Strategic Security In The Middle Term Paper

Length: 10 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Mythology - Religion Type: Term Paper Paper: #53674326 Related Topics: Conflict In Syria, Middle East, Global Civilization, Border Security

Excerpt from Term Paper :

The author references a New York Times investigative piece in which fifty-nine ethnic conflicts were reported in forty-eight locations in 1993. In "half these places Muslims were clashing with other Muslims or with non-Muslims"; in thirty-nine of the conflicts groups from different civilizations were engaged, and two-thirds of those were between "Muslims and others" (Huntington, 257). Keeping in mind this book was published in 1996 -- and updated data employing Huntington's Muslim-violence theme is not immediately available -- it is worthy of note that of the twenty-nine wars (that involved 1,000 or more deaths in a year's time) in 1992, twelve were intercivilizational, and of those dozen, nine were between Muslims and non-Muslims (257). Huntington raised a lot of eyebrows -- and encountered a blistering serious of public criticisms -- for the following quote he published on page 258 of his book: "Islam's borders are bloody, and so are its innards." In a footnote to that quote, Huntington admits that he also used that quote in a Foreign Affairs article he published, and it "attracted more critical comment" than any other passage in his narrative. His response to the outrage by readers and scholars? "Quantitative evidence from every disinterested source conclusively demonstrates [the] validity" of that assertion, he insists (258).

Moreover, Huntington was far from finished with his shellacking of Islam; on page 258 the author claims that Muslim societies had "force ratios" that were "significantly higher" than other countries. The average force ratios and military effort ratios of Muslim countries (in the 1980s) were "…roughly twice those of Christian countries," Huntington goes on. "There is a connection between Islam and militarism," (the quote is from James Payne on page 258).

When it comes to international crises, Muslim states have employed violence to resolve 76 crises out of a total of 142 in which Muslims were involved (this is reportedly between the years 1928 and 1979), Huntington continues (258). And when they did resort to violence, Muslim states used "high-intensity violence, resorting to full-scale war in 41% of the cases," the author writes (258). Another tactic in Huntington uses in his arguments against Muslims is to compare Muslim vs. Christian dynamics. While Muslim societies were using violence in 53.5% of their conflicts (between 1928 and 1979), the United Kingdom only resorted to violence in 11.5 of their crises and the U.S. only resorted to violence in 17.9% of their international crises (Huntington, 258).

Challenging Huntington's Assumptions and Assertions

Did Huntington go out of his way to paint a picture of Muslims as violence-prone? Is he biased against Islam and digging up out-dated statistics to prove his points? If Muslim societies are as violence-prone and as hateful towards the West as Huntington's book indicates, the future will be blood-soaked and grim. But political science professor Kunihiko Imai believes first of all that Muslim nations don't despise and eschew democracy because democracy is related to Christianity. Imai reminds readers in the International Journal On World Peace that Islam and democracy are in some ways not compatible for the following reasons: a) the Islamic concept of the "absolute sovereignty of God" and hence God's law, the Shari'a, cannot be "altered by elected parliaments"; and b) the very concept of elected officials in parliaments creating laws for Muslims has been seen in many Islamic cultures as "blasphemous" since only Allah (God) can make laws (Imai, 2006, p. 11).

Secondly, Kunihiko believes that the "…empirical data does not render support for Huntington's apocalyptic view of the violent conflicts between the west and the Islamic-Confucian states" (26). Hence, rather than accept Huntington's policy recommendations ("maintain military superiority… [and] exploit differences and conflicts among & #8230;Islamic states") the West would be better off "promoting economic and political liberalization of developing countries" in order to make it a "more cooperative, if not completely peaceful, world" (Kunihiko, 26).

Meanwhile, professors Nanda Shrestha and Kenneth Gray -- also writing in the International Journal on World Peace -- posit that what Huntington is in fact advancing in his Foreign Affairs article and indeed in his book, is "not a hypothesis to be statistically tested" (Shrestha, et al., 2006, p. 34). Rather, the authors assert, Huntington is advancing "…an agenda, a worldview to be globally implemented by the U.S. against its invented enemies, all in the name of global domination" (34).

Shrestha goes on to insist that Huntington is actually creating a "new geography" in order...


Moreover, while Huntington advocates a position that is ideologically "rooted in the Cold War mentality," his worldview is based on his "selective read of the post-Cold War landscape… which has been dominated by the West, at lease since 1600 C.E…." (Shrestha, 35).
Other Potential Prescriptions for Peace between the West and Islam

Is detente possible between the West and Muslim nations? What will be the motivating factor? How and who will provide the pivotal spark that reduces the anxiety between the two cultures? Author Kenneth Neal Waltz explains that although people's instincts may be good -- and it can be assumed that the great majority of Muslim citizens, and American citizens, have good basic instincts -- their tendency to be gullible "may prompt them to follow false leaders" (Waltz, 2001, p. 17). This is of course true in the West and its true in the Middle East. Could it be that good-hearted, God-fearing Muslims followed a leader like the Ayatollah Khomeini -- even though in hindsight his hatred for the West caused him to be irrational and make false statements -- because they were gullible? When Khomeini ordered the assassination of author Salmon Rushdie (offering a million dollars if a Muslim would kill Rushdie), was that using good judgment? Certainly not.

Professor Waltz goes on to reference iconic thinker Bertrand Russell who believed that when society's "possessive instincts" are on the decline peace can be achieved (17). Could there ever be a time in the tensions between the West and the Middle East when governments and citizens are less possessive of their ideologies and political / religious / ethical machinations? One has to doubt that time will ever come.

Waltz also references philosopher William James, who posited that war is "rooted in man's bellicose nature" which cannot be changed; however, James also believed the drive to go to battle "can be diverted" (18). The view of renowned theologian Reinhold Niebuhr -- which applies to the Muslim world as well as the West -- is also presented in Waltz's book. Man is a "pigmy who thinks himself a giant," Waltz writes on page 21, paraphrasing Rev. Niebuhr. Purely out of "self-interest" man creates "economic and political theories and attempts to pass them off as universal systems"; Western man and the Islamic men are born and raised "in insecurity and seek to make [themselves] absolutely secure," Waltz continues (21). Man is nothing more than a man but "thinks himself a god," the author asserts, again paraphrasing Niebuhr.

Do those somewhat cynical descriptions help define Americans and Muslims alike? The answer has to be a qualified yes, based on the terrible wastefulness that Americans have visited on other countries: a) Vietnam (defoliating huge portions of the country with Agent Orange, indiscriminately bombing civilian populations ); and b) Iraq (111,937 civilians killed in a war that was supposed to be based on locating "weapons of mass destruction" -- weapons that were never found; brutal torturing of prisoners) (Iraq Body Count, 2011). Some Muslims (in this case, fanatical Muslims like those loyal to the terrorist policies of al Queda) believe that they have God on their side by killing Americans and other Westerners (9/11, the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, suicide bombers in London subways, etc.). "Men are led not by the precepts of pure reason but by their passions," Waltz points out, paraphrasing Spinoza.

"Men, led by passion, are drawn into conflict" and rather than being "mutually helpful" to other humans "they behave in a manner that is mutually destructive" (Waltz, 24) (paraphrasing Spinoza). Moreover, Waltz references Spinoza's belief states that are "natural enemies" (like the West and several Middle Eastern countries) must "constantly be on guard, one against the other" (25). This is not because states are "never honorable and peaceful," but because states "…may at any moment become dishonorable and belligerent" because passion has a tendency to "obscure the true interests of state as of men" (Waltz, 25).


As was mentioned in the Thesis for this paper, without a more thoughtful perspective from both the U.S. And Middle Eastern nations the international world will continue to be disrupted by wars and acts of terrorism. According to Eric Hoffer, the most "accessible and comprehensive of all unifying agents" is hate. It will take years, decades, maybe centuries before the hatred that many Americans feel for Islam -- and that many Muslims feel for the West -- can be eradicated. Meantime, American public and private schools should be teaching a…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Arendt, Hannah. (1969). On Violence. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc.

Blitzer, Wolf. (2011). Cheney refuses to admit any mistakes as vice president.

Retrieved September 7, 2011, from

Dougherty, James E, and Pfaltzgraff, Robert L. (1997). Contending Theories of International
2011, from

Cite this Document:

"Strategic Security In The Middle" (2011, September 07) Retrieved October 4, 2023, from

"Strategic Security In The Middle" 07 September 2011. Web.4 October. 2023. <>

"Strategic Security In The Middle", 07 September 2011, Accessed.4 October. 2023,

Related Documents
Strategic Position Strategic Choices and Strategy Implementation
Words: 3413 Length: 10 Pages Topic: Business - Management Paper #: 32967804

Strategic positioning is the positioning of an organization (unit) in the future, while taking into account the volatile environment, plus the systematic recognition of that positioning. The strategic positioning of an organization includes the planning of the desired future position of the organization. On the basis of present and foreseeable progress, and the making of plans to realize that positioning. The strategic positioning method is devised from the business world. The method

Strategic Studies. Outline the Evolution
Words: 721 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Literature - African Paper #: 88691799

Nigeria has defined its policy by a 'concentric circle' model. The core is "the economic viability and full mobilization of the resources of the country [of Nigeria], in which the internal security forms the foundation for a realistic diplomacy" (Agreen 2010).When the core is taken care of, then Nigeria can take into consideration the economic viability of its people. "The second circle takes into consideration the strategic interest of the

Security Issues of Online Communities
Words: 15576 Length: 60 Pages Topic: Education - Computers Paper #: 35642606

This researcher rejects the existence of online communities because computer mediated group discussions cannot possibly meet this definition. Weinreich's view is that anyone with even a basic knowledge of sociology understands that information exchange in no way constitutes a community. For a cyber-place with an associated computer mediated group to be labeled as a virtual settlement it is necessary for it to meet a minimum set of conditions. These are:

Strategic Management the Case for Diversification Deltacom/Earthlink...
Words: 1611 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Business Paper #: 73633595

Strategic Management The Case for Diversification Deltacom/Earthlink is facing a challenging operating environment. As a regional player in an intensely-competitive market, we face an uncertain future. We acquired Deltacom in order to facilitate future growth, but a quick look at our financials indicates that our growth has flatlined and our profits declined to almost nothing last year (MSN Moneycentral, 2013). One of the issues is that there was considerable overlap between Earthlink

Strategic Marketing Strategy for Whites:
Words: 1989 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Race Paper #: 39368151

Trends in Black Purchasing Power of Generation X Purchasing power for Blacks both alone and in combination with other ethnicities (AOIC) increased faster than all races from 2005-2007, but started to lose that growth rate over 2007-08. The consumers who identified as polyethnic increased earnings faster at first but those slowed to even more sharply negative at the end of our period. all races white alone blackAlone Black AOIC Asian Alone Hispanic 2005 25,036 26,496 16,874 16,629 27,331 14,483 2006 26,352 27,821 17,902 17,564 30,474 15,421 2007 26,804 28,325 18,428 18,107 29,901 15,603 2008 26,964 28,502 18,406 18,054 30,292 15,674 2005-06 5.26% 5.00% 6.09% 5.62% 11.50% 6.48% 2006-07 1.72% 1.81% 2.94% 3.09% -1.88% 1.18% 2007-08 0.60% 0.62% -0.12% -0.29% 1.31% 0.46% Most Profitable Product to

Homeland Security
Words: 2038 Length: 6 Pages Topic: Terrorism Paper #: 34045118

Pat Proctor of Kansas State University was published in the peer-Reviewed Journal of Strategic Security in 2012. The point of this article is not so much posing a question but presenting a proposal. The proposal is directed at the United States, suggesting in strong terms how the United States (and presumably its allies) could and should engage in "…mass politics" which Proctor calls "war without violence" (Proctor, 2012, 47). The