US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The Roots of Anti-Americanism

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Over the last 60 years, Washington has been a major player in the politics of the Middle East. From Iran in the 1950s, to the Gulf War of 1991, to the devastation of contemporary Iraq, US policy has had a profound impact on the domestic affairs of the region. Anti-Americanism is a pervasive feature of modern Middle East public opinion. But far from being intrinsic to 'Muslim political culture', scepticism of the US agenda is directly linked to the regional policies pursued by Washington.

By exploring critical points of regional crisis, Kylie Baxter and Shahram Akbarzadeh elaborate on the links between US policy and popular distrust of the United States. The book also examines the interconnected nature of events in this geo-strategically vital region. Accessible and easy to follow, this book is designed to provide a clear and concise overview of complex historical and political material. Key features include: maps illustrating key events and areas of discontent; text boxes on topics of interest related to the Arab-Israeli wars, Iranian politics, foreign interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the wars of the Persian Gulf, September 11 and the rise of Islamist movements; and, further reading lists and a selection of suggested study questions at the end of each chapter. US Foreign Policy in the Middle East: The roots of anti-Americanism provides students and researchers insight into the popular discontent generated by decades of US policy in the Middle East.

About the Author:
Dr Kylie Baxter is a researcher at the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, the University of Melbourne, Australia

About the Author:
Associate Professor ShahramAkbarzadeh is Deputy Director of the National Centre of Excellence for Islamic Studies, the University of Melbourne, Australia

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415410489
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 8/23/2008
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr Kylie Baxter is Deputy Director of the Centre for Muslim Minorities & Islam Policy Studies at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. Her research focuses on Islamic politics and conflict in the Middle East. She is also the author of British Muslims and the Call to Global Jihad (Melbourne: Monash Asia Institute Press: 2007).

Associate Professor Shahram Akbarzadeh is Director of the Centre for Muslim Minorities & Islam Policy Studies at Monash University, Australia. His research focuses on Australian Muslims, international relations and Islamic politics. He is also the author of Uzbekistan and the United States: Islamism, Authoritarianism and Washington's Security Agenda (London: Zed Books, 2005).

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Table of Contents

List of maps

1 The Middle East in the Colonial Period 8

The fall of the Ottomans and the Hashemite Dynasty 10

The Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 and the balfour declaration of 1917 13

The post-war era: the King-Crane commission and the Mandates 17

2 Great Power Influences, Zionism and the Middle East 25

Zionism: the road to statehood 26

Zionism during the war 33

Al-Nakba/the Israeli War of Independence 37

3 Israel and the Arabs at War: Superpower Dimensions and the Israeli-US Alliance 46

1956: the Suez War 47

1967: the Six-Day War 49

1973: the Yom Kippur/Ramadan War 56

1982: the Lebanon War 60

2006: the July War 63

4 Islamism and the Iranian Revolution 70

Historical background 71

The Iranian Revolution 76

The Shia dimension 85

5 Proxy War: the Superpowers in Afghanistan 89

Historical context 90

Reasons for the Soviet decision 93

Regional reactions 96

The role of the United States 97

Case study: the Stinger controversy 98

Resolution of the Afghan conflict 101

6 Wars in the Persian Gulf 109

Historical background 110

Iran-Iraq tension 114

The superpowers' involvement 118

After the Iran-Iraq War 123

Regional tensions: water and oil 124

Operation Desert Storm 128

Outcomes of Desert Storm 131

7 Israel and Palestine: the Failure to Find Peace and the Role of the United States 136

The first uprising: Intifada 1987 140

The emergence of HAMAS 141

The Oslo Accords (September 1993) 142

Oslo's failure and the al-Aqsa Intifada 144

Israel's security wall 151

The Gaza withdrawal 152

8 The Iraq 'Adventure' and Arab Perceptions of the Unites States 160

Iraq: the road towar 161

Arab discontent 170

Conclusion 177

The United States and Israel 179

The United States and the Palestinians 180

The United States and Iraq 183

The United States and the Middle East: where to from here? 185

Index 187

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