Since the dawn of the industrial revolution there have been two consistent interlocking themes behind Middle Eastern-Great Power interactions. First, Great Powers have a tendency to view the Middle East as a strategic commodity, because of its geographic location and vital natural resources. Second, because of the strategic value the region presents, the Middle East has served as a prime battleground for macro-scale Great Power balance-of-power politics. Looking at American-Israeli relations through these scopes can provide insight into the current special relationship between the two states, and can help anticipate what relationship may look like when Israel is in a multi-polar world and American Middle Eastern foreign policy is less petroleum-centric. As, countries such as China and Brazil redefine American unipolairty, and America continues to incorporate climate change and peak-oil concerns into foreign policy, the American-Israeli relationship will loose several of its key links.
[...] Due to the strong lobby, it is almost politically infeasible to be anti-Israel and attempt to successfully navigate Washington politics. As Democratic Nominee for the 2008 presidential election, Barak Obama's first foreign policy speech was at AIPAC, declaring Israel's security “sacrosanct” and “non-negotiable”. Similarly, Republican Nominee John McCain noted to the Committee, are the most natural of allies.”. The four components of the Miller's lobby are effective tools to garner American support for Israel. However, Miller notes there is a fifth component to the relationship: a common fear of “violent extremist Islam,” which though specific, exemplifies Ben-Zvi's “national interest orientation.” Both Washington and Jerusalem are wary of the effects of intense Islamization on Middle Eastern stability. [...]
[...] These agendas range from British transatlantic empires to Russian wartime maneuverability, and so by concentrating their influence in regions and states that influence access to chokes points, Great Powers unlock the key to navigating Middle Eastern politics. The UK in Egypt, American in several allied states (Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia), and Russia in the Balkins are all examples of a Great Power concentrating influence in select areas, to maintain stability and achieve an agenda in the region. History shows Great Powers use their Middle Eastern spheres of influence as a geopolitically advantageous commodity, necessary to achieve their greater agendas. [...]
[...] In Kennedy and Johnson's concurrent tenures, spanning from 1961 to 1969, the Middle East earned its place on the global diplomatic table, as a petroleum reserve and proxy battleground for the international bipolar system, and Israel became valued as a critical regional ally. The “special relationship paradigm” and the “national interest orientation” were at all time highs, with Israel viewed with “high level[s]” of domestic support and as a “strategic asset” (Ben- Zvi, 25). The American-Israeli relationship was placed at the top of every American Secretary of Defense, Israeli Minister of Finance, American Secretary of Defense, and Israeli Minister of National Infrastructure's agenda, to the present day. [...]
[...] However, the United States will maintain access to petroleum, from a significant reserve of oil shale in the Green River Formation in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming. moderate estimate of 800 billion barrels of recoverable oil from oil shale in the Green River Formation is three times greater than the proven oil reserves of Saudi Arabia” (Oil Shale). With peak-oil projections diminishing the potential output of many OPEC producers, and a substantial domestic reserve, the shift from a dependence on foreign oil to the exploitation of domestic resources will be inevitable. [...]
[...] Together, the “special relationship paradigm” and the “national interest orientation” have interacted to shape American-Israeli relations since the Truman Administration, and can help to predict how they will interact in the coming century. History of the American-Israeli Relationship. In the Truman Presidency, the United States officially began diplomatic relations with Israel. Both products of remarkable national formations, America offered Israel de defacto recognition eleven minutes after its founding at the United Nations, on May The Truman presidency offered its tepid- recognition in the context of a two-part Middle Eastern agenda: the administration aimed to ensure a reliable petroleum supply, and concurrently check Russian expansion (Goldschmidt). [...]
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