Challenges for America in the Middle East offers a comprehensive and contemporary analysis of the foreign policy challenges the United States faces in the Middle East. It takes a close look at the critical policy dilemmas posed by radical Islam, the Arab Spring, the Shia Crescent, and Israel–#x2013;Palestine relations. Authors Richard W. Mansbach and Kirsten L. Taylor examine the issues from a historical perspective and in the context of the current state of affairs, and analyze options for future action. Throughout the text, they emphasize the interplay of foreign and domestic issues in the United States and overseas, and show how that interplay shapes American policy towards the region.

Radical Islam: Origins and Evolution
Radical Islam: Origins and Evolution

Our initial chapter in Part II deals with the origins and evolution of radical Islam. It begins by examining sources of American policy toward radical Islam followed by a brief survey of early Islam including the caliphate, the medieval Islamic empire that marked the acme of Islamic civilization. It then examines the sources and meaning of contemporary Islamic extremism and violent jihadism. Thereafter, it turns to the establishment of al-Qaeda (“the Base”) and traces its activities before and after the group’s flight to Afghanistan in 1996. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of the hunt for Osama bin Laden and bin Laden’s death a decade after 9/11.

Sources of American Policy toward Radical Islam

American policies ...

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