Violent Non-State Actors in the Middle East: Who are they, and what is their importance towards the United States?

GMA 400 - Senior Seminar Research

This paper describes the relationship between the United States and Violent Non-State Actors (VNSAs) in the Middle East, and analyzes the shortcoming strategy that the United States has presented to combat their threat. This analyzation utilizes three major VNSAs, the Afghanistan Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS, to study and understand each actor’s strategy. This is done through the pinpointing of each VNSAs end objective, the ways that they mean to achieve this objective, and their means, or resources used in their favor. It is then brought back to the United States, addressing the VNSAs effects, the highlighting of weaknesses through their courses of action, and a speculation on what the United States should do to effectively fight the influence of these VNSAs. Based on the analysis of this paper, it is recommended that U.S. foreign policy officials in control of Middle Eastern policy should fully understand the grand strategy of Middle Eastern VNSAs, then each specific VNSA, along with the mindset of the individual jihadi in order to effectively combat their rise.