The History of American Foreign Policy in the Middle East

JB Shreve
January 1, 2021 2 mins to read
Reading Time: < 1 minute

It did not start with peace summits and oil. It also did not begin with unconditional US support of Israel and Saudi Arabia. The history of American foreign policy in the Middle East is a story of misguided strategies, misinformed leaders, and sometimes simple badk luck. Unfortunately, men and women on both sides of the story have paid the price for unnecessary debacles since the story began.

Part 1: Cowboys, Arabs, and Jews 1945-66

This episode looks at the beginning of American foreign policy in the Middle East starting around the end of World War II. JB shows how American foreign policy was launched by a clique of amateurs and adventurers in Washington D.C. during this time period. Their games and manipulations in the newly independent states of the post-war Middle East helped launch the region into instability and corruption.

Part 2: Arrogance and Humility 1967-1980

This second episode continues our story covering the years 1967-1980. From the Six Days War to the Islamic Revolution everything began to shift during this time period.

Part 3: The Radicals 1980-88

The 1980s witnessed the emergence of fundamentalist Islam in the Middle East and American foreign policy had its part to play in this movement. From the Siege of Mecca to Afghanistan and al-Qaeda this episode tells the story of how US foreign policy partnered with a rising jihadist movement in an effort that would have fatal repercussions.

This archived podcast series is available to our Patreon supporters. 


You might also enjoy this infographic A Timeline of American Foreign Policy in the Middle East and this podcast series on the History of the Modern Middle East.

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