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Jack Rasmus

After 9-11, the United States focused its most aggressive foreign policy on the Middle East—from Afghanistan to North Africa. But the deal recently worked out with Iran, the current back-door negotiations over Syria between US Secretary of State, Kerry, and Russia Foreign Minister, Lavrov, and the decision to subsidize, and now export, US shale oil and gas production in a direct reversal of US past policy toward Saudi Arabia—together signal a relative shift of US policy away from the Middle East.

With a Middle East consolidation phase underway, US policy has been shifting since 2013-14 to the more traditional focus that it had for decades: First, to check and contain China; second, to prevent Russia from economically integrating more deeply with Europe; and, third, to reassert more direct US influence once again, as in previous decades, over the economies and governments in Latin America.

Following his re-election in 2012, Obama…

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