The United States and the Middle East: Continuing Dilemmas

UPADM-GP.245, 4 points.


This course is the second of a two semester series on the United States and the Middle East. This part focuses on the post-9/11 period, examining the major security-related dilemmas of the contemporary Middle East (defined as the Arab states plus Israel, Iran, and Afghanistan.) This description begs the question, “Whose security?” Our primary focus will be on the security perspective of the United States. We will not, however, ignore entirely the concerns of other interested powers. Similarly, we take a more holistic view of security that addresses the basic needs and welfare of the ordinary person in the region. While the emphasis is on contemporary security dilemmas, we will attempt to situate these issues within a broader historical context. Our approach is also inter-disciplinary—some of our key readings will use international relations as a lens, but the bulk of our readings draw from the insights of policy practitioners, historians, journalists, intelligence officers, political scientists, and anthropologists. The first half of the course will provide a chronological overview of events. The next section will examine specific issues – Iran nukes, al-Qaeda, etc. -- in greater detail, as well as the implications of increasing involvement in the Middle East by external powers. Although this is the second part of a two part course, there are no prerequisites.

Prerequisites: none

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