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The Unpredictability of US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Increase and the Impact on the Region’s Security

This paper discusses the (un)predictability of US foreign policy in the MENA region and the impact of this (un)predictability on the region’s (in)security in the light of some IR approaches with a focus on Iran's nuclear program during the presidencies of Barack Obama and Donald Trump. The analysis of Obama’s and Tump’s policies towards Iran’s nuclear program reveals that there were reoccurring fluctuations and inconsistencies in US policies not only across administrations, but it was also noted during the same administration. These fluctuations and inconsistencies made US policies uncertain and difficult to predict, which affirms the notion of ‘behavioral repetition’ in IR theory. Furthermore, the analysis reveals that the way regional actors responded to US unpredictable policies implied a mixture of fear and confusion, which endorses the realists’ and cognitivists’ understanding of the notion of uncertainty in IR respectively. Last but not least, we concluded that these responses destabilized the region or risked to destabilize it. The advancement of Iran's nuclear program, the war in Yemen and its destructive effects, the outbreak of mutual attacks between Iran and Israel, the risk to destabilize Iraq again and the deepening of fissures between members of the GCC are all cases in point. This conclusion is in line with Quincy Wright’s argument which highlights the importance of predictable political behavior and trust in maintaining the international order. In the same vein, Trump’s withdrawal from JCPOA and the conflicts it created support one of the premises of the liberal thought in IR, which highlight the importance of international institutions and international agreements in reducing conflicts and uncertainty.

USA, Foreign Policy, Unpredictability, Middl East, Insecurity

APA Style

Fouad Touzani. (2023). The Unpredictability of US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Increase and the Impact on the Region’s Security. Journal of Political Science and International Relations, 6(3), 80-86.

ACS Style

Fouad Touzani. The Unpredictability of US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Increase and the Impact on the Region’s Security. J. Polit. Sci. Int. Relat. 2023, 6(3), 80-86. doi: 10.11648/j.jpsir.20230603.12

AMA Style

Fouad Touzani. The Unpredictability of US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Increase and the Impact on the Region’s Security. J Polit Sci Int Relat. 2023;6(3):80-86. doi: 10.11648/j.jpsir.20230603.12

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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