Landpower and Dual Containment
Rethinking America's Policy in the Gulf
This paper discusses US policy toward the Persian Gulf. The author argues that much of the difficulty Washington has experienced derives from what may be regarded as a poorly conceived policy. Dual containment, as promulgated in 1993, was supposed to constrain the two most powerful area states, Iran and Iraq, by imposing harsh economic sanctions on them. But, the author contends, the policy has only antagonized the US’ allies, while Baghdad and Tehran have continued to defy Washington and threaten the oil sheikhdoms the US is trying to protect. The paper states that the dual containment policy must be changed.
© 1999 Strategic Studies Institute of the US Army War College (SSI)
Stephen C Pelletiere