US Policy

Looking Beyond the Struggle for Palestinian Statehood

It is difficult to overstate the crisis in which Palestinians find themselves over 100 years after the Balfour Declaration and over 70 years after the Nakba. Palestinians are living as refugees without civil rights in places like Lebanon. Refugees who had lived in...

Consequences of US Financial Warfare in the Middle East

When the COVID-19 pandemic spiked in Iran in March 2020, calls for lifting financial restrictions to allow the import of much needed medical supplies fell on deaf ears in President Donald Trump’s administration. The White House had no intention of putting the brakes...

The Enduring Lessons of the Iraq Sanctions

The economic sanctions imposed on Iraq by the United Nations Security Council, from 1990 to 2003, may well lay claim to be the worst humanitarian catastrophe ever imposed in the name of global governance. The unconscionable human damage done by those sanctions is...

The Tragedies and Dilemmas of US Intervention in Northeast Syria

At the very beginning of the Syrian uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Asad in 2011, and during the early stages of the slide into civil war, Washington made the serious miscalculation that the Asad regime would fall quickly. When the regime failed to...

Rethinking US Policy Toward Iran: A Forum

While US relations with Iran have been adversarial since the 1979 Islamic revolution, President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA) in 2018 and his belligerent implementation of a “maximum pressure” policy has on more than one occasion risked...

Six Steps to Reform US Agricultural Policy in the Arab Region

People in the Arab region have long been hungry—for dignity, but also for food. Hunger is a social phenomenon: the “biological manifestation of underdevelopment,” in the words of Brazilian geographer Josué de Castro.[1] Underdevelopment is the reverse coin of...

A Not-So-Modest Proposal to Nationalize the Defense Industry

Shifting the course of catastrophic American policy in the Middle East requires bolder steps than changes in doctrine and grand strategy. A substantially less militarized foreign policy necessitates altering the structural political economies that have justified,...

The Defense Industry’s Role in Militarizing US Foreign Policy

As the welfare state shrinks, one of the last sure bets for big government spending is the maintenance of the warfare state. As the global coronavirus pandemic has made incredibly clear, the US government is disinclined to pump federal resources into health programs,...

The Oil for Security Myth and Middle East Insecurity

Since the end of World War II, US policy toward the Middle East has ostensibly been dedicated to protecting the free flow of hydrocarbons to sustain the global economy. In reality, America’s pursuit of energy security has increased insecurity in the region through conflict, militarization and support for neoliberal authoritarians. Jacob Mundy explains why oil for security is a myth and how the current glut of oil presents a dangerous new twist.

Reimagining US Engagement with a Turbulent Middle East

Amidst the horror of President Donald Trump’s reckless actions in the Middle East there is an urgent need to not only oppose his policies, but also to envision a new path for the United States. Trump has endorsed the Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory,...

Exit Empire

MERIP has offered critical analysis of US foreign policy in the Middle East for almost 50 years. Beginning with decades of work by co-founder Joe Stork and others, contributors to Middle East Report have documented US support for regimes that suppressed popular...

The Oil for Security Myth and Middle East Insecurity

Jacob Mundy 06.9.2020

Since the end of World War II, US policy toward the Middle East has ostensibly been dedicated to protecting the free flow of hydrocarbons to sustain the global economy. In reality, America’s pursuit of energy security has increased insecurity in the region through conflict, militarization and support for neoliberal authoritarians. Jacob Mundy explains why oil for security is a myth and how the current glut of oil presents a dangerous new twist.

Rethinking US Policy Toward Iran: A Forum

05.27.2020

The Trump administration’s aggressive stance toward Iran defines much of US policy toward the Middle East. Any effort to imagine new paths for US policy in the region will need to reformulate US-Iran relations. Middle East Report reached out to seven scholars and policy analysts for their thoughts on some critical questions. This forum is a preview of MERIP’s forthcoming issue, “Exit Empire – Imagining New Paths for US Policy.”

Iraqi Protesters Thwarted by Trump’s Iran Policy

Yousef K. Baker 02.11.2020

The recent US assassination of Iranian Maj. Gen. Soleimani has had dire consequences for the Iraqi protest movement and its calls for substantive changes in the Iraqi political system.

Trump’s Enabling Role in Rising Regional Repression

US President Donald Trump’s public embrace of autocrats and his virtual silence on their repressive behavior appears to have made autocrats, particularly those allied to the United States, less constrained than they were in the past.

Kushner’s Technocratic Vision and the Unlearned Lessons of Fayyadism

Alexei Abrahams 10.20.2019

Jared Kushner unveiled the economic side of President Trump’s “deal of the century” for Palestinians in June 2019. In addition to its economic flaws is a technocrat’s aversion to confronting Israel’s entrenched occupation.

Countering Christian Zionism in the Age of Trump

Mimi Kirk 08.8.2019

Behind President Trump’s fervent embrace of Israel are millions of Christian Zionists who believe that the establishment of a Jewish ethnostate in Palestine is a requirement for the fulfillment of end-times prophecies. But a growing movement of Christians is challenging this controversial theology.

The New Landscape of Intervention

Even as the 2000’s saw the return of traditional forms of imperial intervention—with the US deployment of military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq in pursuit of a quixotic and unwinnable War on Terror—there are increasingly new forms of intervention that must be understood, assessed and mapped.

George Bush in Khartoum

Khartoum. The hand-painted sign on Nile Avenue here best captured the attitude of urban Sudanese toward the visit of Vice President George Bush to their country in early March, just four weeks before the popular overthrow of President Ja‘far Numairi. “Vice-President and Mrs. Bush,” read the sign, “are mostly welcome.” The millions of Sudanese starving in the countryside would have been much less hospitable.

The United States’ Recognition of Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel and the Challenge to the International Consensus

On December 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump announced that the US was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and would be moving its embassy there from Tel Aviv in fulfillment of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act (henceforth Embassy Act). In one fell swoop, the US has seriously challenged 70 years of international consensus enshrined in international law as regards the status of the city, and put the potential for a two-state solution into a tail-spin. What are the consequences of this major policy change?

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