What is the evolution of the USA’s interests and policies in the Middle East since the Second World War?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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The United States became interested and involved in the Middle East after World War II ended. There are several reasons for this. After World War II, we were concerned the Soviet Union would spread communism to this region and other places. We were concerned when the Soviet Union wouldn’t pull its military out of northern Iran in 1946. We also were concerned the Soviet Union would try to take over Turkey. In both cases, we intervened. We threatened military action in Iran and gave economic aid to Turkey. We didn’t want communism to spread to these places.

The United States also supported the new country of Israel. There were many attacks on Israel between 1948-1973. Israel was a democratic government. It is the only one in the region. We wanted to support a democratic government. Some of Israel’s enemies were also friendly with the Soviet Union. This was another way to slow the spread of Soviet influence in the region.

Finally, we were becoming more dependent on receiving oil from Middle Eastern countries. We wanted to a have good relationship with them. We supported governments in Middle Eastern countries that supported us and sold us oil.  It benefited us economically and politically to do this.

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