KC Johnson

History 3345: U.S.-Middle East Relations (fall 2016)

Course Requirements:

  • Midterm/final exams: 55%
  • NSC-style group presentation: 30%
  • Quizzes: 10%
  • Participation: 5%

Contact Information:

  • email (kcjohnson9@gmail.com)
  • cell (207-329-8456);
  • office hours: Th, 12.30-1.30, Boylan 1127a

Lecture Handouts & PowerPoints

Course Schedule:

August 25: Introduction: 19th Century Contacts

August 30: The Decline of the Ottoman Empire (1900-14)

  • Ronald Bobroff, “Behind the Balkan Wars: Russian Policy toward Bulgaria and the Turkish Straits, 1912-13,” The Russian Review, pp. 76-95.
  • Ömer Turan, “American Protestant Missionaries and Monastir, 1912-17,” Middle East Review, pp. 119-136.
  • W. David Wrigley, “Germany and the Turco-Italian War, 1911-1912,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, pp. 313-338.

September 1: World War I & Middle East International Relations (1914-8)

  • Michael A. Reynolds, “Buffers, Not Brethren: Young Turk Military Policy in the First World War and the Myth of Panturanism,” Past & Present, pp. 137-179.
  • Margaret Lavinia Anderson, “’Down in Turkey Far Away’: Human Rights, the Armenian Massacres, and Orientalism in Wilhelmine Germany,” Journal of Modern History, pp. 80-113.
  • Mustafa Aksakal, “’Holy War Made in Germany’? Ottoman Origins of the 1914 Jihad, in War in History, pp. 184-99.

September 6: Wilsonianism & the Postwar Settlement (1919-23)

September 8: The Middle East and Interwar International Relations (1924-1938)

  • Erez Manela, “Goodwill and Bad: Rethinking US-Egyptian Relations in the Interwar Years,” Middle Eastern Studies, pp. 71-88.
  • Amikam Nachmani, “’It is a Matter of Getting the Mixture Right’: Britain’s Post-War Relations with America in the Middle East,” Journal of Contemporary History, pp. 117-140.
  • Robert Vitalis, “The ‘New Deal’ in Egypt: The Rise of Anglo-American Rivalry,” Diplomatic History, pp. 211-239.

September 13: World War II & The Changing U.S. Role in the Region (1939-45)

  • Arthur L. Funk, “Negotiating the ‘Deal with Darlan’,” Journal of Contemporary History, pp. 81-117.
  • F. Eshragi, “Anglo-Soviet Occupation of Iran in August 1941,” Middle Eastern Studies, pp. 27-52
  • Klaus-Michael Malmann and Martin Cuppers, “’Elimination of the Jewish National Home in Palestine’: The Einsatzkommando of the Panzer Army Africa 1942,” Yad Vashem Studies, pp. 111-141.

September 15: The Middle East & The Origins of the Cold War (1945-1952)

  • Deborah Kisatsky, “Voice of America and Iran, 1949-1953: US Liberal Developmentalism, Propaganda and the Cold War,” Intelligence and National Security, pp. 160-185.
  • Toru Onozawa, “Formation of American Regional Policy for the Middle East, 1950–1952: The Middle East Command Concept and Its Legacy,” Diplomatic History, pp. 117-148.
  • Melvyn P. Leffler, “Strategy, Diplomacy, and the Cold War: The United States, Turkey, and NATO, 1945-1952,” The Journal of American History, pp. 807-825.

September 20: Beyond the Northern Tier (1945-52)

  • Maurice Labelle, “The Only Thorn: Early Saudi-American Relations and the Question of Palestine, 1945-1949,” Diplomatic History, pp. 257-281.
  • Peter L. Hahn, “Alignment by Coincidence: Israel, the United States, and the Partition of Jerusalem, 1949-1953,” The International History Review, pp. 665-689.
  • Martin Thomas, “Defending a Lost Cause? France and the United States Vision of Imperial Rule in French North Africa, 1946–1956,” Diplomatic History, pp. 215-247.

September 22: Cold War & Search for Stability (1953-56)

  • Steve Marsh, “The United States, Iran and Operation ‘Ajax’: Inverting Interpretative Orthodoxy,” Middle Eastern Studies, pp. 1-38.
  • Amy Staples, “Seeing Diplomacy through Banker’s Eyes: The World Bank, the Anglo-Iranian Oil Crisis, and the Aswan High Dam,” Diplomatic History, pp. 397-418.
  • Anthony Gorst and W. Scott Lucas, “The Other Collusion: Operation Straggle and Anglo-American Intervention in Syria, 1955-1956,” Intelligence and National Security, pp. 576-595.

September 27: Crisis Diplomacy (1957-60)

  • Irwin Wall, “The United States, Algeria, and the Fall of the Fourth French Republic,” Diplomatic History, Vol. 18, pp. 489-510.
  • Michael Graham Fry, “The Uses of Intelligence: The United Nations Confronts the United States in the Lebanon Crisis, 1958,” Intelligence and National Security, pp. 59-91.

September 29: John Kennedy and the Middle East (1961-3)

  • Zaki Shalom, “Kennedy, Ben-Gurion and the Dimona Project, 1962–1963,” Israel Studies, pp. 3-33.
  • James Goode, “Reforming Iran during the Kennedy Years,” Diplomatic History, pp. 13-29.
  • Barton J. Bernstein, “The Cuban Missile Crisis: Trading the Jupiters in Turkey?,” Political Science Quarterly, pp. 97-125.

October 4, 6, 11: No class (college closed, transition day)

October 13: LBJ & Realigning the U.S. Middle Eastern Role (1964-7)

  • Zach Levey, “The United States’ Skyhawk Sale to Israel, 1966: Strategic Exigencies of an Arms Deal,” Diplomatic History, Vol. 28, pp. 255-276.
  • Avner Cohen, “Israel and the Origins of U.S. Nonproliferation Policy: The Crucial Decade, 1958-1968,” The Nonproliferation Review, Vol. 1988, pp. 1-19.
  • Arlene Lazarowitz, “Different Approaches to a Regional Search for Balance: The Johnson Administration, the State Department, and the Middle East, 1964–1967,” Diplomatic History, pp. 25-54.

October 14: The Diplomacy of the 1967 War (1967-8)

  • Galia Golan, “The Soviet Union and the Outbreak of the June 1967 Six-Day War,” Journal of Cold War Studies, Vol. 8, pp. 3-19.
  • Zaki Shalom, “Lyndon Johnson’s Meeting with Abba Eban, 26 May 1967: [Introduction and Protocol],” Israel Studies, pp. 221-236.
  • Clea Lutz, “Strike at Samu: Jordan, Israel, the United States, and the Origins of the Six-Day War,” Diplomatic History, pp. 55-76.

October 18: Nixon, Kissinger, and Realism in the Region (1969-73)

  • Nigel Ashton, “Pulling the Strings: King Hussein’s Role during the Crisis of 1970 in Jordan,” International History Review, pp. 94-118.
  • Noam Kochavi, “Insights Abandoned, Flexibility Lost: Kissinger, Soviet Jewish Emigration, and the Demise of Détente,” Diplomatic History, pp. 503-530.
  • William Burr, “The October War and U.S. Policy.”

October 20: Midterm

October 25: The United States & an Unstable Middle East (1974-78)

  • Fiona B. Adamson, “Democratization and the Domestic Sources of Foreign Policy: Turkey in the 1974 Cyprus Crisis,” Political Science Quarterly, pp. 277-303.
  • Shibley Telhami, “Evaluating Bargaining Performance: The Case of Camp David,” Political Science Quarterly, pp. 629-653.

October 27: United States and a Revolutionary Middle East (1979-86)

  • Mitchell Bard, “Interest Groups, the President, and Foreign Policy: How Reagan Snatched Victory from the Jaws of Defeat On AWACS,” Presidential Studies Quarterly, pp. 583-600.
  • Catherine Scott, “Bound for Glory: The Hostage Crisis as Captivity Narrative in Iran,” International Studies Quarterly, pp. 177-88.
  • 444 Days in the Dark: An Oral History of the Iran Hostage Crisis,” GQ.
  • Joyce Battle, ed., “Shaking Hands with Saddam Hussein,” read summary and document summaries ONLY.

November 1: Afghanistan,  the Soviet-American Rivalry, and the End of the Cold War (1979-1989)

  • Joseph Collins, “The Use of Force in Soviet Foreign Policy: The Case of Afghanistan.” Conflict Quarterly, pp. 20-47.
  • Alan J. Kuperman, “The Stinger Missile and U.S. Intervention in Afghanistan,” Political Science Quarterly, pp. 219-263.
  • G.M. Hughes, “Strategy in the Reflagging and Escort of Kuwaiti Tankers,” DOD Report.

November 8: Gulf War I (1989-1993)

  • H. W. Brands, “George Bush and the Gulf War of 1991,” Presidential Studies Quarterly, pp. 113-131.
  • Lawrence Freedman & Efraim Karsh, “How Kuwait Was Won: Strategy in the Gulf War,” International Security, pp. 5-41.
  • Gulf War chronology.

November 10: The End of the Cold War

November 15: Clinton & Peacemaking (1992-2000)

  • Mark Schafer and Stephen G. Walker, “Democratic Leaders and the Democratic Peace: The Operational Codes of Tony Blair and Bill Clinton,” International Studies Quarterly, pp. 561-583.
  • Benny Morris and Ehud Barak, “Camp David: An Exchange,” New York Review of Books, 13 June 2001.
  • Hussein Agha and Robert Malley, “Camp David: Tragedy of Errors,” New York Review of Books, 9 Aug. 2001.
  • Dennis Ross, “Camp David: An Exchange,” New York Review of Books, 20 Sept. 2001

November 17: The Path to 9/11 (1996-2002)

Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States:

November 22: Iraq, Iran, and U.S. Decline? (2003-8)

  • Paul Pillar, “Intelligence, Policy, and the War in Iraq,” Foreign Affairs, March/April 2006
  • Kevin Woods, James Lacey, and Williamson Murray, “Saddam’s Delusions: The View from the Inside,” Foreign Affairs, May/June 2006.
  • Meltem Müftüler-Bac, “Turkey and the United States: The Impact of the War in Iraq,” International Journal, pp. 61-81.
  • Michael Dunne, “The United States, the United Nations and Iraq: ‘Multilateralism of a Kind’,” International Affairs, pp. 257-277.
  • Ronald Bruce St John, “’Libya Is Not Iraq’: Preemptive Strikes, WMD and Diplomacy,” Middle East Journal, pp. 386-402.

November 29: The Obama Years

December 1: Group Presentations

December 6: Group Presentations

December 8: Review

December 15: Final Examination, 3.30pm

Learning objectives for this course include: (1) ability to read and interpret key historical sources, including primary sources, court cases, and congressional debates; (2) ability to determine how important themes in U.S.-Middle Eastern relations change over time; (3) ability to present key historical arguments orally. Item (1) will occur throughout the course; item (2) will occur in the midterm and final examination; item (3) will occur in the oral presentation.

The faculty and administration of Brooklyn College support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism. Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagiarism and for avoiding both. The complete text of the CUNY Academic Integrity Policy and the Brooklyn College procedure for implementing that policy can be found at this site: http://www.brooklyn.cuny.edu/bc/policies. If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member MUST report the violation.

In order to receive disability-related academic accommodations students must first be registered with the Center for Student Disability Services. Students who have a documented disability or suspect they may have a disability are invited to set up an appointment with the Director of the Center for Student Disability Services, Ms. Valerie Stewart-Lovell at 718-951-5538. If you have already registered with the Center for Student Disability Services please provide your professor with the course accommodation form and discuss your specific accommodation with him/her.

State law regarding non-attendance because of religious beliefs can be found on p. 56 in the Bulletin.

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