7 Jun 2022


The United States’ foreign policy on terrorism and threats from the Middle East

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Identify foreign policy 

The United States of America is a nation that is considered a superpower in the entire world. Its influence all over the world is very huge. The United States has had one foreign policy since the end of the Cold War, when it comes to issues of terrorism and threats to its national security from the Middle East. This foreign policy has been proactively going for the hideouts of militia groups in the Middle East with an intention of killing, destabilizing or destroying their networks even before they strike it (Fischer, 2016). This foreign policy has been carried on by all the presidents of the United States since the 20 th century to the present. The rationale behind this particular foreign policy is that it is better to stop and destabilize the militia groups from their planning areas before they come to strike the country (Fischer, 2016). The United States has various national interests in the Middle East, which it must guard through military power. For instance, the U.S. depends on oil from the Middle East. It also has its citizens in this region, especially in Israel. The outcome of this particular foreign policy that is pursued by the U.S. has been great hatred for the American people by the Muslim militia groups. The new U.S. President, Donald Trump has signaled a change from this foreign policy to an alternative one that prioritizes withdrawal from the Middle East and safeguarding the homeland from within the nation. It is a new foreign policy that has its strengths and weaknesses. 

It is important to note that national security involves economic, social and political wellbeing of the citizens of a given country. The implication of this definition is that there is no national security when the economy of a country is in a crisis (Fischer, 2016). There is no national security when the political space of a given nation is unstable. Moreover, there is no security in a nation, when the social life of people is not good because of living in constant fear of terrorist attacks. It is incumbent on the national government to provide this important national security to its citizens (Fischer, 2016). In essence, the safety and welfare of the citizens are in the custody of the national government. It is vital to state that when former President Obama entered office in 2009, the United States was in the middle of a very huge financial crisis. This financial crisis that Obama found on entering office was billed as the greatest since the Great Depression of the 1930s. At this time, the American Military was stuck in the Afghanistan and Iraq (Fischer, 2016). Face with the urgent and most pressing need of curing the financial crisis and restoring the soci8al life of Americans, Obama lowered the U.S. commitment in the Middle East. But the U.S. military did not withdraw from the Middle East. 

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Involvement in military action within the Middle East has remained the underpinning part of the United States foreign policy in relation to national security (Fischer, 2016). In the recent past, there have been developments that made the U.S. to step up its involvement in the Middle East. For instance, events like the Arab Spring, the NATO-led multinational military intervention in Libya, the Syrian civil war and the tough process that led to the Iran nuclear deal have remained to be sensitive issues, which forced the American military to continue with its mission in the Middle East (Chomsky, Achcar & Shalom, 2015). This involvement in the Middle East has come with huge positive results for the country considering the minimal cases of terrorism in the United States. It was also through this involvement of the American military in the Middle East that Sadam Hussein, the lethal terrorist, was killed. However, despite the many results to write home about, I believe that this involvement of the American troops in the Middle East is not the right foreign policy for the country currently (Fischer, 2016). It has caused much hatred for the American people and they live in fear within the Middle East. Americans settling in the Middle East are persecuted and tortured whenever caught by the militia groups. Moreover, considering the Bowling Green incident, this current foreign policy has to be abandoned and an alternative one adopted. 

Identify an alternative policy 

The alternative foreign policy that should be pursued by the United States in relation to issues of national security is withdrawing its troops from the Middle East and maintaining the national security from within the homeland. The focus should shift from the Middle East to homeland security (Fischer, 2016). Former President Obama left a great legacy because he minimized the focus on the Middle East and concentrated on building the country (Fischer, 2016). A lot of things happened in the Middle East, including the Civil War in Syria where chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime on civilians, but Obama remained hesitant to have the American troops involved in this Middle East country. More energy has to be put safeguarding the homeland. 

Opponents of this alternative foreign policy argue that it would be a sign of defeat since American troops have not yet achieved their mission in this region. However, such a notion may be held by only those who do not have deep reasoning on the impact of the current foreign policy to the United States itself (Fischer, 2016). Moreover, this alternative foreign policy has been tested under the Obama administration and it worked well. It is high time it be applied to its full level. 

Strengths and weaknesses of the alternative policy 


Retreating and withdrawing from the Middle East to come back and safeguard the homeland is the alternative foreign policy that the United States should now pursue. The involvement in the Middle East has cost the country huge losses in terms of finance. Therefore, the strength of withdrawing from the Middle East is a stable financial status for the federal government (Fischer, 2016). The federal; government must note that the involvement in the Middle East is what made it difficult for the country to come out of the financial crisis. It was until after the year 2009 when Obama took power and decided to reduce focus from the Middle East and concentrate on building the nation that the financial crisis ended. When a country goes into a military operation in another nation or region, a lot of money is used in funding the military mission (Fischer, 2016). It must be noted that military arsenal is among the most expensive commodities in the world. Therefore, engaging in war or any military action is a very costly affair for a given country. It is a cause of action that generates economic ripples, which significantly destabilizes the financial status of the nation. The United States will benefit from the financial strength that will be gained from implementing this alternative foreign policy. The military troops should act where there is sufficient necessity. 

Additionally, the strength of this alternative policy is that the many Americans who live in the Middle East will stop being harassed and living in fear. The level of hatred against the Americans will reduce significantly (Van Buren, 2016). They will not feel the same animosity experienced currently. The reduction in hatred against the Americans may lower the number of terrorist cases targeting them in various places of the earth (Fischer, 2016). What must be considered is that the terrorists from the Middle East do not just target the Americans who live in the United States, but they go for those living in the country’s foreign embassies. This trend can end or be minimized when the country decides to withdraw from the Middle East. 

Furthermore, the United States will have more resources channeled towards maintaining the national security of the country from within the homeland. When all the resources are put into safeguarding the borders of the nation and maintaining internal security, terrorists cannot easily harm the country (Weber, 2013). However, when concentration is divided between the mission in the Middle East and the need for homeland security, the terrorists are at an upper hand of striking the country and killing people. 


Although it is a strategy recommendable for the United States of America, withdrawing from the Middle East also comes with its weaknesses. The first weakness is that terrorists will be left to plan and execute attacks in the United States easily (Fischer, 2016). Presence in the Middle East hampers the activities of the terrorists since the troops are always present in their hideouts. The plans of the terrorists are stopped even before they mature. They are completely incapacitated and reduced to the action of defending themselves (Fischer, 2016). Therefore, they cannot plan for any strong and successful terrorist attack. However, when the U.S. withdraws from the Middle East, the terrorists will have all the ample time and environment and plan and launch their attacks (Fischer, 2016). 

Finally, adopting the foreign policy of safeguarding the country from within and not going for the militia groups where they operate leaves the American military with the strategy of only being reactive, but not proactive (Fischer, 2016). The role of the American military will have been reduced to that of only reacting to attacks from the terrorists. This situation is a very dangerous one fort the entire country. 


Chomsky, N., Achcar, G., & Shalom, S. R. (2015).  Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy Dialogues on Terror, Democracy, War, and Justice . Abidgon-on-Thames: Routledge. 

Fischer, D. (2016). Mission failure: America and the world in the post-Cold War era. By Michael Mandelbaum.  International Issues & Slovak Foreign Policy Affairs 25 (3-4), 96-99. 

Van Buren, P. (2016). “Why the US Should Withdraw from the Middle East.” Naked Capitalism. January, 17. http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/01/peter-van-buren-why-the-us-should-withdraw-from-the-middle-east.html (March, 22). 

Weber, P. (2013). “What Happens If the US Disengages from the Middle East?” The Week. December, 2. http://theweek.com/articles/455341/what-happens-disengages-from-middle-east (March, 20). 

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