Honors Theses


Natalie Florea Hudson, Ph.D.


International Studies and Spanish

Publication Date


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Honors Thesis


This thesis will examine the relationship between the number and size of U.S. military bases in the Middle East and instances of terrorism in the same region. It seeks to analyze the complex set of impacts that U.S. military presence has on the area and determine if U.S. presence is overall more helpful or harmful to the situation on the ground. While size and number of U.S. bases is not a perfect measure of U.S. presence, it is a fair representation and a useful empirical starting point. This thesis will focus specifically on terrorism as a non-state actor and not on state-sponsored terrorism. Using quantitative data to find general correlations, this research will examine whether U.S. presence in the area is correlated with more or less terrorist attacks and provide possible explanations for both outcomes. Building from this statistical analysis, the research will then look in-depth at five case studies in order to examine this relationship more closely: Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Turkey. By examining the U.S. base’s size, community engagement, and relationship with local militaries in these cases, the research will allow a richer discussion regarding the effect of military bases on instances of terrorist violence. As these military bases represent a significant portion of U.S. resources, it is important to look at their impact more carefully and in a more nuanced way. This thesis will speak to ending the war on terror in the Middle East and discuss how the U.S. military can better contribute to establishing peaceful, democratic governments in the region strong enough to protect its people.

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Undergraduate research


International and Area Studies | Spanish Linguistics