Beyond the Bush Doctrine

by Waleed Hazbun
published in MER249

Will the Bush doctrine come to an end on January 20, 2009, when President Barack Obama takes office? Surely, Obama will distance himself from regime change and preventive war. He has pledged to de-escalate the Iraq war with a phased redeployment and rebuild America’s alliances and image abroad through leadership and diplomacy. Most ambitiously, he has stated that American security and wellbeing depend “on the security and wellbeing of those who live beyond our borders…in the understanding that the world shares a common security and a common humanity.” These differences notwithstanding, will the next administration break dramatically from the patterns that have long defined the US approach to the Middle East? There is little reason to think so.

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