Watching TV News Coverage of Middle East Affairs: Sunni-Shia Relations Matter and a Public Not Knowing this Will Affect How the United States Plans for Any Future Involvement in that Region

22 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2018

Date Written: October 4, 2018

Abstract

Television news does not help Americans understand the complexity of the problems the United States faces and may face in the future in the Middle East. Sectarian conflict where Sunni versus Shia or Sunni versus Sunni differences matter make it difficult for the United States to determine allies. A public that does not understand some of the basics of Middle Eastern sectarian conflict cannot be expected to show sustained support for any American involvement and can limit the range of policy options available to the United States. The United States Army by developing Field Manual 3-24 (published in 2006, adopted in 2009) showed a need to address sectarian issues as part of counter-insurgency warfare. The public, however, shows little understanding of sectarian issues and that can affect the development of American policy.

Keywords: TV news, Middle East, Iraq, Syria, sectarian, allies, public knowledge of international affairs, Sunni, Shia

JEL Classification: Z12, Z18

Suggested Citation

Cernik, Joseph A, Watching TV News Coverage of Middle East Affairs: Sunni-Shia Relations Matter and a Public Not Knowing this Will Affect How the United States Plans for Any Future Involvement in that Region (October 4, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3260913 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3260913

Joseph A Cernik (Contact Author)

Lindenwood University ( email )

209 South Kingshighway
Saint Charles, MO 63301
United States

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