For the most part yes, I cannot help but think the reason the West is seen as a target so much is due to the fact we interfere in the first place. That and also, many Western nations simply cannot afford to go to war every five years or so. Not to mention, as seen in Iraq... clearly there has been NO improvement in the longer term (quite the opposite). I am not saying we should ignore the region permanently, but for now especially, we (the West) need to economically recover first.
So long as we have no other contract binding us, no.
No, the 18 nations are important to the global economy, and interdependence also means interrelations. What I don't think we should be doing, is funding huge wars that replace their values with ours. I think we should be active in the region, but show a little more respect for sovereignty by not getting into their interior politics. For example, I'm willing to work with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, who have slowly adopted human and civil right reforms, but the sad thing about democracy, is that they'll just elect the same idiots again. Which is why we need to guide them through reform, and not force them into it. Iraq was a joke, and pending the Afghan election (If they don't vote for Ashraf, they're idiots), Afghanistan might also be a joke. We need to work with nations to set up benchmarks and goals. As for military independence, I am a supporter or concentrated warfare. No need to make a costly spectacle. Just send in marines, special forces, CIA agents, and cheap drones to accomplish one objective and get out. For those who didn't know, we defeated Saddam's army twice, the second time in three days with only 200 casualties. America doesn't need to occupy a country. Just accomplish one objective and have no dreams of granduer, such as rebuilding nations from scratch.