Monday, July 11, 2016

Should The U.S. Revisit The 'Carter Doctrine' And The Role Of The U.S. In The Persian Gulf?

A F/A-18E Super Hornet lands onboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush in the Persian Gulf August 12, 2014. REUTERS/HAMAD I MOHAMMED

Josh Cohen, Reuters: The U.S. commitment to the Persian Gulf is outdated

American leaders are used to paying homage to Saudi Arabia, and President Barack Obama is no exception. At a recent meeting in Washington between Obama and Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Obama again "reaffirmed the strategic partnership between the United States and Saudi Arabia."

It’s worth questioning why Washington remains so committed to the relationship with the Saudis and other Persian Gulf states. From their autocratic governments and treatment of women, to their contributions to the spread of Islamic extremism, Washington chooses to align itself with regimes that arguably do not reflect American values or interests.

The answer to this question lies in a 36-year-old policy first articulated by President Jimmy Carter. In his 1980 State of the Union address, Carter pledged to protect the free flow of oil from the Persian Gulf, stating that the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan brought Soviet forces “close to the Straits of Hormuz, a waterway through which most of the world's oil must flow… that poses a grave threat to the free movement of Middle East oil.”

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WNU Editor: The U.S. should re-examine its policies towards the Middle East ... but we all know that it is not going to happen. Too many interests are involved, and the last thing that anyone wants in the U.S./Europe/Asia/Middle East/etc. is to further change the status quo in a region that does not react well when the status quo is changed.