Middle East: Tense Times

Whatever happened to the Middle East peace process — no peace and very little process. As George W. Bush steps into the White House the language of confrontation echoes loudly and insistently around the region. So could Bush the younger look to his father’s approach for inspiration? Unfortunately much has changed in the intervening years — almost all of it for the worse.

The World Today
4 minute READ

Rosemary Hollis

Former Director, Olive Tree Israeli-Palestinian Scholarship Programme, City, University of London

If George W. Bush were looking for a formula for US policy in the Middle East, on the face of it, he might do worse than pick up his father’s vision for the region, articulated in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War. At that time Bush senior identified four challenges that he believed would have to be met to bring peace and order.

First, there would have to be a collective effort ‘to create shared security arrangements in the region.’ The primary responsibility would rest with the regional states, but they could expect the United States to help. Second, action would have to be taken to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the missiles used to deliver them. Iraq in particular, according to Bush senior, would have to be prevented from gaining ‘access to the instruments of war.’

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