Western interests and stability in the Middle East
After identifying the ‘perceived’ boundaries of the ‘Middle East’, according to the context of this study, this chapter highlights the reasons for the strategic importance of the Middle East from a Western perspective, before and after 9/11. It also reveals differences in perception between the United States and Western European countries – the twin pillars of the North Atlantic Alliance – with regards to the necessity of internal stability in the Middle East. Thereafter, focus is given to tracing the causes of instability in the Middle East region that has produced one of the most violent acts of terrorism in modern history. To reach this end, the chapter reviews recent international and regional studies that indicate a lack of proper development and adequate modernisation in the Middle East region.