For the last few decades in the Middle East, the policy of western powers — led by the United States — has been to ensure the flow of oil; maintain stable and secure allies like Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the Gulf States, Egypt, and Israel; and maintain military and economic influence when needed. Usually these ends were met through economic or military-to-military partnerships.
When the Cold War ended, many believed there would be a peace dividend, nuclear disarmament, and dismantling of the war machine with industrial conversion to peaceful technology. Instead, we've witnessed the aggressive expansion of NATO, to include the former Soviet Republics, right up to the Russian border, which should be a wake-up call to many living in the American Empire. Many people still labor under the apparently false impression that the US is exemplary in holding up the rule of law, the sanctity of the United Nations, and human rights.