The U.S. Middle East Wars Quiz


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

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About This Quiz

For decades, the United States has engaged in formal and informal conflict with Middle East countries. How much do you know about U.S. wars in the Middle East?

After which war did the U.S. realize that the Middle East's oil would be crucial to American power?

World War II showed that oil access would have a major impact on any country's long-term power and influence.


Why did the U.S. enlist a young Saddam Hussein to assassinate Iraq's ruler in 1959?

The assassination failed; the event began a long and complicated relationship between Hussein and the U.S.


Operation Desert Shield was meant to stop Iraq from advancing into which country?

The troops were requested by Saudi Arabia's leadership in anticipation of an Iraqi invasion.


Which country invaded Kuwait in Aug. 1990?

In Jan. 1991, a U.S.-led coalition attacked the Iraqis and a month later Kuwait was liberated.


In what year did the U.S. begin a war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq?

The major battlefield operations of this war ended soon after the invasion, but the conflict didn't go away.


When did Iraq's Saddam Hussein apologize for invading Kuwait (and subsequently killing thousands of Kuwaitis)?

He "apologized" as a coalition was preparing to invade Iraq in the wake of 9/11.


Which battle is considered the bloodiest of the Iraq War?

Nearly 100 U.S. soldiers lost their lives during the battle, which lasted about a month and a half in 2004.


The Anglo-American Petroleum Agreement did what to oil in the Middle East?

The failed agreement would have divvied up the Middle East's oil like chips in a poker game.


About how many insurgents made up the force that took over Fallujah in late 2004?

In the Second Battle of Fallujah, about half of that number was killed by a coalition force of more than 13,000.


Why did the U.S. back a military coup that overthrew the Syrian government in 1949?

It worked, helping to establish the pipeline; it also showed that the U.S. was willing to meddle in the internal affairs of other countries.


Which U.S. president said that Soviet military forces in Afghanistan were a "grave threat" to the movement of oil in the Middle East?

This kind of reasoning led the U.S. to support forces that were willing to slow the Soviet expansion.


In what year did President Jimmy Carter declare the Persian Gulf as vital to U.S. interests?

It specified that the U.S. would use military force to defend those interests.


In 1953, the U.S. and U.K. sparked a military coup that overthrew the leader of which country?

The coup was a way to take more control of oil interests in the region.


How many nations were a part of the coalition that drove Iraq out of Kuwait in 1991?

They launched Operation Desert Storm and freed the Kuwaitis within weeks.


The Eisenhower Doctrine basically indicated what regarding the U.S. position towards the Middle East?

The doctrine was meant to help stop Soviet expansion.


In 1993, why did the U.S. launch a cruise missile attack on Iraq's intelligence headquarters?

The failed plot included plastic explosives packed into an SUV.


In what year did the U.S. first sell bombers to Israel?

The U.S. has provided military goods to Israel for decades, in part to create more U.S. control in the area.


Operation Earnest Will found the U.S. Navy escorting ships owned by which country to prevent them from being attacked by Iran?

It was the largest naval convoy mission of its kind since World War II.


With which country did the U.S. team up to arm Afghan fighters against the Soviets?

The U.S.-backed Muslim fundamentalists ultimately forced the Soviets out of the country.


In the Second Gulf of Sidra incident, U.S. fighter planes shot down fighters from which country?

The incident occurred during a standoff between Libya and the U.S. over Libya's supposed development of chemical weapons.


How much money did the U.S. give to Israel during the Yom Kippur War?

The cash helped the Israelis gain an upper hand in the conflict, meaning the U.S. had the upper hand, too.


What was the purpose of 1998's Operation Desert Fox, conducted by the U.S. and U.K.?

The four-day bombing campaign used WMDs as justification, but the U.S. was attempting to destabilize Hussein's government, too.


Which country did Iraq invade thanks to behind-the-scenes support from the U.S.?

The U.S. eventually wound up supporting both sides during the conflict in an effort to weaken both of them and increase U.S. influence.


Following an Israeli invasion in 1982, to which country did the U.S. deploy peacekeeping troops?

The peacekeeping force in Beirut would become a flashpoint for later conflict.


How many U.S. service members died in the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing?

The massive loss of life was the beginning of the withdrawal of the U.S. from Lebanon.


Why didn't the U.S. launch serious retaliatory strikes following the Beirut barracks bombing?

No one ever confirmed who really launched the attack; there was also a lack of consensus in the U.S. about how to respond.


How long did the ground war in Operation Desert Storm last?

Before the ground attack started, the coalition forces had already bombed Iraqi positions for 42 days.


In what year did the U.S. withdraw most of its troops from Iraq?

Sans U.S. military stability, Iraq's civil war gained momentum.


Operation Enduring Freedom targeted which country?

It was the initial invasion of this country by the U.S., justified by the 9/11 attacks.


The Wolfowitz Doctrine stipulated that the U.S.'s objective in the Middle East was to remain a predominant power and to preserve access to what resource?

In the Middle East, U.S. policy always seems to come back to oil.


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