Middle East -- A Region Term Paper

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Since the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has also become a major distributor world of oil, in addition to the Middle East. Although its policies can no longer be predicted as reliably as during the Cold War, its interests are not always commensurate with any one actor, and it is now a volatile presence in international affairs that the United States must take into consideration when making policies. The United States still has an economic interest in maintaining friendly ties with nations that produce oil, even Arab states, and as its strategic interest is less clearly defined, as it is no longer in opposition to a single power seeking to extend its sphere of influence. As the region no longer is a mere playing ground for the two major superpowers to dominate, the factionalism that was already endemic to the region has become even more pronounced. This factionalism has been the cause of civil wars, the rise of terrorism, and a more complicated relationship for the United States and even friendly Arab nations.

The end of the Cold War reduced Israel's strategic importance for the United States, as a buffer to the Soviet sphere of influence. Temporarily, it could be argued, the United States' attempt to curry favor with Saudi Arabia, in the region had increased, although the United States had long attempted to establish improved ties with the Middle East in the form of nations such as the Shah's Iran. The United States has supported Israel for humanitarian reasons as well as strategic reasons, as noted by President Harry Truman in the aftermath of World War II. The presence of the Jewish community within the United States has been a primary reason for the nation's support for Israel, in combination with Israel's democratic, participatory...

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Also, although originally, the State Department feared that the Zionists were communists and would therefore side with the Soviet Union, but when the possibility was raised that the U.S.S.R. would intervene on behalf of Israel, Truman decided that it was best to counteract this possibility with support for Israel from the United States. (Isserof, 2003)
But although the United States will continue to strongly support Israel it is likely that Israel's policies will no longer be supported with the unreserved enthusiasm during the Cold War, as exemplified during the recent negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis. The United States treads a delicate balance between appeasing such nations as the oil-rich Saudi kingdom, whose support it also desires to root out international terrorism, as well as to maintain ties with Israel. Oil, containment of terrorism, the resolution of the question of the Palestinian state, and the need to maintain a diverse range of allies in the region

Works Cited

Eisenhower, Dwight. "The Eisenhower Doctrine on the Middle East, A Message to Congress, January 5, 1957. From The Department of State Bulletin, XXXV1, No. 917 (January 21, 1957), pp. 83-87. [26 Aug 2006] http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1957eisenhowerdoctrine.html

Isserof, Ami. "Support for the State of Israel." MidEastWeb for Coexistence. 2003 [26 Aug 2006]

http://www.mideastweb.org/us_supportforstate.htm

Richman, Sheldon "Ancient History: U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly Of Intervention." Cato Policy Analysis. No. 159. August 16, 1991. [26 Aug 2006]

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-159.html

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Eisenhower, Dwight. "The Eisenhower Doctrine on the Middle East, A Message to Congress, January 5, 1957. From The Department of State Bulletin, XXXV1, No. 917 (January 21, 1957), pp. 83-87. [26 Aug 2006] http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1957eisenhowerdoctrine.html

Isserof, Ami. "Support for the State of Israel." MidEastWeb for Coexistence. 2003 [26 Aug 2006]

http://www.mideastweb.org/us_supportforstate.htm

Richman, Sheldon "Ancient History: U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly Of Intervention." Cato Policy Analysis. No. 159. August 16, 1991. [26 Aug 2006]
http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-159.html


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