1st Edition

US Foreign Policy in the Middle East From American Missionaries to the Islamic State

Edited By Geoffrey F. Gresh, Tugrul Keskin Copyright 2018
    326 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    326 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The dawn of the Cold War marked a new stage of complex U.S. foreign policy involvement in the Middle East. More recently, globalization and the region’s ongoing conflicts and political violence have led to the U.S. being more politically, economically, and militarily enmeshed – for better or worse—throughout the region.

    This book examines the emergence and development of U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East from the early 1900s to the present. With contributions from some of the world’s leading scholars, it takes a fresh, interdisciplinary, and insightful look into the many antecedents that led to current U.S. foreign policy. Exploring the historical challenges, regional alliances, rapid political change, economic interests, domestic politics, and other sources of regional instability, this volume comprises critical analysis from Iranian, Turkish, Israeli, American, and Arab perspectives to provide a comprehensive examination of the evolution and transformation of U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East.

    This volume is an important resource for scholars and students working in the fields of Political Science, Sociology, International Relations, Islamic, Turkish, Iranian, Arab, and Israeli Studies.

    Introduction—US Foreign Policy in the Middle East

    Geoffrey F. Gresh

    PART I—Historical Cultural and Economic Interests

    1. From ‘Heathen Turks’ to ‘Cruel Turks’: Changing American Perception and Foreign Policy towards the Middle East
    2. Ozlem Madi-Sisman and Cengiz Sisman

    3. How Big Tobacco Used Islam and Modernity to Conquer Saudi Arabia
    4. Sean Foley

      PART II—Cold War Challenges

    5. How Geography and Ideology Shaped US Foreign Policy during the Cold War
    6. Nickolas A. Spencer

    7. The Ties That Bind: Postwar US Foreign Policy toward Turkey
    8. Gökser Gökçay

    9. American Atomic Policy and Hashemite Iraq, 1954-1958
    10. Elizabeth Bishop

      PART III—Balancing Regional Alliances

    11. Understanding the US-Israeli Alliance
    12. Jeremy Pressman

    13. The United States’ Strategic Relationship with Iran and Turkey: Implications for Cold War and Post-Cold War Order
    14. Suleyman Elik

    15. American-Qatari Partnership in the Post-Gulf Area: A Mutually Beneficial Relationship Fatma Aslı Kelkitli
    16. US-Gulf Cooperation Council Relations in the Age of the Obama Doctrine
    17. Michael McCall

      PART IV—Rapid Political Change and the Spread of Regional Instability

    18. When Partisanship Captured Strategy: American Foreign Policy and the War in Iraq
    19. Russell A. Burgos

    20. The United States and Political Islam: Dealing with the Egyptian Muslim Brothers in the Arab Revolutions
    21. Mohamed-Ali Adraoui

    22. Promoting or Resisting Change? The United States and the Egyptian Uprising (2011-2012)
    23. Ahmed Ali Salem

    24. Set-up for Failure: The Syria-United States Relationship
    25. Ethan Corbin

    26. The United States and Iran: The View of the Hardline Conservatives in the Islamic Republic
    27. Hamad Albloshi

    28. Losing Hearts and Minds: The United States, Ideocide, and the Propaganda War Against ISIS
    29. Kelly Gleason

    30. An Imperial Design or Necessity of Political Economy?: Understanding the Underpinnings of a Trump Administration

    Tugrul Keskin


    Geoffrey F. Gresh is Department Chair and Associate Professor of International Security Studies at the College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University in Washington, D.C. He is also the former Director of the South and Central Asia Security Studies Program at NDU. Previously, he served as a Visiting Fellow at Sciences Po in Paris and was the recipient of a Dwight D. Eisenhower/Clifford Roberts Fellowship. He also received a US Fulbright-Hays Grant to teach international relations at Salahaddin University in Erbil, Iraq. He has been awarded a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship to Istanbul, Turkey and a Presidential Scholarship at the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Additionally, he has worked with Colombian refugees in Quito, Ecuador. Most recently, he was named as a US-Japan Foundation Leadership Fellow, an Associate Member of the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies at King’s College in London, and as a term member to the Council on Foreign Relations. He is the author of Gulf Security and the US Military: Regime Survival and the Politics of Basing (Stanford University Press, 2015) and editor of Eurasia’s Maritime Rise and Global Security: From the Indian Ocean to Pacific Asia and the Arctic (Palgrave, 2018). His research has also appeared in such scholarly or peer reviewed publications as Gulf Affairs, World Affairs Journal, Sociology of Islam, Caucasian Review of International Affairs, Iran and the Caucasus, The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, Turkish Policy Quarterly, Central Asia and the Caucasus, Insight Turkey, Al-Nakhlah, War on the Rocks, and Foreign Policy. He received a Ph.D. in International Relations and MALD from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He can be followed on Twitter @ggresh.

    Tugrul Keskin is an Associate Professor and member of the Center for Turkish Studies and Center for Global Studies at Shanghai University. Keskin was the graduate director at the Department of Political Science and International Relations at Maltepe University in Turkey. He taught previously at the Department of International and Global Studies and as an affiliated faculty of Black Studies, Sociology and the Center for Turkish Studies at Portland State University. He served as the Middle East Studies Coordinator at PSU for six years. His research and teaching interests include International and Global Studies, Social and Political Theory, African Society and Politics, Sociology of Human Rights, Islamic Movements, and Sociology of Middle East.  Previously, Dr. Keskin taught as an instructor of Sociology and Africana Studies at Virginia Tech University and taught as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at James Madison and Radford Universities. He received his PhD in Sociology from Virginia Tech, with graduate certificate degrees in Africana Studies, Social and Political Thought, and International Research and Development. He is the founder and moderator of the Sociology of Islam mailing list, and the founder and editor of the Sociology of Islam Journal-BRILL and region editor of Critical Sociology-SAGE (Middle East and North Africa). His current research involves Modern Uyghur Nationalism, China and the Middle East, and US Foreign Policy and Think-Tanks in the Post-Cold War Era.


    "These critical studies of US foreign policy in the Middle East cover America's involvement with the region and its peoples from the Founding Fathers to the Trump presidency. Gresh and Keskin bring together key experts from the US, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe in a wide-ranging assessment of how US foreign policy increasingly has been shaped by the cultural, economic, ideological, and strategic complexities of the Middle East after 1941. Accessible and engaging, it develops an excellent in-depth assessment of the geopolitical challenges that American foreign policy-makers face in this region during the 21st century." - Timothy W. Luke, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

    "U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East provides critical analyses from multiple cultural perspectives of instabilities in the Middle East. It provides a comprehensive examination of American foreign policy for a strategically important part of the world that is in the midst of difficult and challenging transformations. The book is especially important because the efforts of U.S. leadership to foster global security are profoundly affected by the current upheavals in the greater Middle East. These diplomatic efforts require the participation, support, and knowledge of U.S. allies." - Andrew C. Hess, Professor of Diplomacy & Director of the Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization Program, The Fletcher School, Tufts University

    "This book is suitable for anyone ranging from a well-accomplished scholar and researcher to a budding student who is looking to broaden his/her knowledge about the US’s motivations and subsequent ensnarement, thereby seeking to further illuminate the trajectory of events in the region. Revisiting past events in writing equips experts, students, and other individuals with the abilities to re-examine the present and to prefigure the future and its effects on broader global populations." - Gilboa, E. (2021). United States policy in the Middle East: A history of challenges, responses, and failures. Strategic Assessment, 24(2), 156-159.