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The authors examine the options for a post-Saddam Persian Gulf security system. A fundamentally new Iraqi regime is necessary but, the authors argue, insufficient for lasting Gulf security. The authors analyze the strategic challenges of Gulf security and outline the disadvantages to the United States and to the region of today1s heavy dependence on a forward U.S. military presence and readiness to fight increasingly risky expeditionary wars. They argue that two alternative models for the Gulf, a unilateral U.S. attempt to impose liberal democracy or a return to an old-fashioned balance-of-power approach, will not work. Instead, they suggest that a multilateral U.S.-European effort to build a more robust intra-regional balance of power, underpinned by broad political reform around the Gulf, could lay the basis for long-term stability.

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