The Cold War in the Middle East

For my RBA, I will be investigating how the Cold War played a crucial role in the development of the Middle East during the 20th century, with a specific focus on how this ideological conflict contributed to the 9/11 attacks a decade after its end. It’s a very important topic, as we have to be sure to account for the way external intervention can lead to future issues that we may not originally think of.

There have been a variety of scholars discussing the influence the Cold War on this Middle Eastern region. From the Suez Conflict to the mass of refugees sent from conflict zones, the influence of the US and the USSR has played a major role in the decisions made by regional powers. Much contention exists over who is to blame for what occurs: who is the aggressor, was it morally acceptable for these external powers to get involved in the way they did, and was the sovereignty of the Middle Eastern regions compromised? These different opinions come through in prefaces, article journals, examinations of statistics, and military/history briefings. Many of the sources I am looking to use date back to before 9/11, which would grant me a view of Middle Eastern politics with the emphasis on the Cold War instead of the current war on terror. My goal is to examine these sources alongside recounts of the causes for the 9/11 attacks in attempt to show how the Cold War involvement in the Middle East set the stage for this renewed age of terrorism. I hope to take a more historical approach to the topic, as I really am interested in how actions of the past brought us to our situation today.

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