A Bald Eagle in the Land of Muhammad
Epstein, Ari Brandt
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A lack of information regarding American foreign policy in the Middle East can lead to deleterious political decision-making. There are many people both in the civilian world and the world of government that view Middle Eastern related security issues through a sociocultural lens. This thesis portfolio seeks to assess the implications of American foreign policy in the Middle East as opposed to socio-culture. It places emphasis on the theory that American foreign policy contributes to anti-American antagonism. There are a few different methods by which this is measured. First, this thesis will assess American military policy in the Middle East. Specifically, it analyzes the impact of American military policy in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan on Muslim public opinion. This is conducted by looking at numerous sets of data and public polls from different credible organizations, as well as secondary sources. Second, socio-cultural sources are directly assessed in order provide evidence that American foreign policy is the primary driver behind anti-American antagonism. Writings from notorious anti-American figures and scholarly sources on Middle Eastern culture, are considered in order to measure socio-cultural based anti-American antagonism against anti-American antagonism driven by American foreign policy. Third, the diplomatic consequences of the Trump administration’s withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Agreement are assessed. Specifically, it looks at how European and Middle Eastern countries most relevant to the deal have more at stake than the United States. The results of the 1st chapter conclude that American foreign policy in the Middle East had a negative impact on Muslim public opinion. The results of the 2nd chapter conclude that American foreign policy was a stronger motivator for anti-American antagonism than socio-cultural issues. The results of the 3rd chapter conclude that other countries related to the Iran nuclear agreement had more at stake than the United States.