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The New US President: Implications for the Middle East and North Africa


The US presidential elections of 8 November 2016 will see two different visions of America’s future confronting one another. While most of the presidential debates have focussed on domestic issues, including the economy, trade issues and societal polarisation, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has typically represented an important area for US foreign policy. In this context, it is important to speculate about the potential changes and continuities in the new US president’s approach to the MENA region, with particular focus on the objectives, tactics, instruments and partnerships of this policy. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump agree on very little, but they do seem to share the belief that President Barack Obama’s overall strategy and many tactics for the region have not worked well. This Future Note provides an overview of the many challenges confronting the next president in the MENA region, while advancing a number of informed predictions on the potential course of US foreign policy under a Clinton or Trump presidency.

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