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The problems of the Middle East remain too deeply intertwined with U.S. national security and the American economy to ignore. Whatever it might prefer to do, the Obama administration can’t just walk away from the region, but has to take a greater interest in it.
Eighteen authors cover the events that have roiled the Arab World since December 2010, when a despairing peddler from a town in the Tunisian hinterland set himself aflame to protest his treatment at the hands of an oppressive government.
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.
The situation in Iraq is improving. With the right strategy, the United States will eventually be able to draw down troops without sacrificing stability.
In his March/April 2002 Foreign Affairs article Next Stop Baghdad? (see Of Related Interest below), Kenneth Pollack laid out the case for why an invasion of Iraq was both necessary and possible. Nine months after the toppling of Saddam Hussein's regime, he provides an update on the situation there in this report released by The Saban Center for Middle East Policy of the Brookings Institution.
The sweeping military victory in Iraq has cleared the way for the United States to establish yet another framework for Persian Gulf security. Ironically, with Saddam Hussein gone, the problems are actually going to get more challenging in some ways. The three main issues will be Iraqi power, Iran's nuclear weapons program, and domestic unrest in the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. None will be easy to handle, let alone all three together.
What should the United States do about Iraq? Hawks are wrong to think the problem is desperately urgent or connected to terrorism, but right to see the prospect of a nuclear-armed Saddam Hussein as so worrisome that it requires drastic action. Doves are right about Iraq's not being a good candidate for an Afghan-style war, but wrong to think that inspections and deterrence alone can contain Saddam. The United States has no choice left but to invade Iraq itself and eliminate the current regime.