The Middle East is one of the birthplaces of human kind’s civilization. Since the Ancient Egypt, Sumer, the Arab Empire, Turkey Empire, or even to present day, the Middle East has always been a valuable strategic point for not only because of its geographic location but also it full of petroleum and nature gas. According the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) that 66% of the global oil reserves are in the Middle East and only 6% in North America, this makes a lot of powerful countries want to share a pieces of the Middle East, Stephen mentions “Much of the world’s oil wealth exists along the Persian Gulf, with particularly large reserves in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. About one-quarter of U.S. oil imports come from the Persian Gulf region.” (Zunes.329)
Chalmers mentions in his article the “President George W. Bush told the American that the suicidal assassin of September 11, 2001 is civilization’s fight.”(Johnson.366) 9/11 changed the United States’ view of domestic and international security; threats from non-state organization had dragged government’s attentions; like al-Qaida.
It just likes what Sameul has mentioned that “The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” (Huntington.351) 911 had reminded the United States that “clash of civilizations” should not be underestimated its power!
A volatile situation in the Middle East prompted a group of disgruntled Arabs to launch a bold attack, on September 11, 2001 in New York City. The Twin Towers were attacked by two suicide planes. The Pentagon also suffered the suicide aircraft attacks from another plane. According CNN news, the attacks caused almost 3000 people to be killed and hundreds injured, not only was it the most people killed by terrorists in history but also it opened a new situation in the Middle East terrorism. The U.S. government acknowledged that the threat of other civilizations had been increased after 9/11. United States began to focus on homeland security, and then adjust its global strategy, the Asia-Pacific strategy and national defense structure and military thought. U.S. relations with allies or non-allied countries also are changing.
Therefore, buttressed by international public opinion on “terrorism” and hatred of the majority of emotional criticism, United States took the opportunity to rectify a massive threat of Islamic civilization, in order to ensure that the absolute security for U.S., and secure its dominant position in the world. “Anti-Terrorism” not only increased the space of United States operational strategies, but also gave United States the legitimate reason to involve of other countries.
The U.S. also used the rare period of strategic opportunities after 9/11, using counter-terrorism as an excuse stretching its force to Central Asia and the Middle East to establish strategic goals in this regional leadership. On the arc of instability (overlap the Huntington’s civilization fault lines) deploring military forces, not only to curb the development of potential adversaries and prevent the emergence of an anti-American alliance, but also to expand the promotion of democratic values, transforming the entire the Islamic world. I can see that the policy recommendations provided Huntington’s “The Clash of Civilizations” with the United States National Security Strategy, do have a certain degree of agreement. However, the U.S. military in the Islamic world and Western democracy are purported differently. U.S. motives behind a lot of strategic planning is not considered only as a civilization threat , for example, send troops to Iraq, include to access energy interest of maintaining regional stability, promoting democratic values.
Therefore I can say: After 911, United States had a different perception of the threat to civilization, and this indeed, resulting threat to American civilization. National interests are usually the main consideration for the U.S. foreign policy, which can divide into two different parts. First, to protect and prevent American people from any kind of attack, which is the most important and commonly agreed unanimously. Second, helping and maintaining the operation of the U.S. government. To ensure that the interests of national development are not being compromised, Untied States have more aggressively policy to protect its national interests. Some people believe the “the U.S. will use unrivaled military power to further the global counterterrorism movement and democracy as the core goal of foreign policy. Furthermore, the U.S. hopes that all countries and societies can choose the most advantageous political and economic system to themselves independently, to help those countries which have been used as safe haven by terrorism organizations to get rid of the chaos caused by war and poverty.”
Work CitedBaker, Peter and Linzer, Dafina. “U.S. policy on ‘Axis of Evil’ Suffer Spate of Setback.” The Washington Post, Aug. 17, 2005, p.A01 Huntington, Sameul. “The Clash of Civilizations.” The Aims of Argument: A Text and Reader. 5th ed. Eds. Timothy Crusius and Carolyn Channell. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2005. 350-354. Johnson, Chalmers. “Blowback.” The Aims of Argument: A Text and Reader. 5th ed. Eds. Timothy Crusius and Carolyn Channell. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2005. 365-368. Leffler, Melvyn P.. 2004. “Bush’s Foreign Policy.” Foreign Policy, No.144(Sep./Oct.) , pp.22-28. Zunes, Stephen. “Ten Things to Know about the Middle East.” The Aims of Argument: A Text and Reader. 5th ed. Eds. Timothy Crusius and Carolyn Channell. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2005. 326-332.