SEST-685 U.S. Foreign Policy In the Middle East Since 2003
Fall for 2017-2018
Goldenberg, Ilan
This course will introduce students to key decisions and dilemmas that have faced American foreign policymakers in the Middle East since the 9/11 attacks and American invasion of Iraq. The course will focus on the central challenges that have confronted American policymakers in the Middle East over the past 15 years: (1) the invasion of Iraq and ensuing instability in Iraq and Syria; (2) the challenge posed by Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and its attempts to increase its regional influence; (3) responding to both the opportunities and dangers brought about by the Arab Spring; and (4) persistent challenges in the Arab-Israeli arena.

The class will be broken up into 3 parts. The first section will entail 2 introductory classes on U.S. interests in the Middle East and the American foreign policy decision-making process. The second section will examine case studies of the past ten years, each focusing on a different moment in time where American policymakers were faced with a difficult decision or dilemmas. The third section will look at contemporary policy dilemmas and challenges. Drawing on books, journal articles, think tank reports, and unclassified government documents, from the time of the decision, the readings will make the case for contrasting policy options associated with each case study. Students will then debate the various alternatives in class. Assignments and discussions will focus on practical analysis and writing that is used by policymakers to guide the decision-making process in the executive branch.
Credits: 3.0
Prerequisites: None
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