Middle East Notes and Comment: Paradigm Shift
February 14, 2013
American foreign policy strategy has been dynamic for much of this century, but its underlying principles have been relatively stable. For more than four decades, the Cold War provided a durable organizing principle, and for the two decades that followed, a quest for energy security has explained much of how the United States has seen the world.
Each had clear implications for how the United States approached the Middle East. With the rise of U.S. domestic energy production in the coming years, however, energy security seems a less durable guide going forward—and no one knows what will replace it. Whatever does, it seems likely that, for the first time in three quarters of a century, the Middle East will not be a central component of U.S. global strategy.