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Foreign Policy toward Middle East after World War II (AmericanMiddle Eastern Relations)

Hasan Karayam

Fall, 2011

Before 1945, the U.S governments involvement in the Arab world was extremely limited. The few American contacts with Arabs were mostly undertaken by private missionaries started educational institutions that what later became the American universities in Beirut, Labuan and Cairo, Egypt. Other missionaries went to the Middle East in different ways, such as medical doctors, which some of them became the early seeds for many organizations in the Middle East. Although European empires had long engaged in the area and most of the Middle Eastern countries were colonized by European empires.1 At the same time and gradually, U.S firms captured a growing share of the Middle East oil industry, like the Iraq Petroleum Company that shared U.S in 23,75 in 1920s, Kuwait, the U.S owned Gulf Oil Corporation and the Anglo- Persian Oil Company in 1934. Ultimately, Saudi Arabia emerged as the most significant U.S oil interest, especially with California-Arabian Standard Oil Company (CASOC) in1936, which renamed in 1944 to the Arabian- American Oil Company (ARAMCO). Before, those American interests, the United States was willing to involve in the Middle East. 2 By the end of World War II 1945, the U.S government was compelled to take abiding interests in the Middle East. Notably, emerging the Cold War as aftermath of World War II and the United States and the Soviet Union vied for political influence in the post war era. All of that involved deeply the United States in the Middle East after 1945, form Harry Truman through Bush who shaped the U.S foreign policy in the Middle East. U.S leaders decided to contain
William A. Rogh, American Encounters with Arabs: The Soft Power of U.S Public Diplomacy in the Middle East (Westport, CT: Preager Security International, 2006), 25-26. Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945 (Washington, DC: Potomac Book, 2005), 3.
2 1

Soviet power in the Middle East, at the same time, they realize the region of critical strategic importance, in terms of special value of Arab states, such as their oil resources, military facilities, and close proximity to the Soviet Union. Consequently, the United States assigned vast importance to the petroleum resources of the Middle East and U.S officials considered it vital to deny that resource to Soviet Russia in peace or war, to use it to fuel the economic reconstruction and revitalization of Europe and Japan, and to preserve Western Hemisphere oil resaves for periods of international emergency.3 The Truman Administration: (April 1945-Jan 1953). Harry Truman became president in April 1945, when Roosevelt died, just before the end of World War II. President Truman faced several major international challenges during his presidency. Although World War II had ended, the cold war was beginning, and the Korean War was on. For Middle East, decolonization made many Arab nations independent and led to the creation of Israel, as Arab nationalism began to grow.4 U.S officials found the issues of Middle East were on top priority than they had to deal with outside the Middle East. On the other hand, Truman became increasingly concerned about the soviet threat to U.S interests and announced that in a speech on March 12, 1947 to confront the Soviet threat and defend democracy. This policy that came to be called the Truman Doctrine, He was seen the Europe and the Far East were higher priorities than the Middle East, because of events there. But the creation of Israel began to focus Trumans attention on the Middle East.5

3 4

Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945, 7. William A. Rogh, 27. 5 Ibid, 28.

Early, the United States during Trumans presidency were involved in the issue of creation of Israel and its dispute with Arab states, at the same time U.S policy was ambivalent toward the conflict before 1948. Truman endorsed the Zionist position on Jewish immigration to Palestine, and most white house staff members urged the president to endorse the creation of Jewish state however, the state and Defense Departments, by contrast, advocated anti-Zionism to preserve security interests, such as amity with Britain and military, transportation, and oil assets in Arab states. The ambivalence of the United States was, clearly, in two points; the first one is During this formative period, a badly divided Truman administration gave crucial support to the Zionist cause. The state Department, Pentagon, and intelligence agencies opposed Zionism on security and diplomatic grounds; while Trumans personal advisers endorsed Zionism for political, cultural, and humanitarian reasons. At several crucial juncture, Truman ordered the implementation of pro-Zionist policy initiatives over the resistance of the security officials. His endorsement of Jewish immigration in 1945, his You Kippur statement in 1946, and his support of partition in 1947 revealed pro-Zionist proclivity and a disregard for Arab sensitivities. His actions pleased Zionists, but U.S- Arab relations soured, as the diplomats had anticipated. 6 The second point is, Han mentioned clearly in his book, By contrast, Truman refrained from unconditionally endorsing Zionism. He privately articulated disquiet over the situation in Palestine and regret that domestic political pressures influenced foreign policy- After calling for immigration of a hundred thousand Jews, Truman refused Zionist entreaties to endorse a higher number, He declined to promote Zionist objectives during the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine mission and registered distaste for the assertive style of certain Zionist leaders, The

Peter L. Hahn, Caught in the Middle East: U.S Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 19451961(Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004), 42.

unofficial meddling in the partition vote at the United Nations especially angered Truman. Although his actions appeared pro-Zionist, Truman also harbored anti-Zionist impulses. His indecisiveness caused in consistency in his policy on Palestine and encouraged future conflict among his advisers.7 Trumans policy toward Palestine deeply involved influenced the United States for more than a half century with Middle East and increasingly communism threat at the region. 8 In May 1948, leaders of the Jewish community of Palestine declared the independence of Israel, Truman was as if he waited them, eleven minutes later, Truman extended to the new country de facto recognition by the United States. This recognition generated crucial results in both sides; inside the United States and in the Middle East. U.S policymakers divide in to proZionist and anti-Zionist at the same lime five Arab states (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq). Joined Palestinian Arab irregulars and attacked the new state that had lasted until January 7, 1949. However, Arab states accepted the armistice, but their anger grew and became the crux of the Arab grievance against Israel and its western supporters, including the United States, which has lasted for more than half century. Trumans administration frustrated to bring peacemaking in the Middle East, because, deep divisions among U.S officials who favored close relations with Israel and those who favored close relations with the Arab states between 19511953, in addition to political conditions in the Middle East. 9 For the United States and Arab states, the best relation and earliest one was with Saudi Arabia. Truman inherited Franklin Roosevelt to make a good relation with Saudi Arabia; Truman
Peter L. Hahn .Caught in the Middle East: U.S Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961, 4243. William A. Rogh, 28-29. Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945, 24-25. 9 Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945, 33.

administration advanced the strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia. In 1950, the State Department offered an assurance that the United States will take most immediate action at any time that integrity and independent of Saudi Arabia is threatened. Also, in 1951, King Ibn Saud signed a five-year Renewable base agreement granting the United States access to the Dhahran airbase in exchange for military aid. In addition to official relations in all levels, close unofficial ties emerged between the United States and the Saudi kingdom, such as hiring Americans to engineer a ten-year plan to modernize the country in restructure in 1946.10 To protect its strategic interests in the Middle East against the perceived soviet challenge, the United States erected a series of security systems in the cross the Middle East during the early Cold War. The first formal U.S commitment in 1950 to the security and stability of the Middle East was the product of an intense debate among U.S. leaders about the propriety of supplying arm to local powers.11 Truman administration tried to erect a mutual defense system in the Middle East in 1950-52. The United States safeguards the Middle East against the soviet by many ways; in October 1951, the United States and Britain enlisted. France and Turkey to cosponsor the Middle East Command (MEC) and agreed to invite Egypt to join the pact and to base it in Cairo.12 The United States passed the major watershed in the Middle East in 1940s, and become deeply and inextricably involved in the affairs of the Middle East at the same time had begun to shape its foreign policy toward the region. The United States continued its foreign policy in Eisenhowers presidency despite the different diplomatic ways, which depend on political situations in most cases. Eisenhower took office in January in 1953 and lasted until 1961. Several major Middle Eastern events took place
10 11

Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945 , 9-11. William A. Rogh, 9-23. 12 Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945 , 14-15.

during the Eisenhower presidency: Iraqis overthrew their monarchy; Lebanon experienced political unrest; the Shah of Iran fled his country and then returned; Morocco and Tunisia became independent, but France continued to fight to keep Algeria; and Egypt was attacked by Israel, Britain, and France. Eisenhowers initial concern was centered not on the Middle East but on Eastern Europe. Inexorably, the Middle Eastern events attracted Washingtons full attention during the 1950s, especially when several key Arab governments, including Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Algeria began to align themselves internationally with Moscow. That means threat of American interests at Middle East and the hardest challenge in Egypt not after emergence ArabPan that led by Nassers revolution in 1952. And the Arab- Israeli conflict, that created by supporting of United States of America.13 Eisenhower administration could not avoid confrontation the Arab- Israeli conflict. The dispute provoked anti-western sentiment in Arab-states, hindered the establishment of a regional defense scheme, limited economic and social development, and created opportunities for soviet meddling in the region. Eisenhower and secretary of state John Foster Dulles concluded that solving the problem would serve U.S interests in the Middle East. They applied three basic principles to Arab- Israeli conflict. First, in light of apparent soviet activism in the Middle East, they affirmed the importance of settling the conflict. Second, Eisenhower and Dulles became determined, in Dulless words, to convince the Arab world that the United States is operating upon a policy of true impartiality. Third, Eisenhower approved in principle a plan to promote settlements of major Arab-Israeli controversies actively and to seek full and find peace treaties between the two sides. Peacemaking by Eisenhower administration faced enormous obstacles


William A. Rogh, 34-36.

from both sides: Arab leaders and Jewish state that led Eisenhower initially refrained from promoting Arab- Israeli peace.14 Because, the importance of stability in the Middle East for American intersects, Eisenhower Administration confronted a complex situation along Arab- Israeli borders in 195355, like problems on Israels border with Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, and Syria. In this regarding, Eisenhowers and Dulless reaction to these situations had two striking features. First, the leaders felt that security interests compelled the United States to shed its initial reluctance to become involved in the controversy and to devise diplomatic tools to pacify the borders. Second, although the United States failed to solve the border conflicts, in the process of trying Eisenhower and Dulles angered the principals to the dispute and perhaps even aggravated underlying Arab-Israeli tensions resulting in a difficult political controversy. Before these conflicts, Eisenhower and Dulles became more involved in the border situation; they unintentionally contributed to the mounting Arab-Israeli tensions by advancing U.S security interests in the Middle East. For example, the decision to arm Arab states as a means of bolstering the Baghdad Pact increased Israeli insecurity, which became manifest in its reprisal policy. Determination to remain on friendly terms with both Israel and Arab states for Cold War reasons restrained the United States from compelling either side to submit to the other.15 The most difficult challenge that faced U.S foreign policy toward the Middle East is the Suez Crisis through the Arab-Israeli conflict, which took a new and unexpected turn after Egyptian premier Gamal Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal Company in July 1956. Nasser took over the British- and French- owned firm to demonstrate his independence from the

Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945 , 28. Peter L. Hahn, Caught in the Middle East: U.S Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961, 154-55. Peter L. Hahn, Caught in the Middle East: U.S Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961, 16869.

European colonial powers, to avenge an Anglo- U.S. denial of economic aid, and to garner the profits the company earned in his country. Britain and France responded by threatening to use force to recover ownership of the waterway. U.S president Eisenhower sought to resolve the dispute before it triggered hostilities, but the Suez-Sinai War nonetheless erupted in October when Israel, in secret partnership with Britain and France, attacked Egypt. This war was the best way to intervene Soviet Union in Arab Affairs at the same time is good chance to U.S policy to close the Arab states, especially Egypt. But, Cold War interests shaped Eisenhowers policy toward the crisis. He opposed the use of force against Egypt, because it seemed likely to enhance soviet prestige in the Arab world. Assessing the Soviet Unions intentions in the Middle East on the basis of soviet behavior in Eastern Europe, the president feared an advance in the Middle East or a direct attack on Britain and France. Eisenhower moved quickly to end the Suez-Sinai War, both to deny the Soviet Union political advantages in the Arab states and to remove the risk of soviet military action that would have gave consequences for world peace.16 Eisenhowers policy toward the canal crisis was on three basic and interrelated premises. First, he sought to avert a military clash and settle the canal dispute with diplomacy before the Soviet Union exploited the situation for political gain. Second, he aimed to avoid alienating Arab nationalism and included Arab statesmen in his diplomacy to end the crisis. Third, he sought to isolate Israel from the canal controversy.17 The Suez Crisis gave Eisenhower a good lesson for next years. The crisis demonstrated the strategic importance for U.S Cold War interests in the Middle East and drew clear political picture to U.S foreign policy that shaped its policy in many

Peter L. Hahn, Caught in the Middle East: U.S Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961, 19497. Cole C. Kingseed, Eisenhower and the Suez Crisis of 1956 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995), 127-47. Peter L. Hahn, Caught in the Middle East: U.S Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961, 19598.

cases later, because various dimensions of the crisis, notably when the Soviet Union threatened to intervene in the fighting and to carry the war to France and Britain. The Suez-Sinai War also constituted major setback in the U.S. quest to stabilize the Middle East throughout Eisenhowers presidency. The second important event during Eisenhowers period is nationalization Iranian oil by premier mister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1951. Mossodegh challenged the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (AIOC) and enacted nationalization of the British firm. The United States realize Iranian strategic for communism expands, especially Mossadegh challenged the authority of prowestern Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi: so, Eisenhower inherited the showdown in Iran and moved quickly to resolve it. In May Mossadegh appealed to the U.S. president for financial assistance, suggesting that otherwise he might be forced to seek soviet aid. In June, Eisenhower rejected Mossadeghs appeal and authorized U.S and British intelligence officers to overthrow the Iranian premier covertly. Eisenhower decided to overthrow Mossodegh, because he was apparently becoming dependent on the local communist (Tudeh) Party for political support, Mossadegh nationalization of the AIO (undermined Britains prestige and set a precedent for similar action against other western firms in the developing world. Instability in Iran impeded the presidents quest to establish an anti-soviet pact among states on the Soviet Unions southern border.18 The U.S - British covert operation took place in August 1953 what so- called TPAJAX Operation. Following a brief showdown with Mossadegh, the shah fled the country on August 15. When Mossadeghs antiroyalist forces split between Tudeh members and Muslims nationalists, however, western intelligence officers exploited the schism by raising an anti18

Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945 , 37-38.

Mossadegh mob in Tehran and recruiting key units of the armed forces to support the Shah. On August 20, Mossadegh was arrested by forces loyal to the Shah, and by August 31, the Shah returned to his throne in Tehran. The goals of U.S foreign policy beyond this operation were succeful, they return their dependent and protect the area from communism extend and guaranteed the American interests in particular and western interests in genral.19 The United States reconsidered its foreign policy toward the Middle East, especially after the Suez Crisis in the 1950s. As a consequence of the Suez war, President Eisenhower declared a major new security policy in the Middle East. The Anglo- French-Israeli military assault on Egypt had demolished British and French prestige in the region, vaulted Nassers stature to stratospheric levels, and seemingly left the remaining pro-western leaders vulnerable to Nasserist uprisings. U.S leaders feared the specter of soviet intrusion into the region. We have no intention of standing idly by, the president declared in December 1956, to see the southern flank of NATO completely collapse through communist penetration and success in the mid East.20 Determined to act, the president proposed the Eisenhower Doctrine in January 1957. The doctrine pledged that the United States would distribute economic and military aid and, if necessary, use military force to contain communism in the Middle East. Congress approved the doctrine in March, despite misgivings about the administrations perspective on the middle East, the preservation of Israeli interests under the doctrine, and the surrender of congressional prerogatives to the executive branch. Special envoy James P. Richards toured the region,

19 20

Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945 , 38. Peter L. Hahn, Caught in the Middle East: U.S Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961, 22428. Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945 , 42-46.

dispensing tens of millions of dollars in economic and military aid to Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, said, Arabia, Lebanon, and Libya.21 The Eisenhower Doctrine guided U.S policy in several controversies, like in spring 1957, Jordanian army officers and Palestinians who were sympathetic to Nasser challenged the authority of Jordans King Hussein. To resolve it, Eisenhower provided ten million in economic aid to Amman and dispatched the U.S Sixth Fleet to the Eastern Mediterranean to bolster the king. The Eisenhower Doctrine occurred in 1958 in response to revolutionary unrest in three Arab states. In Jordan, nationalists continued to pose a threat to the throne of King Hussein. In Lebanon, discontent with the government of President Camille Chamoun, Christian fed a popular uprising among the countrys Muslims, who were apparently enamored of Nasser. Chamoun demanded U.S military intervention to deny the country to the radical, but Eisenhower initially refrained from such action on the calculation that it would produce undesirable consequence. In Iraq, radical revolutionaries suddenly and violently overthrew the pro-western government in July.22 The U.S foreign policy toward Middle East during the 1940s and the 1950s is the key base for next five decades, despite changing presidents and their inclinations, therefore, U.S foreign policy during Trumans and Eisenhowers presidency shaped the U.S policy in general and during Cold War in particular. U.S policy during the 1960s: the Kennedy and Johnson administration.

21 22

Ibid, 42. Cole C. Kingseed, 144-47. Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945, 43.

John F. Kennedy took office as president in January 1961. During his presidency, the major international events in the Middle East were civil war that began in Yemen 1962, and Arab Israeli conflict. Kennedy recognized Egypts importance in terms of its size, political, military weight; therefore, it has always been a key country in the Middle East. Kennedy was interested in finding a way to work with Nasser, but with the limits of Americas continuing support for Israel (this basic policy that was shaped in 1950s) and relations with Saudi Arabia and other conservative Arab states. He tried to balance U.S policy toward Middle East, despite; he followed the same inclinations of 1950s. But his destiny had to be assassinated on November 22, 1963 and Lyndon B. Johnson became president until January 1969.23 The important challenge, during Johnsons presidency in the Middle East, was the ArabIsraeli war of 1967 and it was his primary foreign policy concern. The Middle East attracted some of Washingtons attention from the start of the Johnson administration. First it was because of the Yemeni civil war 1962-67, where two key Arab states, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, were involved on opposite sides, supporting the republicans and the royalists, respectively. Washingtons main concern also in the Middle East was the growing Arab stridency toward Israel. Arab summit conferences in Cairo, Casablanca, and Jerusalem during 1964 and 1965 called for the establishment of the Palestine liberation Organization (PLO) and the Palestine liberation Army (PLA), and endorsed a new Palestine covenant calling for the destruction of Israel.24 Before these situations in the Middle East U.S leaders pursued three brood objectives in the 1960s. First, they underscored the importance of practicing anti-soviet containment in the

23 24

William A. Rogh, 49-55. Ibid 50-56.

region. National security advisers cautioned that the Soviet Union sought to gain influence in the Middle East by supporting revolutionary, anti- western regimes and political movements. Second, U.S officials sought political stability in the Middle East. They aimed to preserve the territorial integrity of all states in the region against external attack, especially by the Soviet Union. Third, U.S officials aimed to maintain a delicate balance between antagonistic factions in the region. To facilitate their guest for regional peace, they sought friendly relations with both Israel and its Arab neighbors.25 In late 1966 and early 1967, Middle East political conditions deteriorated rapidly and Johnson administrations policy faced obstacle. In these complicated situations, a Middle East crisis erupted on May 19, 1967, when Nasser expelled the United Nation troops that had policed the Sinai since the end of the Suez-Sinai war in 1957. Nasser ordered his forces to occupy evacuated UN bases on Israels border. The crisis deepened on May 22, when Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and Israeli leaders threatened to fight to reopen the waterway. Johnson administration took four steps to head off war. First, Johnson promptly and publicly declared the potentially disastrous to the cause of peace, and he sent a special envoy to Cairo to urge Nasser to reveres it. Second, resolving to, play every card in the UN, Johnson encouraged the UAR and Israel to cooperate with secretary General Thant to end the crisis. Third, U.S officials discouraged Israel from launching a military attack on the UAR to reopen the Straits of Tiran. Fourth, U.S officials organized concerted action by western powers to break Nassers blockade of Straits of Tiran.26

25 26

Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945, 47-49. Ibid, 51-52.

Unfortunately for the United States, such efforts to head off war encountered serious problems. For instance, Israeli insecurity mounted amidst reports that UAR units in the Sinai were armed with chemical weapons. The crisis indeed turned into war on June 5 when Israeli forces suddenly demolished the Egyptian air force in aerial attack and then rapidly occupied the Gaza Strip and the Sinai. The final ceasefire was on June 10. The Untied States took three ways toward the Six Day War. First, it sought to end the war as soon as possible, second, Johnson sought to prevent soviet political or military involvement in the war, which would seriously imperil western interests in the Middle East and perhaps lead to a global conflict. Third, the United States sought to build a permanent peace settlement over the ashes of Six Day War.27 The major concern for U.S foreign policy toward the Middle East in the 1960s was the crises of 1967, which was within the Arab- Israeli conflict that emanating from the disputes of previous decades and continue to next decades. The Nixon and Ford administration (1969-1977) During the 1970s, The United States continued in the same policy of previous decades. For instance, President Richard Nixon was obsessed with the Cold War and was concerned about the expansion of soviet influence in the Middle East, and could not ignore the simmering ArabIsraeli dispute which turned into war in October 1973. But Nixon tended to see the Soviet Union as the root cause of Arab hostility to the United States. He wanted to improve relations with the Arab states in order to thwart soviet ambitions in the Middle East.28 A political picture of Middle East was changed. Nasser died in 1970 and took his office a new president, Anwar Sadat who was willing and more flexible than Nasser, especially for
27 28

Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945, 52-57. William A. Rogh, 69.

finding way to stability in region. The Nixon administrations policy toward withdrawal from the Suez Canal area evolved in favor of Israel. For instance, Nixon initially endorsed Egypts peace plan and advised Israel to compromise. Gradually, however, Nixon adopted Kissingers view of Israel as a regional client state that would serve American interests by containing both soviet communism and Arab radicalism. But Alignment with Israel blinded the Nixon administration to the harbingers of the 1973 war. The war erupted on October 6, 1973, when Egyptian and Syrian armies launched a coordinated, surprise offensive against Israeli forces in the occupied Sinai and Golan. The war lasted until October 22. U.S officials immediately took action to end the fighting and to build a foundation for a lasting peace. On behalf of their interests in the Cold War, U.S. officials favored resolution of this conflict. The hostilities generated political instability that seemed to advance soviet interests by radicalizing Arab states and threatened the oil resources on which western security and economic health depended. Thus U.S. officials sought some means to bring peace to the region.29 For U.S. policy toward Iran, it was regular and closer in all levels. The U.S-Iranian partnership blossomed during the Nixon presidency. As part of his global strategy for containing soviet communism through new and efficient means, the president declared under the so- called Nixon Doctrine that the United States would quip and rely on various client states to resist revolution and otherwise stabilize each region of the world. Nixon viewed Iran as his Middle East client, especially after Britain announced that it would relinquish its commitments to security interests east of Suez in 1971. Nixon also nurtured a close relationship with the Shah and offered to sell him any nonnuclear weapon systems the Shah desired.30

29 30

Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and Crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945, 57-58, 67. Ibid, 70-71.

Carters policy 1977-1981 President Jimmy Carter took office in January 1977, and he faced several challenges in Middle East, He had to be more attention to that region of the world than his predecessors had, especially Iran. Indeed, during his presidency, the most important international events and developments took place in the Middle East or nearby: Camp David and Egyptian- Israeli peace agreements 1978-1979, the Iranian revolution and subsequent hostage crisis 1979-1981, the soviet invasion of Afghanistan 1979, and the start the Iraq- Iran war 1980.31 Through these events notably, the revolution in Iran, which was knockdown for American interests in the region, carried that country beyond the American orbit and resulted in a hostage crisis that beleaguered the United States on the global stage and paralyzed the presidency of Carter. The soviet invasion of Afghanistan stoked fears of militant communism capturing vital oil assets in the Persian Gulf region. Carter found it difficult to deal with these challenges. He was baffled by the Iranian revolution, consumed by the hostage crisis, and embarrassed by the debacle at Desert one, all of which undermined his bid for reelection in 1980. For example, in the first weeks of 1979, a revolution in Iran led to Shahs flight out of the county and brought Ayatollah Khomeini back from exile in Najaf, Iraq. The Iranian revolution shocked Washington. President Nixon had depended heavily on the Shah as pillar of support for U.S interests in the Gulf, and Carter had also praised the Shah, calling Iran an island of stability in one of the more troubled areas of the world. At first Washington was hopeful that the united states could work with the new Iranian regime, but when president Carter let the Shah come to the United States for treatment, that awoke Iranian suspicions of a new U.S plot like thrown in


William A. Rogh, 83.

1953 to restore the shah to throne, and it led to takeover of the American embassy in November 1979. Reacting to these threats, carter, in his January 23, 1980, state of the union address, enunciated what come to be known as the Carter Doctrine. It said 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 of America and will be repelled by any means necessary, including force. He focused on Iran and on Afghanistan where America had minimal interests.32 U.S policy toward Middle East 1982-2005 The major issue Arab-Israeli conflict of U.S policy in the Middle East remained concerned the U.S officials. The conflict threat ended to undermine vital American interests in the waning years of the Cold War, and it there after remained an impediment to the American goal of stability in the Middle East. Thus officials in Washington consistently sought ways to abate the tensions between the two sides and to achieve a final and formal peace agreement. For example, the process of peacemaking during Ronald Reagan presidency and his plan, after Israeli invasion of Lebanon, to peacemaking was in the doldrums throughout the 1980s, because, the events in Palestine, such as intifada in 1987 and its consequences. But in the 1990s, the Persian Gulf War and the end of Cold War changed the political landscape in the Middle East and thus raised U.S hope of resuming the peace process. Sensing opportunities, officials in the first Bush and the Clinton administration engaged in intensive diplomacy designed to facilitate formal treaties. Such efforts resulted in several notable accomplishments, including in traction between Israel and other Arab states, and vigorous Israeli-Syrian negotiations.33

32 33

William A. Rogh, 90-91. Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945 , 87-91, 104.

After the end of Cold War and changing the political dynamics of the Middle East, the United States faced a series of new challenges in the Middle East in general and in the Persian Gulf in particular. Most of the trouble centered on oil- rich Iraq ruled by Saddam Hussein and his policy that lead to the Persian Gulf war 1990-91, and the invasion of Kuwait. The administration of George H.W Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush approached these challenges in unique ways. The elder Bush responded to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait by knitting together abroad coalition of nations that, empowered with legal authority by the United Nations, waged a punishing but limited war of liberation that reach its stated goal of reversing Iraqi aggression while refraining from ousting Hussein. Clinton perpetuated Bushs policy of containing Hussein through enforcement of no- fly zones, economic sanctions, and international weapons inspection, backed by occasional military strikes on Iraqi targets.34 Consequently, in addition to previous challenges, the United States faced new threat of its kind, the rising tide of anti-American terrorism. The last three decode witnessed a steady series of anti- American terrorist attacks among disaffected Muslims who acted on religious motivations. Several factors indigenous to the Muslims states of the Middle East encouraged this trend. The beginning with the first attack on the world trade center in 1993, sweeping through subsequent major attacks in Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Tanzania, and Yemen, and culminating in fury on 9/11, simultaneously instilled fear in the mind of America that additional catastrophic assaults would follow, perhaps involving weapons of mass destruction. The United States simultaneously developed thorough plan for dealing with terrorism through defensive and


Peter L. Hahn, Crisis and crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945 , 131.

offensive operations. The Middle East became an increasingly dangerous region of the world during 1990s and early 2000s.35


Ibid, 115-31.

Peter L. Hahn .Caught in the Middle East: U.S Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004. _________Crisis and crossfire: the United States and the Middle East since 1945.Washington, DC: Potomac Book, 2005. Mark J. Gasiorowski and Malcom Byrne, eds., Mohammad Mosaddeq and the 1953 Coup in Iran. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2004. Cole C. Kingseed, Eisenhower and the Suez Crisis of 1956. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995. William A. Rogh, American Encounters with Arabs: The Soft Power of U.S Public Diplomacy in the Middle East. Westport, CT: Preager Security International, 2006. Douglas Little, American Orientalism: the United States and the Middle East since 1945.Chapel Hill: university of North Carolina Press, 2002.