Local residents cross a bridge over the Tigris River, on the outskirts of Zakhu, Iraq. Water has always been an important resource in the Middle East -- for its relative scarcity rather than its abundance.
Marine, part of a multinational peacekeeping force, walks by a group of women in Beirut, Lebanon. Throughout the 20th century, strategic interests, including a longstanding competition with the Soviet Union, have provoked a variety of U. American economic interests -- particularly in assuring access to Middle Eastern oil -- have long motivated presidents and lawmakers to intervene in the region.
In addition, strong cultural ties bind American Jews, Arab Americans, Iranian Americans, and Turkish Americans, among others, to the area, and these interest groups seek to make their voices heard in the U.
Entering the Middle East For most of the 20th century and now into the 21st, the U. In the Middle East, the U. The League soon handed down a series of mandates laying out the colonial boundaries of the Middle East in the territories of the now-defunct Ottoman Empire. After the war, the U. All wanted complete independence, but if that was impossible, they hoped for supervision by the U.
It acted to support what it saw as its national interests, the most important being fighting the Communists during the Cold Warensuring a steady supply of oil, and making sure that no single power dominated the region. More recently, it added fighting terrorism.
After Washington turned down his request for assistance to build the Aswan High DamNasser nationalized the Suez Canal in to pay for the dam construction.
Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and U. He tried to institute many Western social reforms by decree, and his secret police, SAVAKviciously silenced opposition voices. Embassy in Tehran, where 53 hostages were held for more than a year.
His known desire to develop weapons of mass destruction is also a concern. Many, including nearly 75, European Jews escaping persecution from Nazi Germany, found refuge there. But its creation came at a price. In addition to the many Jews who died struggling to create the new state, many Arabs were killed -- and hundreds of thousands of Arabs were either displaced by Jewish settlers from areas where they had been living or became unwilling citizens of Israel.
At a time when Israeli soldiers are regarded by many Arabs as agents of an oppressive army of occupation, unconditional U. These Arab allies argue that American principles like human rights and freedom of the press are not promoted in Israel in the same way that Americans push for reform elsewhere.
Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin, U.Dec 21, · One professor's database cites 81 attempts by the United States to influence elections in other countries,notably in Iran, Guatemala and Chile.
Despite the physical distance between the United States and the Middle East, U.S. influence has been felt in every country within the region. in the Middle East Patricia Carley United States Institute of Peace. Summary v Preface viii 1 Introduction 1 Analyzing Turkey’s Role in the Middle East,” held on June 1–2, The most important Middle Eastern countries from Turkey’s perspective will remain .
The independence of countries under French and British mandates ended direct occupation in the region but the remnants of Westernizing influence in politics, economics, and culture influenced the social milieu in the Middle East at varying degrees.
Pressure Groups and US Middle East Policy On Middle East Policy, a Major Influence. Lobbying for Israel — The American Israel Public Affairs Committee — First of two articles.
Entering the Middle East. For most of the 20th century and now into the 21st, the U.S. has had global interests and a global reach to match.
In the Middle East, the U.S. has made itself a key player by using its diplomatic, economic, and military power in support of its national interests.