pursued for years (Myers, 1997).
Among the critics of the Dual Containment policy was F. Gregory Gause III. He states that “the Dual Containment policy is shot through with logical flaws and practical inconsistencies and is based on faulty geopolitical premises; it is hard to see how either Iraq or Iran could be contained, in the administration’s sense, without the cooperation of its hostile counterpart” (Gause; 56/57).
Two approaches of U.S. for the region – Twin Pillar policy and Dual Containments – failed after the Islamic Revolution in Iran and after the aggression of Iraq toward Kuwait, so Dual Containment had been unable to deter either Iran or Iraq from expanding their military strength, and scholars recommended that U.S. should pursue a more active policy of engagement and enlargement for Iran and Iraq. When Iraq attacked Kuwait and Iran began its nuclear program it became obvious that the Dual Containment policy had not achieved its goals and the U.S. had failed in its policy, so they began to interfere in this region directly.
The critique of these scholars is that instead of relying on local states of the Persian Gulf for security arrangements, they believed that the United States must be a superior leader of security arrangements in this region while other main local countries of the region do not participated in the security process in the Persian Gulf area.
2.3.1 The Bush administration and Persian Gulf region
The main US policy toward the Persian Gulf in George W, Bush was direct invasion to Iraq and toppling Saddam’s regime from the power in 2003. The US policy regarding the Persian Gulf region during the presidency of George W Bush are represented in Condoleezza Rice, the foreign policy adviser to Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush and then Secretary of State during the eight years of President George W. Bush’s administration. Rice declared that the American foreign policy in the Republican administration should focus the United States on the national interest and priorities:
“…to ensure that Americas military can deter war, project power, and fight in defense of its interests if deterrence fails; to promote economic growth and political openness by extending free trade and a stable international monetary system to all committed to these principles, including in the western hemisphere, which has too often been neglected as a vital area of U.S. national interest; to renew strong and intimate relationships with allies who share American values and can thus share the burden of promoting peace, prosperity, and freedom; to focus U.S. energies on comprehensive relationships with the big powers, particularly Russia and China, that can and will mold the character of the international political system; and to deal decisively with the threat of rogue regimes and hostile powers, which is increasingly taking the forms of the potential for terrorism and the development of weapons of mass destruction (WMD)… (Rice, 2000).
The last sentence of her quoted article refers to the “rogue regimes”, “terrorism” and “weapons of mass destruction” that was deeply rooted in the dual containment policy of Clinton’s administration and after September 11, formally was declared by President Bush as the national security policy of the US. Rice emphasizes on military readiness and new weapons: “Military will have to take center stage… New weapons will have to be procured…” (Rice, p. 51). Such as ideas shows that George W. Bush’s policy was using force rather than diplomacy in the international relations and especially in the Persian Gulf as she express: “the American military must be able to meet decisively the emergence of any hostile military power in the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East, the Persian Gulf, and Europe (areas in which not only our interests but also those of our key allies are at stake) (Rice, p. 52).
Condoleezza Rice (2000) at the last part of her article express on coping with rogue regimes that are Iraq, North Korea and Iran. She believes Saddam is developing WMD and should be removed: “… He (Saddam) is therefore determined to develop WMD. Nothing will change until Saddam is gone, so the United States must mobilize whatever resources it can, including support from his opposition, to remove him”.
Finally Rice determines that although Iran’s motivation is not to disrupt simply the development of an international system but “have posed real problems for U.S. security”:
“…Fortunately, the Iranians do not have the kind of reach and power that the Soviet Union enjoyed in trying to promote its socialist alternative. But Iran’s tactics have posed real problems for U.S. security. It has tried to destabilize moderate Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, though its relations with the Saudis have improved recently. Iran has also supported terrorism against America and Western interests and attempted to develop and transfer sensitive military technologies” (Rice, p. 61).
As Rice (2000) explains, the main goal of the US in the Middle East was protecting the Israeli regime from any hostile aggregation and Israeli regime was the core values of the US in the region:
“…Iran presents special difficulties in the Middle East, a region of core interest to the United States and to our key ally Israel. Iranian weaponry increasingly threatens Israel directly. As important as Israel’s efforts to reach peace with its Arab neighbors are to the future of the Middle East, they are not the whole story of stability in the region. Israel has a real security problem, so defense cooperation with the United States is critical. That in turn will help Israel protect itself both through agreements and through enhanced military power”.
The attack of September 11th, 2001on US territory was another main milestone for the Bush administration policies toward Iran and Persian Gulf region. “Beginning” was the word George W. Bush used to describe the era after the events of September 11th (Bush, 2002). What made this period different from others was the nature of the enemy; new threats did not arise from rival countries, but from weak states and groups that were not able to confront the United States directly. The September 11th events showed that weak states could become as dangerous as stronger states (NSS 2002), and that geographic and military strengths of the US could no longer guarantee its security against these enemies and threats (QDR 2001).
Although George W. Bush insisted on realist strategies of preventive war and pre-emptive action rather than soft power but relying on soft power (Nye 2004) was a pillar of perception management to provide security. The main ideas of the soft power was that “promoting democracy and the rule of law is the responsibility of the United States because it will facilitate the flow of correct information and in so doing, educate and inform people throughout the world on how to make correct decisions” (NSS 2006). Therefore, the only way was to change their perceptions towards the United States.
Bush administration used a combination of both positive and negative interpretations on the concept of security: The presence of a threat such as terrorists and rogue states were interpreted according to the negative approach to national security, while the positive approach was employed in democratizing the potential states that harbor terrorism. Therefore, a combination of negative and positive approaches to national security has been followed by the United States in order to deal with threats since September 11th 2001 and Bush administration emphasized the importance of military strength in the United States, while simultaneously focusing on democratic values to create a more secure environment. The events of September 11th 2011 showed that none of the mentioned approaches is enough to be the basis for providing security (Yusoff & Soltani, 2012).
On the other hand, September 11 incident, as a terrorist act was to legitimatize the American hegemonic actions out of the international rules. George W. Bush and American foreign policy makers sought to stabilize their regional domination based on hegemonic model (direct interference) after September 11 in the Middle East and Persian Gulf region. “Fighting with terrorism” and promoting the democracy was the main strategy of the Unites state after September 11 for the Middle East region and its main aftermaths were “attacking to Afghanistan” and “invasion to Iraq”. The main interest of George W. Bush administration in the region include: 1 – energy security for the US in the coming decades 2 – supporting Israeli peace process 3 – Promoting democracy among radicalism (Abolfathi, Moradi, & Rezai, 2012).
As a conclusion it should be said that the United States during the Bush administration was faced with the social, political and cultural realities of the region that caused increasing of instability in Iraq as well as Israel and Hezbollah war in the Middle East. Therefore the direct intervention policy of George W. Bush in the region such as occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan after September 11 could not bring peace and security to the region. On the other hand, the U.S. according to its old approach (balance of power) is supporting conservative Arab southern states of the Persian Gulf among Iran, because rivalries between the local states of the Persian Gulf will caused the penetration of U.S. in the region.
2.4 Alternative Security Frameworks for the Persian Gulf
Michael Kraig, a well-known scholar suggested three primary, competing schools of thought in security practice today: the traditional model of competitive Realpolitik and the evolving, conflicting models of hegemony, and cooperative security (Kraig, 2003). Realpolitik or realist school is diplomacy based on implicit and explicit military threats, but these threats are not meant to deny another sovereign actor its core national interests and security concerns. Rather,