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War And Peace In The Middle East
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War And Peace In The Middle East



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  • 1. By: Avi Shlaim Kristen Young
  • 2.
    • Object of rivalry among great powers since 1798
    • Arena of fierce competition between the United States and the Soviet Union
    • International politics of the Middle East based on relations between outside powers and local forces.
    • Until 1991 not one “great” power controlled the M.E. –power always shifting
  • 3.
    • Shlaim’s thesis: External forces shaped the political evolution of the Middle East.
    • External involvement in Middle East affairs–divided into four phases
        • The Ottoman (1516-1918)
        • The European (1918-1956)
        • The Superpower (1950s-1991)
        • The American (today)
  • 4.
    • 1516-1918-Ottoman Turks ruled most of the Arab lands in Middle East
    • Empire was dynastic, Islamic, and multiethnic
    • Protected distinctive laws and customs-rejected Western notions
    • European expansion brought about Ottoman decline
    Photo of Ottoman Empire-The orange displays their territory
  • 5.
    • Ottomans fate sealed when sided with Germany to enter World War I
    • Led to the destruction of Ottoman political order
    • Middle East fell to European rule
    • Introduction to European style state system and international relations –mixed results
        • Some disputes among Middle East settled
        • Some disputes continued to generate instability
    • Political shape of Middle East today did not evolve naturally—evolved as British design tailored to fit British needs
        • European rule shaping the political evolution of the Middle East.
  • 6.
    • Nasser’s invention of the Suez Canal attracted British
    • British wanted possession over canal-would have to force Nasser from power
    • Led to the Suez War of 1956
      • Watershed in Britain's decline in the Middle East and worldwide
      • Britain's withdrawal from M.E. and Persian Gulf-put an end to a stable period of British dominance.
    Above is a depiction of the Suez Canal
  • 7.
    • Until the end of the Cold War-Middle East remained an arena of superpower competition for influence, advantage, and oil
    • M.E-important to Soviets security
    • United States basic intrests in M.E
      • Oil
      • sustaining western regimes
      • securing Israel
    The United States and Soviet Union were the superpowers
  • 8.
    • Iran and Saudi Arabia became key pillars of support for the American intrests in the Persian Gulf
    • America-increased exposure to Western ideas and disrupted Islamic fundamentals
    • The Islamic Revolution reversed Iran’s foreign policy and caused them to turn against America
    • Believed that the revolution could not be secure unless they and other Middle Eastern countries broke away from United States protection
    • Islamic threat to the superpowers
  • 9.
    • Iran-Iraq war
      • Longest international conflict since World War II
    • U.S. Intervention
      • Iran blocking the free passage for neutral passage of the Persian Gulf
      • War against Iran
    • Scene of war solved nothing
    • Hostility remained between Iran and Iraq and Iran and America
    • U.S then preceded to develop conflict with Iraq in hopes that Saddam Hussein would fall from power
  • 10.
    • Middle East peace conference- October 1991
    • Peace process came at the end of the Gulf and Cold Wars
    • Collapse of Soviet Union superpower
      • America no longer had to contend to a rival in M.E.
    • America becomes dominant power
  • 11.
    • America became as dominant in the Middle East after the Gulf War as Britain had been after WWI
    • “ America commanded more diplomatic leverage, more political clout, and better strategic facilities than at any previous stage of Middle East involvement” (Shlaim, 137).
    • Bush introduced the “five pillars of wisdom” for the future plan of the Middle East
      • Democracy, economic development, arms control, Gulf Control and settlement of Arab-Israeli conflict
      • Thus shaping political evolution of the Middle East
      • America has held external involvement in Middle Eastern affairs until present day.
  • 12.
    • I think this book should stay on the list. It was a short book filled with a lot of interesting information. It is a concise history of the Middle East until present day which is also interesting.