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Is Leaving the Middle East a Viable Option

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Dr. Thomas H. Henriksen lays out a convincing argument that the United States historical involvement in the Middle East based on commercial ties, the need to secure stable international oil supplies, and engagement in the internecine Israeli-Arab conflict all remain critical security issues for the nation. He captures in a few pages volumes of information on the Middle East as he crafts and weaves the history of United States involvement from 1783 to the present, highlighting the key policy-making decisions concerning the Middle East. The historical review provides the novice reader new understanding of the Middle East and the knowledgeable reader an excellent overview. No discussion of the Middle East could or should take place without the issue of oil -- the worlds primary energy resource. Dr. Henriksen goes into great detail on the strategic importance this region has to Americas and the worlds economy with reference to the implication of a continued tightness in oil supplies. Until the world develops an alternate energy source, the Middle East will remain a critical world region. How the United States and other interested nations work to maintain this regions stability is open for discussion and one that will continue for many years to come. As conventional forces are reduced in the region, U.S. Special Operations Command personnel will be expected to continue to be a critical element in any U.S. security engagement with the Middle East. Therefore, regional understanding and the role America and its allies play is important to the Special Operations Forces SOF community as the fight for Middle East stability continues and the role of SOF becomes even more pivotal. However, it is important to note that, ultimately, it is up to the regions governments and their people to solve the challenging security issues facing them. The United States and SOF can only help them achieve the level of security the regions citizens deserve.

Subject Categories:

  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science
  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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