Hadar provides a sweeping re-examination of the conceptual bases of American policy and calls for strategy of 'constructive disengagement' from the region, a policy of benign neglect as a way of promoting the interests of the United States as well as those of the people of the Middle East. Continued American presence and involvement in the Middle East has tremendous political and economic costs that outweigh the benefits. There is a need for regional states to take increased responsibility for security, economic growth, and political stability. The European Union should also play a greater role due to its geographical proximity, economic ties and demographic links to the region. The time has come for a serious debate on the future involvement of the United States in the Middle East.
LEON HADAR is Research Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, USA.