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‡ Why do you think there are so many

terrorist groups based in the Middle East?
‡ Why do you think terrorist groups have
been targeting the U.S. in recent years?
‡ What are some of the things our country has
done since 9-11 to fight international
U.S. Policies that Shape the
Middle East

Created by Mrs. Jennifer Nix

Hightower Trail Middle School
August 2004


This Power-Point presentation
will focus on several questions:

‡ Why are there so many terrorist groups in

the Middle East?
‡ Why are they targeting the U.S.?
‡ Is the U.S. winning the war on terrorism?
This PowerPoint Presentation is
intended to promote class
discussion or a Question/Answer

‡    !  


Why are there so many terrorist
groups in the Middle East?
‡ First, understand that 9/11 was a turning point.
‡ Before 9/11, policy objectives included:
*dual containment (Iran/Iraq)
*preserving access to oil
*promoting democracy
‡ After 9/11, policy shifted to focus on changes in security
*promoting pre-emptive action
(³real and imminent threat´)
*regime change
Where do we begin?
‡ We must begin by looking at the War on
Terrorism because it is the lens through
which the others are viewed.
Why has the War on Terrorism
impacted the Middle East?
‡ There are many terror organizations
BASED in the Middle East.
‡ ½ of the U.S. State Dept.¶s list of
recognized terrorist organizations exist
The Middle East
What is a ³recognized´ terrorist
‡ No one has defined it completely«
‡ Basically, they:

opposed to gang violence or organized crime which use
specific targets)


   (i.e. ³The
Disappeared´ in Argentina or El Salvador)
What is the difference between a
Nationalist Movement and a Terrorist
‡ A Nationalist Movement typically has an issue with
it¶s own government and/or land (i.e. the Hamas
Palestinian movement in Israel) whereas the Terrorist
Organization has political interests outside the scope
of one area.
‡ Many times, a Terrorist Organization may be trying to
pressure Western influence out of their countries
through terrorist attacks. (Interesting Fact: The Al-
Queda was founded to overthrow the Saudi Arabian
government and grew to have a larger scale agenda.)
Many of the 

based in the Middle East begin with
‡ Overthrow of ‡ !


Governments ‡ 




Please do not mix up your terms and
create stereotypes or generalizations!
‡ By no means do all ‡ Islamic Nation=a
Muslims support these country whose
groups! majority religion is
Islam (Muslim)
‡ In fact, only 3-4% of
‡ Islamist Group=a
Muslims support the merging of political
beliefs of these and religions systems
Muslim extremist (the category into
groups. which many of these
terrorist groups fit)
Why are they targeting the U.S.?
‡ The U.S. is perceived as ³propping up´ these
authoritarian regimes for our own interest.
‡ In the past, we have backed governments that
support U.S. interest (oil, geographic convenience
for military bases, etc.)
‡ The continued cry of ³wanting to bring
democracy´ is meaningless to some Middle
Eastern people when they look at our policies in
the region which support the Saudi Royal Family,
Egypt, Saddam Hussein until 1990, and Israel«
‡ There is a definite negative PERCEPTION of U.S.
policy in the Middle East.
So what do the terrorist groups
want to do?
‡ They want to pressure the ‡ There is a general feeling
U.S. to remove western by terrorist groups that if
influence and troops from the U.S. wasn¶t present in
this region (remember: the region, maybe the
popular opinion would
we have troops stationed support their own
along the border of Saudi interests.
Arabia«home of the 2 ‡ U.S. support for Israel in
most holy Muslim places conflict with Palestinians
in the world²Mecca and is against popular opinion
Medina). among many Arabic
Two challenges for combating
‡ We have the challenge of ‡ We will have to go after
trying to marginalize the those people who are
terrorists. organizing terrorist groups
± U.S. support vs. terrorism is
± Arab Development Index
dependent upon public
± Young countries easily support in that region to a
influenced (regenerate) great extent
± We must make it difficult ± Middle Eastern leaders have
for terrorists to ³sell their to ³tow the line´ between
message´ (get rid of their supporting the U.S. (keeps
public support) them in good standing w/
United Nations) and
holding public support
(protecting Islam and
Is the U.S. winning the War on
Terrorism? You decide«Here are some
of the facts«
‡ Saddam Hussein is gone, but who will replace him?
‡ Afghanistan¶s government is unstable.
‡ Some countries (recently Syria) allow terrorists refuge
within their borders.
‡ Some Middle Eastern people perceive our support of Iraq,
Saudi Arabia, Israel, etc. as support of authoritarian or
³terrorist´ regimes.
‡ We still have troops in Germany and Japan«will we leave
troops in Iraq forever?
‡ Libya and Iran disarmed their nuclear weapons (but Iran is
believed to be continuing nuclear research).
What is our greatest challenge in
trying to prevent terrorism?
‡ Economic instability and lack of growth and
development produce these terrorist groups.
$   %    &
‡ Economic growth cannot begin without
stability within the region.
‡ Catch 22?
So what can we do?
‡ Educate ourselves and follow our country¶s
political involvement in the middle east.
‡ Pay attention to Homeland Security¶s threat
advisory level warnings.
‡ Support heightened security measures in our
Why is there such an insurgence
in Iraq since Saddam is gone?
± Baathists were excluded in the new Iraq.
± The Kurds want to be a part of the new government
± Foreign insurgents (Al-Queda, etc.) look at the chaos in
Iraq as an opportunity to weaken the U.S. and take
± The interim government of Iraq was appointed rather
than being elected²this offended many Iraqi people.
± Local political leaders are gaining support by opposing
the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Did Saddam Hussein support the
‡ Not officially²there is no evidence that
directly links Saddam Hussein to terrorist
organizations other than his own regime
‡ There is evidence that Saddam told his
people not to trust such groups.
‡ They did, however, have a common
interest: Remove the U.S. from the Middle
Is the Al-Queda the only terrorist
‡ No. There are MANY different
international terrorist organizations²it just
happens to be one that has directly targeted
the United States (among other countries)
publicly for a number of years.
What about the infamous
³Weapons of Mass Destruction?´
‡ None have been found in Iraq at this time.
‡ The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of
1972 only allowed 5 countries to research and
create nuclear weapons:
± The United States
± Russia
± France
± Britain
± China
Now two more countries are recognized
by the NPT as nuclear nations.
‡ These countries include India and Pakistan.
‡ North Korea and Israel are also known to be
developing weapons without the NPT¶s
permission, but have not been subjected to a
search yet.
‡ South Africa, Iran, and Libya are known to have
dismantled their weapons after ³engagement´
(negotiations with members of the NPT) but Iran
is believed to be working on their nuclear program
What is ultimately the answer to
stopping international terrorism?
‡ Opinions vary.
‡ Many people believe that political and
economic development will help.
‡ Many believe that the spread of democracy
will help.
‡ Unfortunately, there is no definitive answer!