The United States and the Middle East: A Search for New Perspectives

By Hooshang Amirahmadi | Go to book overview

PREFACE AND
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The Middle East has been the scene of several cataclysmic events in recent years, including three wars since 1980: the eight-year Iran‐ Iraq war ( 1980-1988), the Israeli invasion of Lebanon ( 1982), and the United States—led war against Iraq ( 1991). These three wars not only inflicted heavy damage on the economic infrastructures of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, and Lebanon, they also led to a significant increase in the U.S. involvement in the region. In recognition of this later development, this book focuses on U.S policy in the Middle East.

In particular, the book advances a critical analysis of U.S. Middle East policy and offers alternative perspectives. A major objective of the book is to indicate areas of shortcomings in this policy in the wake of the ongoing global and domestic changes and draw attention to the need for new and more plausible policy. The book also conveys the idea that for such perspectives to emerge, Middle East studies and education in U.S. universities and foreign policy institutions should be restructured to reflect recent global and regional realities.

Although historical development of the policy is given, the book focuses on the post-World War II diplomatic and military initiatives, including the post-Cold War changes, and evaluates their roots and consequences. Included are such watersheds as the Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian question and Lebanon, U.S.‐ Iran relations following the Iranian Revolution, the Irangate fiasco, the Central Command and the reflagging of Kuwait's tankers, and the U.S.-led war against Iraq. The important role of U.S. media and Middle East studies and education in U.S. foreign policy is also emphasized. A concluding chapter focuses on the ongoing

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