US Interests in Middle East – Petroleum and Politics
Oil – one of the main US interests in Southwest Asia (the Middle East) is economic – Oil, also known as petroleum, is found in the largest quantities on Earth in and around the Persian Gulf.
In the Persian Gulf conflict, 1991: (the first war we fought in Iraq) Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, had invaded Kuwait in order to capture its valuable oil fields. The UN voted to send in troops to free Kuwait. Fearing for its own oil fields, the Saudi king invited UN forces, led by the United States to set up bases in Saudi Arabia to push the Iraqi forces back out of Kuwait, which we did, though we left Hussein in power.
Invasion of Afghanistan, 2001: Immediately after the 9/11 attacks, we traced leadership of the terrorist organization that was responsible to Osama bin Laden, whom we knew was currently in Afghanistan, where the Taliban government agreed with his goals and methods. We asked the Taliban to hand him over to us to be tried in court for his crimes. They refused, and we attacked, overthrowing the Taliban government. We have never captured bin Laden, and are still in Afghanistan trying to help the nation rebuild and to keep the Taliban from regaining their power.
Invasion of Iraq, 2003: After the 9/11 attacks, the US government was very worried about threats from middle eastern sources. Looking at Iraq, we feared two things: that Iraq had ties to al-Qaeda, the terrorist group responsible and that Iraq was building weapons of mass destruction in violation of a UN sanction. As a result, we invaded the country, overthrew the leader, Saddam Hussein, and still have troops there now. We found no ties to al-Qaeda or WMDs, but we did free the nation from its dictator. Unfortunately, the different ethnic and religious groups broke out into violence against each other, resulting in thousands of deaths, and the violence is still occurring today.
Why did the United States go to war with Iraq in 2003?
What are the three main religions in the Middle East?
Why is there conflict between Jews and Arabs?
What was the Holocaust?
What world organization created the modern state of Israel in 1948?
Who are the Taliban?
Why did Saddam Hussein invade Kuwait in 1990?
Who was the leader of Al-Qaeda?
What is Al-Qaeda?
What is a terrorist/terrorism?
What religion do the people of Al-Qaeda follow?
What is fundamentalism?
Which treaty was announced that defined the new boundaries after the fall of the Ottoman Empire?
Why did the United States invade Afghanistan in 2001?
What was Saddam Hussein’s involvement with weapons of mass destruction?
What was a result of the Ottoman Empire losing the war (WWI)?
Who did the Ottoman Empire join forces with in WWI?