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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2017-18

GOVT 85.35 US Security Policy in the Middle East

The interplay of conceptions of strategic interest, patterns of interstate rivalry and cooperation, and politics both at home and within regional states has shaped US security policy toward the Middle East since World War II.

To come to grips with this complex interaction, this course will explore American conceptions of the Middle East from the 19th century onward and assess evolving conceptions of US interest as well as the process through which these interests are defined. Case studies will cover key aspects of the US reliance on Persian Gulf oil and, relatedly, the US-Saudi relationship; the war on terror; the Iraq wars of 1990-91 and 2003 to the present; the US and Iran, including the 1953 coup and 1979 Islamic revolution through to the ongoing nuclear negotiations and the current debate over Iran’s regional objectives; the US and Egypt, from the Eisenhower administration and Gamal Nasr to Obama and Muhammad Morsi and Abd al-Fattah Sisi; the US-Israel relationship and the Middle East peace process; the US response to the Arab Spring; and the range of possible trajectories for US engagement in the Middle East as the old order recedes.



The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.


Not offered in AY 2017-2018. May be offered in AY 2018-2019.