American Diplomacy
Special Section

July 2002

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by Associate Editor Richard Schoonover

Readers of American Diplomacy will appreciate that in the recent past this publication has served up a considerable quantity and variety of articles, commentaries, and analyses on the Arab-Israeli situation. Many of these pieces have survived quite well the volatile shifts of developments in that part of the world and deserve a second reading by those of us seeking better understanding of the underlying issues of the conflict. As I scoured the American Diplomacy archives for this purpose (an exercise I commend to all who might wish to explore an international affairs issue in depth), I found the following seven articles of particular value to me, a non-specialist on the region’s problems, in coming to grips with some of the fundamental factors which feed tensions in the Middle East.

Some of the articles are purely analytical (see those by Schrader and Dale), while others are more provocative (e.g., the two Jones pieces and the DeAtkine analysis). But in one way or another all caused me to reflect more deeply about the daily—even hourly—headlines to which we are subjected, as they probe the palpable problems of terrorism, religion, economics, the military, and international involvement that are all part of the story.

Were you to delve into the archives, you might select other items to review and other themes to pursue. But if you don't have unlimited time, I highly recommend these for a starter. Each title is linked to its archival source in American Diplomacy. Note that the month and year following each sets forth when the item first appeared in the journal; in two instances, we later repeated the publication.

"Religion in Diplomatic History"6/1999
reprinted 10/2001
by Walter McDougal
"Terrorism: Its Cause and Cure" 3/1997
reprinted 9/2001
by Curtis F. Jones
"Patterns of international Terrorism" 12/2001 by Holger Schrader
"Middle East Water Problems"8/2001 by William N. Dale
"Geopolitics of the Middle East Crisis"2/1999 by Robert K. Olson
"The American Burden of Hegemony in the Middle East"12/2001 by Curtis F. Jones
"Why Arabs Lose Wars" 12/2000by Norvell B. DeAtkine

—Assoc. Ed.

July 23, 2002

Dick Schoonover, who is retired from the Foreign Service, has accompanied his wife, Amb. Brenda Schoonover, on her current assignment as deputy chief of mission at the American embassy in Brussels.

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