Middle East

The Middle East in Transition: Questions for U.S. Policy

The term "Middle East" can create an image of a group of similar countries and peoples with shared politics and histories, but this is deceptive. The people of this part of the world have diverse ethnicities, religions, languages, and understandings of their histories. They experience a variety of different ways of life. This diverse and complex region plays an important role in U.S. foreign policy.

The Middle East in Transition: Questions for U.S. Policy draws students into the policy debate on the issues that shape U.S. ties to the Middle East. The United States' need for oil, its relationship with Israel, worries about ISIS, and Iran's nuclear program make the Middle East an important region. A civil war rages in Syria and threatens to spill over borders. The long-term effects of these events remain to be seen, as does the U.S. relationship to evolving Middle East politics.

Introduction: What is the Middle East?

Part I: The Middle East in the World

Part II: The Middle East and the Cold War

Part III: U.S. Middle East Policy in the Twenty-First Century

Part IV: Case Studies

Lesson: The Geography of the Middle East

Lesson: Primary Source Analysis—The Creation of Israel

Lesson: Primary Source Analysis— Iran: Oil Nationalization and the 1953 Coup

Lesson: Graffiti and Social Media in the Egyptian Revolution

Lesson: Weighing Recommendations for U.S. Policy

Featured Scholars

Melani Cammett photo
Brown University
Joseph Cirincione photo
Ploughshares Fund
Mark Garrison photo
Brown University
Mariam Habibi photo
New York University Paris