According to Shah, Western nations have put in power corrupt Arab leaders to maintain their dominance in the region and protect their own vested interests. This has also served to keep their populations at bay, in return for militarization, power, and personal wealth of the elite. The common theme underlying it though has been the struggle to control access to important resources such as oil. The Middle East is the most militarized region in the world and most arms sales head there. A suppressed people that see US influence as a major root cause of the current problems in the Middle East has led to a rise in Islamic militancy, acts of terrorism, and anti-west sentiment, anti-US in particular (2009).