Middle East History Discussion Questions (Due in Increments)

ONLY WEEK 12 QUESTION ONE and TWO ARE DUE THIS TUESDAY. These are discussion questions for a grad school course that will be copy and pasted on to a forum. That being said, a BIBLIOGRAPHY NOT REQUIRED required but the references need to be number after each question. There MUST BE AT LEAST 3 CHICAGO STYLE REFERENCES FOR EACH QUESTION WITH PAGE NUMBER and responses must be AT LEAST 300 WORDS FOR EACH QUESTION. These questions will be copy and pasted onto a discussion forum that checks for plagiarism. This is not one continuous paper.

Week 12
What brought about the emergence of Islamic fundamentalism in the 1970s/1980s?
What are the different types of jihad? How do they differ? How are they similar?
What were the implications of the 9/11 terror attacks on America?
To what extent was 9/11 an intelligence failure?
What specific actions has the United States taken since 9/11 and how has this affected its position/influence in the Middle East? What are the key features of the War on Terror?
Week 12: Required Sources:

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Middle East History Discussion Questions (Due in Increments)
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Cleveland, A Modern History of the Middle East, 371-375; and 508-517.
Mansfield, The History of the Middle East, Ch. 13.
Thomas Hegghammer, “The Rise of Muslim Foreign Fighters: Islam and the globalization of Jihad,” International Security, 35/3 (2010), pp. 53-94.
Thomas Hegghammer, “Islamist Violence and Regime Stability in Saudi Arabia,” International Affairs, 84/4 (2008): 701–715.
Mark Mazetti, “C.I.A. Lays Out Errors It Made Before Sept. 11,” New York Times, August 22, 2007.
Kenneth Katzman, “Terrorism: Near Eastern Groups and State Sponsors, 2001,” Congressional Research Service, September 10, 2001.
A note on the readings:
Both of the main texts deal with the rise of Islamic radicalism well. The Heggehammer texts explore the historical factors and ideology that lie behind the foreign fighter movement, which Osama Bin Laden represents. In the second text, he examines a terrorist campaign al-Qaida waged against the Saudi state in the 2000s, a topic that is not widely known. The Mazetti article explores the factors that led to the intelligence failure that resulted in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, whereas the Katzman study is another congressional report, outlining terrorist threats emerging in the Middle East on the eve of 9/11.

Week 13:
What factors caused the outbreak of the Arab Spring?
In what ways did the Obama administration’s respond to the Arab Spring?
How did the Arab Spring transform from a pro-/anti-democracy revolution into a sectarian war that has pit Sunni against Shi’a?
What is sectarianism? In what ways have Iran and Saudi Arabia each contributed to the sectarianization of the Middle East? What steps have they taken to escalate tensions? Where has this confrontation primarily played out?
In what ways has the Irano-Saudi conflict reflected a cold war?

Week 13 Sources:

Cleveland, A Modern History of the Middle East, Ch. 26.
F. Gregory Gause III, “Why Middle East Studies Missed the Arab Spring: The Myth of Authoritarian Stability,” Foreign Affairs 90/4 (2011): 81-90.
Fredrick Wehrey, et al, “Saudi-Iranian Relations Since the Fall of Saddam: Rivalry, Cooperation, and Implications for U.S. Policy,” RAND Corporation (2009), ix-xxi. [click Read Online]
F. Gregory Gause III, “Beyond Sectarianism: The New Middle East Cold War,” Brookings Institute 11 (2014).
Peter Salisbury, “Yemen and the Saudi–Iranian ‘Cold War’,” Chatham House, February 2015. [scroll down past image, select “Research Paper…”]
Heather M. Robinson, et al, “Sectarianism in the Middle East: Implications for the United States,” RAND Corporation (2018), viii-xiii.
A note on the readings:
The Cleveland text offers a general overview of the Arab Spring, while the remaining texts explore the fraught Iranian-Saudi rivalry that emerged in the region following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein’s Ba’thist regime. The two Gause texts explore a central theme of his recent research: the application of the Cold War model on the Iranian-Saudi rivalry, which features many of the same elements, including an avoidance of direct confrontation while relying heavily on proxies. This is explored in more detail in Wehrey’s RAND study on the implications of this rivalry on US relations, and in Robinson’s RAND analysis of sectarianism in the region. Salisbury’s piece further reinforces these studies through a look at how it has played out in Yemen.

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