About the Event
Three years of political turmoil in the Arab world have laid bare both the deep fissures in Arab societies and the limited capacity of the Western countries and alliances to steer those societies' transitions in the desired democratic direction. Ironically, the clearest democratic success in the Middle East region this year may have been in Iran's presidential election. Abandoning expansive ambitions of a decade ago, U.S. policymakers have preferred diplomatic and multilateral approaches over military action, actively engaging with the European Union, Russia, and United Nations in containing conflict and managing unrest. Nonetheless, crises from Egypt and Syria to Israel-Palestine, Iran, and Afghanistan still elude satisfactory solution, and influential voices call on Washington to threaten or use military force to cut through seeming Gordian knots.
In this World Policy Salon, Jeffrey Laurenti explores the viability of military assertiveness in resolving the Middle East conflicts.
About the Speaker
Jeffrey Laurenti was senior fellow at The Century Foundation on international affairs for eight years, and served as director for TCF’s international task force on Afghanistan and as co-director of TCF’s peace and security initiative with the Center for American Progress. He is the author of numerous monographs on subjects such as international peace and security, terrorism, U.N. reform, international law and justice, and his articles and analysis have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and on National Public Radio, as well as in numerous international policy journals and media. He was executive director of policy studies at the United Nations Association of the United States until 2003, and then served seven years on the association’s Board of Directors. He also served as deputy director of the United Nations Foundation's United Nations and Global Security initiative, which provided inputs to the work on international security of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change commissioned by U.N. secretary-general Kofi Annan.