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E-Seminars: E-Seminar Detail

E-Seminars in This Series

E-Seminar 1
Islam, Revolution, and the Modern State

E-Seminar 3
Revolution, U.S. Policy, and Cold War Politics

E-Seminar 2, U.S. Policy in the Persian Gulf

Taught by: Gary Sick

Historically, the United States has faced a simple problem in the Persian Gulf: how to secure the free flow of oil from the region while preventing any undue influence by hostile powers. America's political leaders have employed a variety of policies in their attempts to resolve that dilemma. In the early 1970s, with the departure of the British from the Gulf, President Richard Nixon announced his twin-pillar policy of depending on the shah of Iran to support American interests in the region. Twenty years later, President Bill Clinton introduced dual containment, declaring that America would act alone to defend its interests in the Gulf, while isolating Iran and Iraq from the rest of the world.

Video Preview
Professor Sick contends that Iran's silence during the Gulf War signified its tacit support for U.S. action against Iraq.

In the second e-seminar of his three-part series on Iran, Gary Sick, Adjunct Professor of International Affairs and Acting Director of the Middle East Institute of Columbia University, traces the path of revolution, wars, political crises, and missed opportunities in the Persian Gulf that has led the United States from twin pillars to dual containment and beyond. By exploring the evolution of U.S. security policy in the Gulf, Professor Sick sheds light on America's policies in the region today and offers insights into possible future directions.

NOTE: The content in this e-seminar was captured before the events of September 11, 2001.

E-Seminar Length:3-5 hours
Start Date:Anytime
Columbia Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni:FREE

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Note: Columbia students, faculty, staff, and alumni will need to use their University Network ID (UNI) to access e-seminars.

Outline | Instructor's Background | Recommended Reading | Technical Requirements

1. Introduction
2. A Cold War Policy
3. An Increasing Presence
4. Shifting Allegiances
5. A Military Role
6. The Gulf War
7. A Promise of Reform
8. A Modern Relationship
9. Conclusion

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Instructor's Background
Instructor's Background
Gary Sick served on the National Security Council staff under Presidents Ford, Carter, and Reagan. He was the principal White House aide for Iran during the Iranian Revolution and the hostage crisis and is the author of two books on U.S.-Iranian relations. Professor Sick is a captain (ret.) in the U.S. Navy, with service in the Persian Gulf, North Africa, and the Mediterranean. He was the deputy director for International Affairs at the Ford Foundation from 1982 to 1987, where he was responsible for programs relating to U.S. foreign policy. Professor Sick has a Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University, where he is Senior Research Scholar, Adjunct Professor of International Affairs, and acting director of the Middle East Institute. He is a member of the board of Human Rights Watch in New York and cochairman of the advisory committee of Human Rights Watch / Middle East. He is the executive director of Gulf/2000, an international research project—on political, economic, and security developments in the Persian Gulf—being conducted at Columbia University with support from the W. Alton Jones, Rockefeller, Ford, Soros, and MacArthur Foundations.

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Recommended Reading
Arjomand, Said Amir. The Turban for the Crown: The Islamic Revolution in Iran. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Bakhash, Shaul. The Reign of the Ayatollahs: Iran and the Islamic Revolution. New York: Basic Books, 1984.

Bill, James A. The Eagle and the Lion: The Tragedy of American-Iranian Relations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1988.

Christopher, Warren, et al. American Hostages in Iran: The Conduct of a Crisis. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1985.

Keddie, Nikki R. Roots of Revolution: An Interpretive History of Modern Iran. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981.

Potter, Lawrence G., and Gary Sick, eds. Security in the Persian Gulf: Origins, Obstacles, and the Search for Consensus. New York: Palgrave, 2002.

Ramazani, Rouhollah K., ed. Iran's Revolution: The Search for Consensus. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990.

Sciolino, Elaine. Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran. New York: Free Press, 2000.

Sick, Gary. All Fall Down: America's Tragic Encounter with Iran. New York: Random House, 1985.

Sick, Gary. October Surprise: America's Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan. New York: Times Books, 1992.

Sick, Gary, and Lawrence G. Potter, eds. The Persian Gulf at the Millennium: Essays in Politics, Economy, Security, and Religion. New York: St. Martin's, 1997.

Surush, `Abd al-Karim. Reason, Freedom, and Democracy in Islam: Essential Writings of `Abdolkarim Soroush. Translated and edited by Mahmoud Sadri and Ahmad Sadri. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Vakili, Valla. Debating Religion and Politics in Iran: The Political Thought of Abdolkarim Soroush. Council on Foreign Relations, Occasional Paper No. 2, January 1997.

Wright, Robin. The Last Great Revolution: Turmoil and Transformation in Iran. New York: Knopf, 2000.

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Technical Requirements
You will need to use a computer with Internet access to complete this course. We recommend the following minimum configurations:

Windows 95, 98, 2000, XP, or NT
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 4 or above (Internet Explorer 5 strongly recommended) or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

MAC OS 8.6 or higher
64 MB of RAM (128 recommended)
Monitor: 800x600 resolution recommended
Connection: Internet service and 56K modem minimum
Browser: Internet Explorer 5 or above or Netscape 4.7 or above
Sound Card (if you can hear audio you have a sound card)
Plug-ins: RealPlayer 7 or later; Flash Player 5 or later; Acrobat Reader 5 or later
(all plug-ins are free)

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