- Pathfinder

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

Erik Nilsen

This course showed me more clearly the power dynamics between national and cultural spheres of influence in the Near East and the relevance of these circumstances to U.S. interests. I had heard from an American missionary in Turkey about the implementation of Islamist policies under Erdogan, and this course more thoroughly informed me about that situation and its consequences, not only for Turkish Christians, but national and international geopolitics.

Moreover, I learned how a power vacuum in any of the countries of the Near East would prove a ripe opportunity for global powers like Russia or China to capitalize and extend their spheres of influence as a check against Western nations. Therefore, a blanket isolationist policy regarding U.S. involvement in the Near East, without further nuance, ignores the real threat to national security that poses.