Revisiting The Eastern Question: A Strategic Imperative For U. S. National Security In The Northern Tier

Date of Graduation

Fall 2004


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

William Van Cleave


The purpose of this thesis is to examine the geopolitical and geostrategic importance of current U.S. military intervention in the Middle East. History recognizes the Middle East as having been crucial to the global balance of power since antiquity. To understand why the region has been and continues to be the focus of world attention, one should first examine the inherent factors that give the Middle East its strategic value. The emergence of the United States as the predominant external power involved in preserving Western interests in the Middle East predates by decades U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq. The application of U.S. power to influence events was brought about as a consequence of World War II and its immediate aftermath. The end of the Cold War and the resounding victory over Iraqi forces unlawfully occupying Kuwait in 1991 fed the American public's perception that challenges to U.S. national interests in the Middle East did not extend to the U.S. homeland. The terrorist attacks on the morning of September 11, 2001, shattered the illusion of American invulnerability. The strategic imperative of the United States is to safeguard the territorial integrity, the political independence, and the ability to defend the interests of the United States, and to protect its citizens and its commerce. In the twentieth century the United States exercises strategic policies based on the fundamental principle of forward defense. Integral to this principle was the fact that certain regions had to be defended in order to preserve peace and order in the world. The Northern Tier of the Middle East is one of those regions.


Eastern question, geopolitics, Middle East, Operation Enduring Freedom, Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Iraq, Cold War, terrorism

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Daniel E. Miller