In a region already known for volatility, the Middle East continues to encounter new levels of crisis as conflicts rage in a number of countries. According to a panel of regional experts, “crisis” will continue to be the order of the day in 2015. Their observations on what’s been happening and what to expect in the coming months is the focus of this edition of REWIND.
Every year there are major events around the world that fly under the mainstream media’s radar despite their seminal impact. Four Wilson Center scholars who are also leading journalists from some of the world’s largest media organizations tell us what they consider to be the most underreported news stories of 2014.
In this Context interview, Jubin Goodarzi, Middle East scholar and analyst, discussed the complicated regional dynamics among Iraq, Syria, and Iran.
In this Context interview, Christian Sahner, a historian of the Middle East, provided insight into Syria’s civil war and the impact of the emergence of the Islamic State through the lens of history.
"Our counter narrative against ISIL is what is going to win the day. If we don't win the argument, we, the coalition of forty, are never going to prevail against the extremists." says Jane Harman.
"I do think boots on the ground are necessary to achieve the mission... but the face of the boots on the ground ought to be a Muslim face from the region," says Jane Harman in this interview on Morning Joe.
"The reality is this: the fight against ISIS is going to be ongoing when Barak Obama leaves the White House. There is no Hollywood ending to this thing. It's not going to be quick, easy or cheap," says Aaron David Miller in this interview.
"When you look at ISIS, it's in at least two countries - you have it in Iraq and you have it in Syria - and that complicates exactly how you can go against them and deteriorate their ability to carry out terrorist acts. You have to have countries in the region who support this (campaign against ISIS). It can't be a west against this group (ISIS), it has to be other countries and especially countries from that region," says Jill Dougherty.
"This is a very risk averse president, and a relatively risk averse American population, we are not going to forge the kind of coalition which allows for thousands of boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria" says Aaron David Miller.
Robert Ford, America’s recently retired ambassador to Syria, shares his thoughts on the use of force, the prospects for a diplomatic solution, and the possibility of collaborating with Iran during a candid discussion of the ongoing violence with Syria.