In this full interview with The Wall Street Journal's Jerry Seib, Aaron David Miller discusses how a U.S. military strike might take shape in Syria, what kind of retaliation a strike could provoke from Damascus and what the crisis portends for America's allies.
The Middle East Program's Jillian Frumkin discusses the need to strengthen civil society in Iraq so it is rooted in society before the June 30 transfer of sovereignty to the Iraqis.
Iran's nuclear program continues to move forward. Israel and the United States have declared a nuclear Iran unacceptable. Negotiations have stalled while sanctions appear to be taking a toll on the Islamic Republic's economy. How will the standoff be resolved? Is a diplomatic solution possible or is a military confrontation inevitable? To gain insight into the possibility for diplomacy to prevail, we spoke with two veteran Iran experts with decades of direct experience in the diplomatic arena. First up is the Swiss Ambassador to the Islamic Republic. Because of Switzerland's role as "protective power" of the U.S. in Iran, Livia Leu Agosti has served as the diplomatic liaison between the countries since 2009.
The alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador has increased the fear of more attacks on American soil and raised questions about what could be gained from such a bold provocation. Wilson Center experts provide broader context to this bizarre and disturbing news.
The Obama administration has sometimes been tactically adroit in dealing with Egypt since the fall of Mubarak in February 2011; at other times it has been caught flat-footed. But the nature of political changes afoot in Egypt today now demands more than adjustment, but instead a fundamental rethinking of a relationship that has been a cornerstone of U.S. policy in the Middle East since the Nixon administration.
"In Syria, there are no good options, American credibility is at stake, and the pressures to act are considerable in the face of great uncertainties," writes Aaron David Miller in Salon.com.
Recent events in the Middle East, including Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and the results of Israeli and Palestinian elections, generated varied reactions among panelists at a May 10 conference, which featured current and former government officials from the region. This was one of several recent meetings to discuss the unfolding situation.
"On the second anniversary of the Arab uprisings, millions across the Middle East still have dreams of makeovers. But revolutionary fairy tales have devolved into the reality of running countries that are still without fully functioning governments or basic laws. Providing fundamental public services, much less addressing economic woes that sparked the uprisings, is still a very long way off," writes DIstinguished Scholar Robin Wright.
"While the Burmese may have been impressed with events in Tahrir Square last year, Egypt should be looking to Myanmar’s example now. Egyptians are due to head to the polls this weekend but democratic change seems increasingly elusive. Myanmar, meanwhile, has moved further and faster toward real political reform," writes Jane Harman in Politico.
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The Islamists Are Coming
Experts & Staff
- Haleh Esfandiari // Director, Middle East Program
- Mona Youssef // Program Associate
- Kendra Heideman // Program Assistant
- Michael Adler // Public Policy Scholar
- Margot Badran // Senior Scholar
- Shlomi Eldar // Fellow
- Aaron David Miller // Vice President for New Initiatives and Distinguished Scholar
- William Green Miller // Senior Scholar
- Amal Mudallali // Senior Scholar
- David Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Marina Ottaway // Senior Scholar
- Emad El-Din Shahin // Public Policy Scholar
- Joby Warrick // Public Policy Scholar
- Robert Worth // Public Policy Scholar
- Robin Wright // USIP-Wilson Center Distinguished Scholar