Obama and the Middle Eats:The End of America’s Moment? Fawaz A Gerges, Palgrve Macmillan, Pp 292 (HB), $28.00
THE Obama administration paid special interest to the middle east, as it had inherited from the former president a politically volatile region. In his book Obama And The Middle East, Fawaz A Gerges tries to surmise that the United States is losing its hold over the region.
Gerges explains that the reading of the US foreign policies under various administrations, including the two under Bush and the current one under Obama reflect an objective of continued access to over 70 per cent of the world’s reserve of crude oil, along with balancing commitments to keep the US allies like Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt happy. According to Gerges, the Tahrir uprisings were the earliest among a growing number of indicators that showed that the US was losing its sway. While the US Government weighed its options, the locals set themselves in motion to grab democracy for themselves. Gerges believes that the Obama administration has done little that can be considered radically different. As he explores various issues regarding the middle east, Gerges gives his due attention the global war on terrorism, the Israel-Palestine conflict and shows that while most the Obama administration has brought more of the same, the policies do appear to have tempered some of the steel edged approach the Bush administration was famous for. Gerges believes that the policy pursued by successive US administrations since World War II are at the root of the current bitterness and mistrust. He calls for a remake of the American foreign policy. A good read from a scholar.
Fawaz Gerges is a professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics and has authored several books on the subject.
(Palgrve Macmillan, St. Martin’s Press, 175, Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010)