Regional Issues - What happens in the Middle East is vital...

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Regional Issues The United States uses a variety of tactics to achieve the security and stability it seeks at home and abroad. Sometimes Washington acts as mediator to resolve disputes, such as when Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton worked to restore peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Other times, the United States relies on trade because many policymakers believe that high levels of trade reduce the likelihood of militarized conflict. Finally, the United States has assumed the role of world policeman a number of times, sending troops on humanitarian missions or to punish rogue states that do not adhere to international codes of conduct. The Middle East Much of American foreign policy in the last three decades has centered around the Middle East, the swath of territory on the eastern Mediterranean where Europe, Asia, and Africa intersect. The region is also the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
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Unformatted text preview: What happens in the Middle East is vital to American interests. The Middle East is rich in oil, which drives the American economy; without oil, none of America’s cars, planes, trains, ships, or industrial machinery would work. Many rulers of oil-rich countries rely on the wealth generated by oil to sustain their undemocratic regimes and conservative theocracies, which, in turn, fuels dissatisfaction among the people. Some people express their frustration through sectarian violence against neighboring peoples of other faiths, and a minority of people even turn to terrorism to express their anger. Some theocratic regimes have supported the people’s use of violence in the name of religious fanaticism. Peace and stability in the Middle East, therefore, would not only reduce violence in the region but would also curb terrorism abroad and stabilize the global economy....
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