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An Analysis Of The United States Failed Strategies And Misguided Image Of Syria And The Middle East That Consequently Lead To The Failure Of Deter

2282 words - 10 pages

In June 2012, just over a year from the beginning of the Syrian uprising, President Barack Obama warned the Syrian government Bashar al–Assad that he would be crossing the ‘red line’ and will face immeasurable consequences if there was any use of chemical weapons in the ongoing civil war. Yet one year later there was a use of outlawed toxins that killed hundreds of civilians in the rebel controlled and disputed areas of Syria. Soon later the U.S claimed to have acquired evidence that this was an attack by President Bashar al-Assad that was using Chemical weapons against his own citizens (Blake & Mahmud, 2013:246). According to Zisser 2013, Barak Obama’s failure to deter President Bashar ...view middle of the document...

The U.S’s declining power in the Middle East
It can be argued that U.S. influence in the Middle East has dramatically declined since the Arab uprisings began in January 2011. Critics have blamed this on unskilled diplomacy by the current administration, but this is only part of the explanation for America’s loss of authority in the region that can be taken back to the Bush administration. Since the U.S invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S developed a negative and hateful image in the Middle East, however it also acquired a strong and fearful image that expressed Washington’s position as the worlds hegemonic power (Zisser, 2013). According to Zisser, Bush’s administration accelerated the eruption of the Arab uprisings, by imposing policies on the region in order to promote democracy, which lead to crucial changes in the history of America’s influence on the region. Bush’s military invasion in Iraq sought to stabilize the country by supporting a regime change through democratic elections. The transition was intended to promote democracy in the country and create an ally for the Western world amongst the Arab countries, mainly in order to overcome terrorism (Zisser, 2013). This approach reflects the liberal perspective of the U.S, as it believes that human nature is not fixed and can be changed. Furthermore liberals see the benefits of cooperation between states that can enable trust between them and different actors, for this to occur democracy is essential, and therefore Bush seeks to promote it in the region (Baylis et al, 2011:102). Unfortunately, even though victory in Iraq was publicly declared, Bush’s liberal approach failed to eliminate the majority of enemy forces, due to mistaken strategies and failed policies. In the years following the invasion bush sent more and more troops to the region and articulated new strategies, however none of the strategies could take control of the growing number and spread of insurgents. Over time the ‘victory’ and significance of the U.S’s role in the collapse of Saddam’s regime lost most of its impact, which lead to a dramatic decline in U.S power over the region (Dobransky, 2014). From the start, the Obama administration sought to distinguish itself from its former government and aspired to change the U.S’s status in the Middle East. However the steps taken in order to achieve this, especially in Syria’s case didn’t seem to be adequately effective. It took Washington more time than expected to construct a policy towards the Syrian uprising and two months for president Obama to give an official statement, declaring that Bashar al-Assad needs to step down. Obama’s early declarations were not accompanied by actions and did not have the slightest impact on Assad’s regime (Zisser, 2013). From the given history of U.S actions towards the middle east, it can be found that Washington’s hesitation of articulating and imposing its liberal policies on the middle east, accompanied by verbal threats, have minimal or no...

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