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.
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).
The first portion of The Arab Awakening offers broad lessons by analyzing key aspects of the Mideast turmoil, such as public opinion trends within the "Arab Street"; the role of social media and technology; socioeconomic and demographic conditions; the influence of Islamists; and the impact of the new political order on the Arab-Israeli peace process.
The next section looks at the countries themselves, finding commonalties and grouping them according to the political evolutions that have (or have not) occurred in each country. The section offers insight into the current situation, and possible trajectory of each group of countries, followed by individual nation studies.
The Arab Awakening brings the full resources of Brookings to bear on making sense of what may turn out to be the most significant geopolitical movement of this generation. It is essential reading for anyone looking to understand these developments and their consequences.
US foreign policy is undergoing a dire transformation, forever changing America’s place in the world. Institutions of diplomacy and development are bleeding out after deep budget cuts; the diplomats who make America’s deals and protect its citizens around the world are walking out in droves. Offices across the State Department sit empty, while abroad the military-industrial complex has assumed the work once undertaken by peacemakers. We’re becoming a nation that shoots first and asks questions later.
In an astonishing journey from the corridors of power in Washington, DC, to some of the most remote and dangerous places on earth—Afghanistan, Somalia, and North Korea among them—acclaimed investigative journalist Ronan Farrow illuminates one of the most consequential and poorly understood changes in American history. His firsthand experience as a former State Department official affords a personal look at some of the last standard bearers of traditional statecraft, including Richard Holbrooke, who made peace in Bosnia and died while trying to do so in Afghanistan.
Drawing on newly unearthed documents, and richly informed by rare interviews with warlords, whistle-blowers, and policymakers—including every living former secretary of state from Henry Kissinger to Hillary Clinton to Rex Tillerson—War on Peace makes a powerful case for an endangered profession. Diplomacy, Farrow argues, has declined after decades of political cowardice, shortsightedness, and outright malice—but it may just offer America a way out of a world at war.
The U.S.-China relationship has not always been smooth, but since Richard Nixon’s opening in the early 1970s, the two countries have evolved a relationship that has been generally beneficial to both parties. Economic engagement and a diplomatic partnership together with robust trade and investment relations, among other activities, have meant a peaceful context for reform and China’s rise, helping to lift millions of Chinese out of poverty and giving the PRC incentive to work within the U.S.-led global order.
The logic of the relationship, however, is now open to serious debate on both sides of the Pacific. After a period of American preoccupation with the Middle East, President Obama attempted a rebalancing of U.S. interests toward the Asia-Pacific region. With the Trump administration in office, the U.S.-China relationship appears to be at a crossroads: does it continue to focus on constructive engagement and managing differences, or prepare for a new era of rivalry and conflict?
Here, following up on their 2014 book, Strategic Reassurance and Resolve, the authors provide a more balanced assessment of the current state of relations and suggest measures that could help stabilize the security relationship, without minimizing the very real problems that both Beijing and Washington must address. The authors are hopeful, but are also under no illusions about the significance of the challenges now posed to the bilateral relationship, as well as regional order, by the rise of China and the responses of America together with its allies.