Victor Davis Hanson // American Greatness
Since World War II, the United States has been involved in a series of crises and wars in the Middle East on the premise of protecting U.S., Western, or global interests, or purportedly all three combined. Since antiquity, the Middle East has been the hub of three continents, and of three great religions, and the maritime intersection between East and West.
In modern times American strategic concerns in no particular order were usually the following:
1) Guaranteeing reliable oil supplies for the U.S. economy.
2) Ensuring that no hostile power—most notably the Soviet Union between 1946-1989 and local Arab or Iranian strongmen thereafter—gained control of the Middle East and used its wealth and oil power to disrupt the economies and security of the Western world, Europe in particular.
3) Preventing radical Islamic terrorists from carving out sanctuaries and bases of operations to attack the United States or its close allies.
4) Aiding Israel to survive in a hostile neighborhood.
5) Keeping shipping lanes in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Suez Canal, and the Persian Gulf open and accessible to world commerce at the historical nexus of three continents.