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The United States has increasingly preferred to base its combat aircraft in the Middle East on aircraft carriers in and near the Persian Gulf. But now it should change course, moving more of them on land to bases in Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
Challenging the notion that Pakistan is fragile, Lieven presents in exquisite detail how things actually work, for better or worse, in that "hard country." The much shorter book Deadly Embrace is in a sense a primary source about U.S. policy toward Pakistan.
Which Path to Persia? presents four possible approaches for U.S. policy toward Iran: a diplomatic solution, a military response, regime change, and containment. Diplomacy breaks down into two options, persuasion or engagement.
By rushing into Iraq instead of finishing off the hunt for Osama bin Laden, Washington has unwittingly helped its enemies: al Qaeda has more bases, more partners, and more followers today than it did on the eve of 9/11. Now the group is working to set up networks in the Middle East and Africa -- and may even try to lure the United States into a war with Iran. Washington must focus on attacking al Qaeda's leaders and ideas and altering the local conditions in which they thrive.
This article appears in the Foreign Affairs eBook, "The U.S. vs. al Qaeda: A History of the War on Terror." Now available for purchase.