September 11 - One Year On: No Escape

In reflecting on how our world has changed since September 11, one obvious conclusion is that although the President of the United States may arguably be the most powerful person in the world, he is as much driven by world events as he is able to control them.

The World Today Updated 23 October 2020 Published 1 August 2002 4 minute READ

Jerrold D. Green

Director of International Programs and Center for Middle East Public Policy, RAND

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.

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