The US International Politics Regarding the Middle East, Essay Example

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Essay

Why did the United States intervene in the conflicts between Iraq and Iran and between Iraq and Kuwait? What were American goals in each case?

The strategy of the United States regarding the international politics of the Middle East is described as “anticipatory self-defense.”1  in the end of the 20th Century. However, in the Iraq-Iran conflict and the Kuwait war was about something else: showing the superpower of the country and maintaining influence on the economic, social and political level in the region. According to Tarock, the reason why so many lives were lost in the war was the competition between the West and East. Further the active presence of the Soviet Union in the region created a serious threat for the influence of the United States. In order to “win back Iran” the invasion was necessary. While Iran was winning, already planning for victory, which would have meant “Eastern power”2 above the Persian Gulf, making trade and economic developments, access to oil more difficult for the United States. Therefore, the war developed into something that was no longer about the conflict between two Arabic countries, but the war of two superpowers over controlling the Gulf.

In the case of the Kuwait War, the case was different: the invasion of Kuwait showed a sign of powers hostile against America gaining power over a region that had a great American presence. The main enemy in this war was Saddam Hussein, who was labeled as a terrorist, an enemy of the Western democracy. This war was the real starting point of America’s change of attitude and international strategy in the Middle East. While Saddam Hussein caused a crisis in the Gulf, his actions had economic impacts on the United States. 3 While Hussein became paranoid and feared increased intervention of the West in the politics of the region, America realized the threat this imposed on their trade, power and influence in the oil-rich Gulf. 4

Notes

  1. Henreta, J., Edwards, R., Self, R. America: A Concise History, Volume Two: Since 1865  5th Edition. Barnes and Noble. p. 953.
  2. Tarock, A. The Superpowers’ Involvement in the Iran-Iraq War. Nova Publishers, 1998. p. 3.
  3. Tarock, p. 18.
  4. Mussalam, A. The Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait: Saddam Hussein, His State and International  Power Politics. p. 93.

Bibliography

Henreta, J., Edwards, R., Self, R.  America: A Concise History, Volume Two: Since     1865  5th       Edition. Barnes and Noble.

Tarock, A. The Superpowers’ Involvement in the Iran-Iraq War. Nova Publishers, 1998

Mussalam, A. The Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait: Saddam Hussein, His State and      International Power Politics. British Academic Press, 1996

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