Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy toward Iran

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Crafting a new policy toward Iran is a complicated, uncertain, and perilous challenge. Since it is an extremely complex society, with an opaque political system, it is no wonder that the United States has not yet figured out the puzzle that is Iran. With the clock ticking on Iran's pursuit of nuclear capabilities, solving this puzzle is more urgent than ever.

In Which Path to Persia? a group of experts with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings lays out the courses of action available to the United States. What are the benefits and drawbacks of airstrikes? Can engagement be successful? Is regime change possible? In answering such questions, the authors do not argue for one approach over another. Instead, they present the details of the policies so that readers can understand the complexity of the challenge and decide for themselves which course the United States should take.

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About the author

Kenneth M. Pollack is director of research at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. His books include A Path out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East (Random House). Daniel L. Byman is a senior fellow at the Saban Center, director of the Center for Peace and Security Studies at Georgetown University, and author of The Five Front War: The Better Way to Fight Global Jihad (Wiley). Martin Indyk is director of the Saban Center, former U.S. ambassador to Israel, and the author of Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East (Simon & Schuster). Suzanne Maloney is a senior fellow at the Saban Center. She has worked on the State Department's Policy Planning Staff where she provided analysis of Middle East issues. Michael E. O'Hanlon is a senior fellow in Foreign Policy Studies at Brookings and author of Budgeting for Hard Power (Brookings).

Saban Center Senior Fellow Bruce Riedel served as chairman of President Obama's Strategic Review of U.S. Policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan and is the author of The Search for al Qaeda (Brookings).

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Additional Information

Publisher
Brookings Institution Press
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Published on
Oct 1, 2009
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Pages
241
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ISBN
9780815703792
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Language
English
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Genres
Political Science / International Relations / Diplomacy
Political Science / International Relations / General
Political Science / Security (National & International)
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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There is no greater foreign policy challenge for the United States today than the reconstruction of Iraq. The Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings recently assembled a small group of experts to consider U.S. policy toward Iraq in all of its dimensions—military, political, and economic. Saban Center director of research Ken Pollack took the recommendations of the Iraq Policy Working Group and combined them with findings from trips to Iraq and to U.S. Central Command in Tampa to produce A Switch in Time, a comprehensive strategy for stabilizing Iraq in the near term and setting it back on the path toward political and economic advancement. The current U.S. approach is encountering considerable difficulty and appears unlikely to produce a stable Iraq within the next few years, not only because of the military insurgency but also because of government failure in Iraq: the overthrown Saddam regime was not replaced by effective military or political institutions. The alternative proposed by some Bush administration critics, however—a rapid withdrawal—would not serve U.S. interests. While many thoughtful experts have attempted to offer a realistic third course of action, none has so far succeeded. This report proposes such a strategy by detailing the essential need to integrate military, political, and economic policies in Iraq. This concise and straightforward book offers a comprehensive, alternative approach to current U.S. military, political, and economic policies in Iraq. Iraq Policy Working Group: Raad Alkadiri (PFC Energy Consulting), Frederick Barton (Center for Strategic and International Studies), Daniel Byman (Saban Center and Georgetown University), Noah Feldman (New York University), Paul Hughes (United States Army [ret.], United States Institute of Peace), Brian Katulis (Center for American Progress), Andrew Krepinevich Jr. (United States Army [ret.], Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments),Andrew Parasiliti (Barbour, Griffith & Rogers), Kenneth M. Pollack (Saban Center), Irena Sargsyan (Saban Center), and Joseph Siegle (Development Alternatives)
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