Middle East in Transition - Lesson 1 - US Interests in the Middle East


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Middle East in Transition - Lesson 1 - US Interests in the Middle East

  1. 1. U.S. Interests in the Middle East Global and Cultural Studies AF JROTC Lt Col McGrain
  2. 2. Background Reading <ul><li>Watch Introductory Video </li></ul><ul><li>Pages 28-40 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional Stability and Geostrategic Concerns </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Israel </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preventing the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human Rights and Justice Issues </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Some Definitions <ul><li>Geostrategic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;[T]he words geopolitical, strategic, and geostrategic are used to convey the following meanings: geopolitical reflects the combination of geographic and political factors determining the condition of a state or region, and emphasizing the impact of geography on politics; strategic refers to the comprehensive and planned application of measures to achieve a central goal or to vital assets of military significance; and geostrategic merges strategic consideration with geopolitical ones.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>— Zbigniew Brzezinski , Game Plan </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Weapons of Mass Destruction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>a term used to describe a munition with the capacity to indiscriminately kill large numbers of living beings. The phrase broadly encompasses several areas of weapon synthesis, including nuclear, biological, chemical ( NBC ) and, increasingly, radiological weapons. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Human Rights </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the concept of human beings as having universal natural rights, or status, regardless of legal jurisdiction or other localizing factors, such as ethnicity, nationality, and sex. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Regional Stability and Geostrategic Concerns <ul><li>The Middle East is strategically located across vital trade, communications, and transportation lanes between Europe, Asia, and Africa </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The U.S. would not want the region to fall under the control of countries hostile to our interests </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>The U.S. involvement traces its beginning to our naval campaign against Tripoli in the 1803 and 1804 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More recently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Post World War I – much of the region under control of Britain and France (mandates in Trans-Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Palestine, and Lebanon); Turkey creating a western-style democracy; heavy British and Russian influence in Iran; and a newly formed Saudi Arabian kingdom </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From 1946 to 1971  the U.S. was content to allow Britain to “police” the Middle East </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Examples of limited U.S. intervention in the region: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1946 – naval show of force in the eastern Mediterranean to counter Soviet pressure on Turkey </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1954 – behind the scenes role in restoring the Shah of Iran to power after the Soviets grudgingly withdrew their post-war forces </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1957 – another naval show of force to keep the Jordanian government in power </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1958 – Marines sent to Lebanon to prevent the outbreak of civil war </li></ul></ul><ul><li>U.S. Diplomacy: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1955 – the Baghdad Pact (Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Turkey, and the United Kingdom) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creation of Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) with US, Turkey, Pakistan, and Iran </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ gunboat diplomacy,” the stationing of naval forces in the Mediterranean since the end of World War II and a small naval group based in Bahrain since 1948 </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>U.S. Foreign Policy and Strategy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Twin Pillar” strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Based the promotion of regional stability and the defense of geostrategic interests on close relationships with two friendly governments in the area </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Saudi Arabia </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Iran </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Ayatollah Khomeini’s Islamic Revolution <ul><li>Overthrew the Shah of Iran </li></ul><ul><li>And shortly thereafter, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan </li></ul>Effectively destroyed the Twin Pillar strategy Iranian Hostage Crisis
  9. 9. Operation Eagle Claw &quot;A few days ago the President made a very courageous decision as he ordered us to execute the rescue operation as we tried to free our Americans held hostage in Teheran. It was not a risk-free operation-there is no such thing as a risk-free operation..... we all shared considerable disappointment that we were not successful. But let's not be despondent about that. Our job is now to remain alert, to look for those opportunities, times when we can bring our Americans out. Our job is to stay ready.&quot; Admiral Thomas B. Hayward, Chief of Naval Operations, in a video message to USS Nimitz, USS Texas and USS California during their transit home from the Indian Ocean.
  10. 10. The Carter Doctrine <ul><li>January, 1980 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>President Carter warned that such an assault would “be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.” </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>The United States developed military force structures, airlift and sealift capabilities, and regional relationships that allowed it to better project military force into the area </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force, which later became the Central Command </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Defense of the U.S. interests stretching from Pakistan to Kenya to Egypt </li></ul></ul></ul>Following the overthrow of the Shah of Iran in 1979, Diego Garcia saw the most dramatic build-up of any location since the Vietnam War era. In 1986, Diego Garcia became fully operational with the completion of a $500 million construction program.
  12. 12. Iran – Iraq War <ul><li>When warfare broke out between Iran and Iraq in 1980, the U.S. “tilted” toward Iraq during the eight-year war, providing it with arms and military information </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Why …. Two reasons </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>1. Iran was extremely anti-American </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Iranian hostage crisis </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sponsored terrorism against U.S. and other Western interests </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>2. U.S. did not want the region to come under the control or influence of the Soviet Union or any other country hostile to the United States </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. The Collapse of the Soviet Union <ul><li>With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the region was no longer viewed as a Cold War battleground </li></ul><ul><ul><li>After the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the U.S. was no longer willing to support Iraq as a counterbalance to Iran </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The long-time policy of backing one of the two nations (Iran or Iraq)  had not produced a desirable result </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>In 1993, the Clinton administration announced a new policy termed “dual containment,” which aimed to weaken both Iran and Iraq through strict economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation </li></ul>
  14. 14. Israel <ul><li>The United States has been deeply involved in Middle Eastern affairs because of Israel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Since Israel’s creation in 1948, the U.S. has been an ardent supporter of the Jewish State, providing large quantities of economic and military assistance and extensive diplomatic and political support </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Even today, Israel remains the largest recipient of U.S. foreign aid </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Reasons Why <ul><li>1. widespread sympathy because of the atrocities visited upon the Jewish people by the Nazis during World War II </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The need for a Jewish homeland where the people can live without fear of domestic persecution by the government </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Reasons Why <ul><li>2. U.S. sympathy has been strengthened over the years by 4 major Arab-Israeli wars, in 1948, 1956, 1967, and 1973 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>During the last 3 of these wars, Arab forces were supplied by the Soviet Union </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Israel was seen as an American ally in the Cold War </li></ul></ul>1967 War
  17. 17. Reasons Why <ul><li>3. Israel has often been a U.S. ally in the Middle East </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Israel frequently points out that it is the only democracy in the Middle East </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The U.S. – Israeli relationship is strengthened because of such shared values </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Reasons Why <ul><li>4. The American Jewish community, as well as the fundamentalist Christian movement in the U.S., have often been extremely vocal supporters of Israel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This adds to the already-strong support within the United States for Israel </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Oil <ul><li>The United States also considers the Middle East vitally important because it produces much of the world’s oil and has 70 percent of the world’s known oil reserves </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The cheapest place in the world to extract the product </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Within the Middle East, the most critical sub region for oil production and oil reserves are the Arabian Peninsula, as well as Iraq and Iran </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>30 percent of the world total production </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>66 percent of the world total reserves </li></ul></ul></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>The United States is by far the world’s largest single consumer of oil, accounting for ¼ of total consumption </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Political, social, and economic dynamics of the Gulf region remain critical to U.S. energy and economic security concerns </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Preventing the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction <ul><li>The United States has been long concerned about the spread of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) – nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons – to the Middle East and elsewhere around the world as well </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Given the hostilities already present in the Middle East, proliferation of these kinds of weapons is an extremely high priority of the U.S. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 23. Human Rights and Justice Issues