The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Hopeless Case for U.S. Policy in the Middle East?
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The Israeli-Palestinian issue remains one of the most significant and difficult dilemmas facing the international community. The ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has directly and indirectly spawned several regional wars in the past five decades, threatened Western access to critical oil resources in the Middle East, provided a justification for increased militarization throughout the region, and caused a high number of civilian deaths as a result of terrorism. To end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is not simply a question concerning Israels security and finding a just solution for the Palestinians, it is vital for the interests of the United States in the region. Israeli-Palestinian peace prospects, however, are not hopeful. Many peace plans have been advocated to reach a settlement and the United States, under every president from Truman to George W. Bush, has undertaken efforts on its own. The United States should take the lead in a renewed diplomatic initiative of the international community to facilitate a sustainable settlement. Only through direct and firm U.S. commitment to a renewed peace process can the current cycle of violence be broken and a sustainable settlement reached. A new strategy should involve the Arab nations, be based on an international consensus on the end-state for both conflict parties up front, and should establish firm milestones on the road to peace. A successful long-term approach has to consider all issues preventing a peaceful coexistence of Israelis and Palestinians. Taking the broader regional security issues into contemplation, a diplomatic U.S. engagement with Syria and Iran should be considered a supporting effort in an attempt to stabilize the region. Potential economic incentives as well as security cooperation could provide the opportunity to discuss the cessation of Syrian and Iranian support to radical groups in the region, particularly in Lebanon and Palestine.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics