The current state of affairs between the United States and the Middle East is probably the most volatile and absorbing relationship the U.S. is involved in today. Prior to 1941, however, the U.S. preferred to limit its involvement with the Middle East to launching ministries of evangelism and social welfare across the region and investing in the pumping, refining, and transportation of oil to Western markets. It was not until World War II and the Cold War, when the threat of losing control of the region and therefore losing its natural resources, military bases, and lines of communication arose, that U.S. officials were motivated to take a greater interest. Since then, the increasing level of violence in the area has led to an increase in U.S. involvement, which - in most cases - has been far from positive: the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-1981, the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991, and the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003.
The Historical Dictionary of United States - Middle East Relations is an essential tool to understanding how diplomatic relations deteriorated to this point. This volume concentrates on the history of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the Middle East from the onset of the Cold War up to the present. This is accomplished through a chronology, an introduction, a bibliography, an appendix, and hundreds of cross-referenced dictionary entries on the countries involved, significant events, major crises, important figures, controversial issues, and doctrines and policies. For scholars, historians, and students interested in the diplomacy of these two regions, this is an essential reference.
About the Author:
Peter L. Hahn is professor of history at Ohio State University and executive director of the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations. He is author of four books and many articles on the history of U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East.