US Policies Adrift in a Levant in Turmoil

ULUSLARARASI İLİŞKİLER, VOLUME 15, NUMBER 60, 2018 

Evrim GÖRMÜŞ* and Soli ÖZEL**

ABSTRACT

The Levant has constituted one of the core areas of interest for US foreign policy since the Second World War. The aim of this article is to shed light on the US policies towards the Levant, mostly during the last two American administrations, to understand how the vicissitudes of the region and of American politics made Washington’s policy towards the Levant look biased, at times incompetent, and most importantly inconsistent. This article examines the changes in approach to the region as a whole from one administration to the next on issues such as the protection of Israel’s sovereignty, supporting friendly regimes, fighting terrorism, and containing Iran. The hesitations and shifts in policy towards Syria are given a longer treatment as they speak both to the yet not finalized American policy towards the Levant but also to show how the US has shifted track and moved away from unseating President Assad to focus more on containing and if possible rolling over Iran.

Keywords: Levant, Middle East, US Foreign Policy, the Syrian Uprising, Post-Islamic State

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* Asst. Prof. Dr., Department of Political Science and International Relations, MEF University, İstanbul.

** Senior Lecturer, Department of International Relations, Kadir Has University, İstanbul.


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