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The Economic Ties and Political Interests of the United States in the Middle East and North Africa

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Authors
Esfahani, Hadi Salehi
Issue Date
2012
Publisher
서울대학교 미국학연구소
Citation
미국학, Vol.35 No.1, pp. 1-38
Keywords
MENA(the Middle East and North Africa)GCC(the Gulf Cooperation Council)IsraelU.S.Iran
Abstract
American policymakers typically view the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as a strategic region, a place of “vital” economic and political interest for the United States. The region’s markets have also been developing and have become targets for U.S. exports and investment. But those interests, though growing, remain overshadowed by oil and other non-economic concerns. The region’s vast oil reserves are clearly a key component of American strategic interest, intertwining a variety of other economic and political factors. Among the non-economic concerns, America’s commitment to support Israel has been the determinant factor in shaping the American policy toward this region. The pursuit of these interests has been associated with complex, sometimes quite polar, reactions among the region’s population, some welcoming the U.S. involvement and some rejecting it. This article discusses these issues in the context of the political economy of the U.S. and MENA countries, focusing largely on Iran, Israel, and the GCC. It first examines the trends in economic relations between the U.S. and MENA countries and then compares them with the trends in the corresponding political relationships. It then reviews the interests and strategies of the U.S., Iran, Israel, and the GCC and analyzes various scenarios emerging from their interactions. It argues that the Arab Awakening and other recent political developments in the region are likely to reduce tensions between Iran and the other countries. Finally, the article derives implications for possible ways tensions might be reduced apart from or in addition to the Arab Awakening effects.
ISSN
1229-4381
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/88687
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Researcher Institutes (연구소)American Studies Institute (미국학연구소)미국학미국학 Volume 35 Number 1/2 (2012)
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