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The lesson of Middle East involvement

[journal article]

Larson, Mark A.

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Abstract Despite the oft- used phrase, history does not repeat itself. What history does do, however, is offer us lessons. If we do not learn history’s lessons, we will repeat the mistakes of history thereby making it appear that history is indeed repeating itself. Nowhere is this more clear than in the Middle East. To find historical lessons in the Middle East, one should begin by studying the events of World War I. It was during World War I that the composition of the Middle East changed from the indirectly ruled Ottoman Empire, to the collection of nation states that we know today. It is quite fashionable to blame Britain for the outcome of, and all future problems with, this new Middle East. It has become more fashionable to transform the blame in the present age to the United States. In this paper, I will analyze British involvement in the Middle East; beginning with the contradictory wartime agreements that Britain made which would eventually change the shape of the Middle East. I will argue that the problems in the Middle East cannot be blamed solely, or even mostly, on the British or on the Western power who had inherited this blame, the United States. In conclusion, I will develop lessons of history from this period of British involvement in the Middle East; lessons that the United States has yet to learn. (author's abstract)
Keywords Middle East; Middle East policy; historical development; political history; Great Britain; United States of America; foreign policy; security policy; political influence; political intervention; military intervention; founding of a state; state formation
Classification International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy; Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy
Document language English
Publication Year 2004
Page/Pages p. 1-47
Journal Federal Governance, 1 (2004) 1
ISSN 1923-6158
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Basic Digital Peer Publishing Licence