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No Marshall Plan for the Middle East

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Journal Article

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The George Washington University Washington United States

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At first blush, the idea that the United States, working with other nations, should initiate, guide, and finance economic development and introduce democratic regimes to the nations of the Middle Eastjust as it did in postWorld War II Germany and Japanis appealing. From a humanitarian viewpoint, one cannot help but be moved by the idealism of helping millions of people who are currently unemployed and poorincluding many children and young people, and others who live under oppressive regimesto gain the kind of life Americans cherish. From a realpolitik viewpoint, military means will not suffice when it comes to ending the terrorism that threatens the United States and its allies, or halting the insurgencies that destabilize the Middle East. General James Jones, who served as National Security Advisor to President Barack Obama, summarized the viewpoint held by many other military leaders. He stated that there are three things needed to attain peace One is the security pillar, and youve got to have that. But accompanying that, you have to have an economic package that gives people who dont have any hope, hope for a better future. Thats the answer to the terrorist threat, really. . . . And the third one is governance and rule of law, and I include corruption and all of those other things.1 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates agreed. He held that economic development, institution-building and the rule of law, promoting internal reconciliation, good governance, providing basic services to the people, training and equipping indigenous military and police forces, strategic communications, and morethese, along with security, are essential ingredients for long-term success.2 Moreover, the defeated nations were treated differently after the World Wars. Following World War I, the nations that lost were given a raw deal, which is widely believed to be one reason that Fascism rose and in turn led to World War II.

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  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Humanities and History
  • Government and Political Science

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