- Pathfinder

Reply To: How did this course shape or change your perceptions of the modern Near East as a whole?

Sarah Victor

Understood in greater depth a few themes that are consistent throughout the conflicts endemic to this region: the multiplicity of interests at stake by powers outside the region and the long term nature of these interests, the territorial implications of conflicts, and the consistent deeply held sense that Israel’s presence was an intrusion.
Regarding the interests at stake, I thought it was helpful to know the background of Russian’s involvement in the Six Day War vis a vis Syria. Considering how prevalent Russian influence continues to be in propping up the Assad regime, showcases the continued need for Israel’s vigilance and resilience on its eastern front. The contestation and control of territory as central to not just Israel’s wars with its neighbors but in other conflicts such as in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen is also worth noting. The integral role of proxies in controlling not just territory but to increase force projection by external actors continues to be crucial to the prolonged nature of the conflicts.