The independent state of Israel was declared after the United Nations approved the partition of Palestine into Arab and Jewish states in November 1947. The United States immediately recognized Israel but many Arab countries protested its existence. Israel was soon attacked by a coalition of Arab armies and responded by conquering Palestinian towns; the armed conflict continues to this day.
After a thirteen-day summit hosted by US President Jimmy Carter at Camp David, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed a peace agreement. As the first peace framework between Israel and any of its Arab neighbors, the agreement marked a historical change in the Middle East and a major accomplishment for Jimmy Carter, who played a major role in the negotiations.
After Iraq, led by Saddam Hussein, invaded Kuwait in August 1990, President Bush headed a coalition to set a deadline for Iraqi withdrawal. When Iraq failed to leave Kuwait, on January 17, 1991, the US-led coalition began a series of air attacks on Iraq and Iraqi-controlled regions of Kuwait. A ground assault began on February 23, and Kuwait was liberated on February 28, with Iraq accepting the conditions of a UN resolution for a ceasefire.
The Taliban is an Islamic funamentalist political and religious organization that seized power in Afghanistan after the Soviet withdrawal in the mid-1990s. The Taliban established a strict government and social order and controlled almost all of Afghanistan by 2001. After the September 11th terrorist attacks, the Taliban became a target of the United States because it served as a refuge for Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda. The organization’s refusal to cooperate with the United States in bin Laden’s capture or extradition prompted the US...