Specifically, the Bush administration entered office with little enthusiasm for involving itself in the Middle East. This turbulent area of the world, which has been the undoing of many an American leader, has few attractions and many pitfalls for the occupant of the Oval Office.
It was well known and, from a domestic political perspective, even understandable, that President George Bush entered ofﬁce disinclined to deal with the Middle East. What occurred instead was a complete re-direction of US foreign policy, with the President having to spend more and more time and political capital dealing with multiple crises in the very part of the world he had hoped to avoid.
One lesson to be learned from recent events is that those who argue that the Middle East comprises a series of discrete political sectors with little relation to one another have been proven wrong.