Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

Political Science

First Advisor

Richard Stahler-Sholk


Perhaps no region other than the Near East plays a more important role in the shaping of both the foreign and domestic policies of the United States. The 9/11 terrorist attacks and subsequent deployment of hundreds of thousands of US soldiers to Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the massive budgetary burden placed upon the United States government (and, by extension, its citizens) as a result of the War on Terror, lay heavily upon the consciousness of the media and the concerns of the American people. Much recent focus has also been placed on the impact that the need for secure petroleum sources has had in guiding the ways in which the United States determines economic and diplomatic policy toward the region, specifically Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as well as how that concern has molded the United States’ domestic energy and environmental policies. Historically, the dealings of the United States with the Near East have been strenuous to all parties. While the United States has managed to work toward positive relations with some nations, there remains an apparently fundamental barricade to long-standing, peaceful, and prosperous relations with the many diverse nations in what is traditionally known as the Arab Middle East.