Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

LaDeur, Scott

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


This paper proposes that the U.S. strategic focus on the Middle East is outdated unnecessary. Furthermore, any U.S. effort in this region will be counterproductive due to poor diplomatic relations, negative public sentiment, and a lack of legitimacy. Instead, in order to maintain its role as global leader, the U.S. should adopt a policy of selective retrenchment while also shifting diplomatic focus from the Middle East to the Asian Pacific, which is believed to be the future center of global power. Through a comparative analysis of key works regarding both these regions, it is suggested that with some adjustments in the current 'pivot' policy proposed by the Obama administration such as economic engagement, regional defense restructuring, and diplomatic outreach to China, the United States will be able to stake a claim in this rising power center, and also promote positive U.S. sentiment and regional stability. This work is significant as it represents a nuanced compromise for U.S. grand strategy which tows the line between intervention and isolationism, concluding that the United States can best counter it's decline by investing in soft power and fostering inclusiveness with potential rivals.


51 pages




Northern Illinois University

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