Balance of power theory, implications for the U.S., Iran, Saudi Arabia, and a new arms race
Turner, Randall G.
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As a study in the Bush Doctrine of preventive warfare, the conflict in Iraq has been of great interest. However, the unintended consequences and the impact on regional instability also demand attention. There is a balance of power struggle taking place between Iran and Saudi Arabia which, because of Iran's nuclear ambitions, has drawn the attention of the international community and the ire of the United States. As a result, policy makers in Washington are compelled to determine a course of action that would, at best, prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons or, at worst, return the region to a modicum of calm. Indeed, the issue has become the most divisive matter between presumptive presidential nominees Barack Obama and John McCain. It is necessary then, to examine the behavior of Iran and Saudi Arabia against the tenets of realism and state behavior through the lens of political scientists John Mearsheimer, Kenneth Waltz, and Stephen Walt. By reviewing offensive, defensive, and balancing behavior within the Middle East system, the predictive analysis should enable policy makers to determine the appropriate measure of sticks and carrots that would achieve U.S. national interests in the region.
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