Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts U.S. Strategy in a Transitioning Middle East: Reviving ‘State Responsibility’

U.S. Strategy in a Transitioning Middle East: Reviving ‘State Responsibility’


In light of the uncertainty surrounding the Middle East stemming from the Arab Awakening, and the inability of Washington to shape the process of transition, U.S. decision- makers must rethink their strategy for the region in general and for counterterrorism in particular. Reducing U.S. involvement in the region and letting the dust settle will serve American interests better and allow for building healthier relations with Middle Eastern countries. At the same time, since the risk of negative effects on neighboring states that accompany transition must be kept in check, the United States, together with other powers, should lead the international community in reviving the principle of “state responsibility” as a productive way to reduce spillover of conflicts and even provide incentives for actors in the region to limit violence.

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