By all metrics, Pax Americana in the Middle East has failed. The region has become progressively more unstable and violent under U.S. military hegemony. In 1998, it suffered from five armed conflicts. By 2019, 22 violent struggles had engulfed the area. This unadmirable result is perhaps not surprising. Though Washington has ostensibly sought stability, its policies do not appear to be centered around that objective. Rather than acting as an impartial arbiter, America’s military presence in the region has been justified on the grounds of deterring, balancing, and defeating “bad actors” — from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to al–Qaeda, the Islamic State, and Iran.