Promoting democracy in the Middle East has been cited by the U.S. as a key foreign policy objective post-Cold War. As a result the U.S. has intervened in numerous countries and conflicts, particularly since 9/11 and the subsequent declaration of the War on Terror. However, this has not been without controversy and its actions often aid imperialism rather than the country it claims its intervention is benefitting. This paper challenges the claim that the U.S. is indeed promoting democracy, arguing that it is instead pursuing national objectives to increase hegemony. By analyzing U.S. involvement in the Middle East from the Soviet-Afghan War, through the Invasion of Iraq and Arab Spring, up to present day, this paper contends that the U.S. has continuously created instability in the region, in terms of both state and human security. By constructing various actors as threats to themselves, the West or the world, the U.S. has been able to justify its aggressive pursuit of foreign policy objectives in the Middle East. Utilizing the theories of realism, liberalism, and constructivism, this research discusses how the U.S. has attempted to achieve hegemony in the region, and indeed globally, before contrasting this with humanitarian efforts it has been a part of. The paper also analyses the impact external actors have had on U.S. action, discussing the crucial but often constrained role of the United Nations, as well as the contentious proliferation of private military and security companies in the post-Cold War era.
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