American Intervention in the Middle East
America’s intervention in the Middle East has been a topic around which numerous debates have arisen. While quite a number of people may not agree with the reasons cited by the United States government in relation to America’s intervention of the Middle East, the decisions have been guided by various diplomatic policies. Since the Progressive Era, America has intervened in a number of affairs in several Middle Eastern countries during and since the Progressive Era (DeNovo 16). These countries include Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and more recently, Iraq. As stated, the reasons for intervention vary depending on the situation, but they have all largely been guided by America’s diplomatic policies.
Of key in the intervention in the Middle East is the United State’s vision of freedom for all. The United States is unequivocally opposed to the use of repression and violence on the citizens of the Middle East by some of the dictatorial governments found in the region. While America recognizes the independence of each country and the right and responsibility to govern its people, the US remains primarily a supporter of each individual’s universal rights (Hahn 107). These include equality – for both men and women, freedom of speech, freedom of religion despite of governance, freedom of peaceful association, and the right to vote. It is on this value, and the abuse of universal rights, that the United States has felt required to intervene in the Middle Eastern region.
Another policy that has guided American intervention in the Middle East is the support of positive economic and political change in the region. The amount of support that has been accorded to the Middle East by the United States, in terms of financial aid, assistance in brokering peace deals, and overthrowing of oppressive regimes is a testament to the fact that the United States welcomes positive economic and political change that meets legitimate hopes of the people in the region. Finally, the war on terror has also been a determining factor in America’s intervention in the Middle East. The United States is against the use of weapons of mass destruction as well as the threat they pose to nations worldwide. It is with this in mind that the administration has deemed it necessary for certain interventions to be made in the Middle Eastern region in order to destroy the threat posed by these weapons.
There are numerous changes that have come about since the Progressive Era in the United States, which have in turn influenced the country’s relations with the Middle East and the rest of the world. Firstly, after the end of the Second World War, a rise in awareness of equality in opportunity was experienced. This has continued to this day and has been a contributing factor in the United States’ intervention in the Middle East. Rooted in the universal rights, equality in opportunity has continued to guide the administration in both its internal and foreign affairs. It was because of equality of opportunity that the United States supported a resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict and the establishment of the new country of Israel – an additional change since the Progressive Era (Hahn 289).
Moreover, the United States’ economy has changed significantly since the Progressive Era, and this has also been reflected in the country’s foreign relations with the Middle East. For instance, military support in the region would not have been possible without the economic advancements that America has made since the Progressive Era. To be sure, Post Progressive Era was initiated through development of some of the key principles of the Progressive Era as well as the need for change in some (DeNovo 39). It is therefore by considering the Progressive Era that we can ascertain that change has indeed occurred and as is characteristic of change, will continue to occur. The United States is indeed committed to ensuring that governments in the Middle Eastern region protect their citizens’ right to progressive change.
DeNovo, John. American Interests and Policies in the Middle East, 1900-1939. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1963. Print.
Hahn, Peter. Caught in the Middle East: U.S. policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961. North Carolina: UNC Press Books, 2006. Print.