Major Papers


arms trade, weapons, US foreign policy, Middle East, MENA region, Russia, China, competitors, military, leverage, security, war.


The US foreign policy is a formidable testament to the intricate nature of international relations and exerting efforts to create international relations. Treaties and agreements are crucial to designing a symbiotic and harmonious international affair, built on the basis of shared interests and goals. Despite it not resulting in ultimate peace or seamless unity, these relations still allow the countries to prioritise their benefits by also guaranteeing others’ advantages. This paper will highlight the US foreign policy as one of the biggest contributors to the Middle Eastern scenery, particularly in terms of military relations and arms trade. A brief history of both sides’ upbringing and the mutual interests that lay in ensuring the continuity of their symbiotic arrangements. This paper will use a semi-systematic literature review to assess previous articles, books and statistics regarding the US foreign policy evolution, the history of wars and conflicts in the Middle East, the arms trade treaties between both sides as well as between the latter and the former’s competitors. Lastly, this paper will showcase the contradicting but instrumental dynamics at interplay between the US foreign policy practices, namely military aid and arms trade, and the Middle Eastern region, particularly Saudi Arabia. This analysis reveals the contradictory yet crucial relationship between these behaviours and the Middle East's complex geopolitical situation.

Primary Advisor

Dr. Tom Najem

Program Reader

Dr. Tom Najem

Additional committee member(s)

Dr. Stephen Brooks

Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

Document Type

Major Research Paper

Convocation Year


Available for download on Friday, January 24, 2025