The Leavenworth Way of War

History Discussion at CGSC

Balancing Act



 The above slide was developed by MAJ Garth Johnston based on our discussion in Lsn. 7.


The above is an example of the graph with two different Arab countries plotted –one in green and the other in red. 

The Arab nations of the middle east have to balance a variety of influences in order to remain politically stable and to maintain some degree of popular support.

These factors pull in very different, often opposite, directions.   If a government misjudges balancing these factors it can lead to assination, coup, revolt, or revolution.

Stablizing and mitigating against the divergent influences are other factors.  These include the common antagonism against Israel, the unifying influence of Islam, and the unifying influences of Arabian language and culture.

Having identified these factors –how do they inform our understanding of events and history in the Middle East?  Is it purely an academic tool or does it have some practical value?


April 20, 2009 - Posted by | A652 | , , , , , , ,


  1. On an academic level it is interesting to see there is some common ground between the Arab nations. I don’t necessarily agree with the statement that Arab language and culture is “unifying,” because there are many different cultures and traditions throughout the Arab world. The real question isn’t whether seeing the common ground matters to us, it’s whether it has any significance to the Arab nations themselves. Based on history, it would seem the answer is no.

    Comment by MAJ Patty McPhillips | April 20, 2009

  2. The graphs do represent a practical approach to analyzing the various factors acting upon the Middle East. While the graphs do not provide an explanation to the affairs of the countries in the Middle East they do provide room for discussion and analysis. One can quickly realize that the Arab nations of the Middle East share many of the graphs factors which inherently create a sort of “unifying” effect. Many Arab countries must juggle the demands and requirements of the graphs factors in order to remain relevant in regional affairs. Notably this serves to further reinforce the complexity of factors to which the Middle East faces.

    Comment by MAJ Brady Gallagher | April 21, 2009

  3. This tool is very useful to someone who is attempting to gain a basic idea of the factors that affect the complex middle eastern culture.
    However, one should not make more of it then what it actually is-a tool. So many times people want to apply tools to “fix” very complex problems. And the problems in the middle east are filled with years of hatred, angst, and cultural bias which make a simple fix not possible.

    Comment by Daniel Meyerhuber | April 29, 2009

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