Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs

Reports and Papers

The Middle East: Changing from External Arbiter to Regional Player

Chapter from, America and a Changed World: A Question of Leadership
Claire Spencer, May 2010

This chapter taken from the book, America and a Changed World: A Question of Leadership, assesses the challenges and changes the Obama administration faces in the Middle East.

The chapter argues that President Obama has set his administration on the difficult path of appealing simultaneously to America's traditional ruling allies and, beyond them, to their increasingly disenchanted citizens. At some stage, the Obama administration will have to face a clear choice between the aspirations of the former to stay in power at all costs and of the latter to play a greater role in shaping the future of the region.

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