By Adam Davis
The rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in the Middle East has caused concern among Americans.
The University of Dallas hosted Dr. Michael Doran, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, at a discussion panel that addressed U.S. foreign policy in the wake of the rise of ISIS in the Middle East. The panel was hosted by the university’s chapter of the Alexander Hamilton Society and took place on Wednesday, Oct. 29 in upstairs Haggar.
Doran argued that the United States’ grand strategy is to create “a concert system” in the Middle East.
Central to this theory, he argued, is the idea that the United States has abandoned its policy of containment first instituted during the Cold War.
The Obama administration, he argued, occasionally references and supports the 2006 Iraq Study Group (ISG) Report. The report argued that the United States should pull out of Iraq, send more troops to Afghanistan, reach out to Iran and to Syria and institute a national policy focused on the beginning of peace talks.
Each of these policies, Doran argued, have been started by the Obama administration, proving administration’s intentions to follow the ISG report, abandon the policy of containing Iran and seek diplomatic ties with Iran and Syria.
Doran stated that President Obama has used the ISIS emergency to bring Iran “further into the security architecture of the Middle East.”
According to Doran, U.S. lawmakers have sensed and cracked down on the incomprehensible rhetoric coming out of the White House.
Marco Rubio, member of the United States Senatorial Committee on Foreign Relations, has lead a role in investigating the Obama administration’s puzzling apparent lack of clear foreign policy toward ISIS.
According to Doran, the United States cannot say it is working directly with Iran because of the nation’s infamous reputation and controversial nuclear program.
Obama’s “political vision” is a containment strategy that includes direct negotiations — and therefore contact — with Iranian government officials regarding the spread of ISIS in the Middle East.
According to Doran, Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East coincides with a key tenant of ISG co-chair James Baker’s philosophy: Iran and the United States share a common interest and therefore can build a relationship, however tenuous, from the ashes of a derelict transatlantic diplomatic relationship.
Ultimately, the United States’ goal in the Middle East is to “create an alliance committed to the creation of an order” that can ultimately initiate a peace in the region.
Dr. Richard Dougherty, chair of the University of Dallas’ politics department, posed two concerns, key to addressing the rise of ISIS in the Middle East.
First, he stated that the United States must examine its principle for intervention and must consider the weight of such decisions, accounting for the obligations needed to repeat such policies anywhere foreign terrorist organizations arise.
Second, Dougherty argued that future U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East must include clear and defined goals to preserve global security interests.
Dr. William Atto of UD’s history department argued that President Theodore Roosevelt’s relationship with the Philippines included the goal of “democratization” and that the history of such policy is questionable at best and can serve as a guide to future foreign policy formation.