agency for providii NRO are all tied to the Department of rge and long—standing COll'llTlltl: The Federal Bureau of Investigation 3 East. It receives guidance branch of the Justice Department, has f state, as does the permanent Itibility for foreign counterterrorism efforts e United Nations. he United States and abroad. Diplomacy and Public Affairs goal of intelligence gathering is to fore— is of Education and Culturalgverninentofficials about events and trends airs, and International Informaly affect U.S. interests and to suppiy infor— 'ulfilling what was once the illiifOl‘ use in formulating policy decisions. States Information Agency: etbperations, another aspect of intelligence, ating U.S. policy to foreign p losely associated with the CIA but is sto domestic audiences). It arried out by a number of agencies. magnifies primarily throu Overt operations, when discovered, have rint material, and the intern Hung—lasting anti—American sentiments 's the Fulbright educational 01‘ example, in Iran in 1953, U.S. covert 'tment Qf'Stcite .S. 1’01..le 1N THE MlDDLE 163 EAST intervention helped ensure the failure of an attempt to replace the shah and contributed to longmlasting hostility toward the United States by opponents of the shah and subsequently by lran’s revolutionary government after 1979. More recently, as part of the George W. Bush adminis- tration’s “war on terror,” the CIA ran a network of detention facilities in which detainees were held in secret and allegedly tortured. in addition, unmanned CIA aircraft have been used to assassi- nate leaders of groups designated as terrorist orga- nizations by the U.S. government. In 2005 a new position of director of national intelligence (DNI) was created to oversee the entire intelligence community. Previously the director of the CIA had held a supervisory role over the corn— munity. This restructuring of intelligence leadership flowed from the failure of the intelligence com- munity to ascertain that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction prior to the 2003 U.S.»led inva- sion and war as weil as from posteSeptember 1 1 re- assessments of the role of intelligence. Congress The job of Congress is to make the nation’s laws. In doing so, it operates committees and sub— committees in various policy areas that allow members to become specialists in these fields. Most members of Congress do not sit on commit— tees dealing directly with international issues and spend little timeeless than 5 percent by one esti— mate—considering foreign policy matters before voting on them. Foreign affairs receives little con- gressional attention in part because only a rela- tively small constituency is interested in it; some members have considered assignment to these committees an electoral liability. That said, Congress does consider foreign policy legislation, has executive branch oversight responsibilities in this area, and controls the appropriations process for the foreign affairs budget—also known as the “150 account‘Lmand, thus, is an important part of U.S. foreign policy making. The committees most responsible for foreign affairs legislation are the House Foreign Affairs 164 ovunvruw or run MIDDLE EAST Committee, the Senate Foreign Relations Com— mittee, the House and Senate Armed Services Committees, and all of their regional and func» tional subcommittees. The House Foreign Affairs Committee in the 110th Congress (2007—2009) has a subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has a subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs. Most policy initiatives originate in the execu— tive branch. Congress, through the appropriate committee or subcommittee, deals with the legal details of proposed initiatives. Throughout this process, polities may be close to the surface, forcing participants to consider factors not directly related to the appropriateness or efficacy of the policy in question. Political factors include electoral considerations, public interest and per— ceptions, symbolic politics, and such domestic concerns as the locationing of military personnel or manufacturing that might be affected by a policy. Political considerations are often an essen- tial element in building public consensus for a policy and being able to implement it. Relations between the legislative and executive branches also play a role in foreign affairs. During the Clinton administration, a time of acrimonious executive—legislative relations, Congress on var— ious occasions affected the foreign policy process by drawing out the confirmation hearings for ambassadors—designate and other appointees. For instance, the confirmation of Richard Holbrooke as US. ambassador to the United Nations resulted in a year-long delay and included an ethics inves— tigation from which no charges arose. With the Republican—led Congresses during the administra— tion of George W. Bush, the opposite occurred, some observers claim, with little or no meaningful oversight over such critical policies as the occupa— tion and reconstruction of Iraq. Institutional factors help and hinder Congress‘s ability to handle foreign policy issues. One is simply the volume of work that any Congress faces. No member can be an expert in all the areas on which representatives vote, so most rely on their leadership, colleagues on specialized com— mittees, and committee staffs and speCialiZed agencies to provide guidance. - Congress plays other roles in the foreign policy process. The Constitution grants it the power tot regulate foreign commerce, impose import taxes' and declare war. The last matter has been a confini- uing source of contention between presidents, wh assert their right to commit US. miiitary forces as‘. part of their power as commander in chief, r ' Congress, which has sought ways to limit thi assertion, particularly since the Vietnam War. ' The president has the right to enter into trearj ' but these agreements become US. law only with the “advice and consent“ of two-thirds of th' Senate. This constitutional requirement allows th‘ Senate to amend treaties and permits it to reject treaty negotiated by the president. The League-'- Nations treaty, negotiated by President Woodie“ Wilson at the end of World War I, stands as notable example of the latter. In practice, the exec. utive branch has devised ways to circumvent t treaty clause. Because no constitutional definitid of a treaty exists, presidents have asserted .ti right to negotiate other types of international agreements. In some cases, the president receives prior approval to negotiate whas is known as' statutory agreement. Congress has fulfilled ts duty of providing advice and consent, but it hast say in the content of the agreement arrived at,=,a_i the agreement has the force of US. law. In otl cases, ' ' ' agreement with a foreign power without the pr: approval of the Senate. Most of these agreemen have dealt with diplomatic issues or administr tive concerns surrounding prior military commi ments. However, this is an area in whicl tli Senate has been trying to win back control, sofa with little success. The Public and Foreign Policy American citizens and residents are prim?!r involved in foreign policy making in two W, through public opinion and through lobby! Although the foreign policy position of a [0311' date may influence a voter’s choice, it ral‘el 15-3 taffs and specialized :e. i" :s in the foreign polgc' grants it the power-1:6. , impose import taxes; itter has been a cont'm; :twcen presidents, w] " US. military forces imander in chief, and ght ways to limit the Vietnam War. I ht to enter into treating, me US. law only with of twouthirds of 'he requirement allowsrfi'é 1d permits it to rejects asident. The Leagues by President Woodrow rid War 1, stands as at. In practice, the ex' vays to circumvent 't_ :onstitutional definitioi ants have assertedtlr types of internationa ;, the president receive e whas is known a igress has fulfilled; id consent, but it has'ri greement arrived at,'-an_ :e of U.S. law. In otl” arrive at an execu'_ power without the p ost of these agreement e issues or administta , prior military cornmi an area in which tit win back control, so? “nary concern, as domestic issues tend to take gcedence. The public appears to have limited forest in or knowledge of foreign policy matters a‘ept when it involves particularly overriding Sues, such as the Vietnam War in. the 1960s or 'e'lraq War in the 2006 midterm elections. film-S may have an interest in foreign policy en it involves other areas of concern to them, as the environment, local jobs, or human g is abuses. I h h ' y the time a foreign policy matter ultimately tohes the broader public’s attention, Americans I 0 look for policies that will produce imme— "results. Although leaders can attempt to ape public opinion if they choose, the degree of ublic indifference is often such that an issue only i ' 'es Sufficient attention at the point that con- red policy debate and options get lost in the esof the moment. obbying plays a much larger role in the for" .policy process than does pubiic opinion 'i'n'g. Important lobbies on Middle Eastern es include the American Jewish community, ctr-focuses intensively en Israel’s Security and l—being, the energy industry, evangelical Chris- iii and increasingly the Arab American and slim American communities. The American ei._'Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)7 nded in 1954 with the express purpose of lob— =ongress on behalf of Israel—is the best- 'W'_ of the Jewish American lobbies. It is e yiregarded as the most powerful ethnic lobby Washington, D.C., and is also active on a grass- level in every state. it provides timely, con— nformation to members of Congress, pro- esilegislative action, channels financial support srael candidates for office, and lobbies the the branch. PAC has been successful in its lobbying s'for a number of reasons: it has ample funds hpaign contributions and advertising, $130 the offices of the majority of members of toss, and understands the power of Jewish le Holocaust, and sensitivity about anti— __l_$m to influence public opinion and deci- '0 iected officials. Moreover, AIPAC lever- aign Policy U. . POLICY IN 'rnn MIDDLE EAST 165 ages the influence of highly developed local Jewish community networks well-versed in polit- ical action. AlPAC is aided additionally by the interests it represents. Israeli and Jewish issues are easily focused, whereas evangelical or Muslim and Arab Middle Eastern issues span a range of religious and regional variables. Since the early 1990s, other American Jewish organizations have tried to promote a more progressive agenda on Middle East policy issues, viewing AIPAC as dominated by conservative voices out of sync with the liberal leanings of most American Jews. There are Arab iobbying organizations also, the best—known of which is the American—Arab Anti— Discrimination ConimitteeiNational Association of Arab Americans. Originally two separate orga— nizations, the two merged in 2001. The NAAA was founded in 1972 as a response to AlPAC and served as a lobbying group and a political action committee. It did not, however, have the financial resources of AIPAC and proved to be less suc- cessful in getting its members out in shows of sup— port (or criticism) for Middle East policies. The ADC started as a grassroots organization drawing attention to issues affecting Arab Americans, and it continues to act as a watchdog group in addition to presenting Arab concerns before the executive and legislative branches. The Arab American Institute, founded in 1985, has become a vocal advocate on behalf of Arab Americans. A problem for the Arab lobby is the diversity it represents. The Arab world comprises twenty-two states (including the North African countries and the Palestinian territories), all with their own interests that often do not coincide. One might say that they are united behind the Palestinian cause or in opposition to US. policy in lraq, but con“ cerning most issues, each country pursues its own agenda. Arab Americans are even more diverse than their countries of origin; there are Christian and Muslim Arabs, recent immigrants and thirth and fourth—generation Americans. The Arab lobby does not and cannot speak with one voice, a fact that greatly diminishes its effectiveness in lob— bying Congress. Among Arabs in the United States, Lebanese Americans would likely be considered the 166 most successful, as they are more effectively orga— nized than other immigrant communities from the region. In some cases, large numbers of people from Arab, Iranian, and Muslim communities may be refugees or exiles who are either hostile or indifferent toward the governments in their home countries, a situation distinct from Jewish corn— munities, which usually tend to have positive - attachment to Israel. Energy companies and Ira- nian Americans have interests in the region, but they are not represented by the Arab or Jewish lobbies. US. Middle East Policy T he Wilson Administration (1913—1921) President Woodrow Wilson set the framework for US. policy in the Middle East when he endorsed a 1917 letter from British foreign secre- tary Arthur Balfour to Lord Lionel Rothschild, a British Zionist leader, pledging that Britain would support the establishment in Palestine of a “national home” for the Jewish people on the understanding “that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non—Jewish communities in Palestine.” The US. Congress adopted a resolution approving the declaration in September 1922. Wilson also strongly influenced the post—World War I peace settlement that established national boundaries for the Middle East, conceiving of the interim League of Nations mandates that led to the formation of most of the countries in the Middle East today. In July 1922, the League of Nations approved giving Great Britain a mandate over Palestine that went into force September 22, 1923, and contained a preamble incorporating the Bal- four Declaration and stressing the Jews” historical connection to Palestine. The mandate made Britain responsible for placing the country under such “political, administrative, and economic con— ditions as will secure the establishment of a Jewish National Home.” For the most part, how- ever, the Middle East failed to hold the United States’ attention during the interwar years. This OVERVIEW OF THE MIDDLE EAST situation would change with World War [1) th importance of Middle Eastern oil, the establish? ment of Israel, and the cold war. In relatively Shofi order, the region’s status shifted from a backmter to a strategic priority for Washington. T he Truman Administration (1945‘! 953) The United States led the post—World war H effort to lift restrictions on Jews entering Pales. tine. In August 1945, President Harry S Tmman called for the free settlement of Palestine by JewS to a point consistent with maintaining Civil peace. He also suggested in a letter to British prime minister Clement R. Attlee that an addi_ tional hundred thousand Jews be allowmi to enter. In December, both houses of Congress adopted a resolution urging US. aid in opening Palestine to Jewish immigrants and in building a “democratic commonwealth,” Meanwhile, Britain, eager to have the United States share reSponsibility for its Jewish immigra. tion policy, joined with the United States in November 1945 to establish a commission to examine the admission of European Jews to Pales- tine. Britain also agreed to admit an additional fif— teen hundred Jews each month. In April 1946, the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry recom- mended the immediate admission ol" a hundred thousand Jews into Palestine and continuation of the British mandate until a UN trusteeship could be established. Truman endorsed the proposal, but Britain stipulated that before it would agree to continue its mandate, underground Jewish forces in Palestine would have to disband. On October 4, 1946, Truman released a colt}- munication sent to the British government In which he appealed for “substantial immigration” into Palestine “at once” and expressed support fer the Zionist plan for creating a “viable Jewtsh state” in part of Palestine. Britain expressed regret that Truman’s statement had been made pub“? at that time, fearing that the unqualified expmssmn Of US support for a Jewish state would reduce the chances of a compromise between indigenous Arabs and Jewish immigrants. Britain, tired 0 ...
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 02/26/2009 for the course GOV 312L taught by Professor Madrid during the Spring '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

Page1 / 8

pp1-8-Middle East CQ 1 of 4 - n’s history. OPEC h...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 8. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online