Middle East and North Africa

Article

Obama’s Former Middle East Adviser: We Should Have Bombed Assad

Authors: Philip H. Gordon and Jeffrey Goldberg
The Atlantic

In a comprehensive interview with Jeffrey Goldberg for the Atlantic, Philip Gordon discusses President Obama’s strategy in the Middle East, the so-called “Washington Playbook,” the Syria “redline,” and more.  He argues the next administration will have to deal extensively with the Middle East whether it wants to or not.

 

See more in United States; Syria; Conflict Assessment

Testimony

ISIL as a Mass Movement

Author: Graeme Wood

In testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 12, 2016, Graeme Wood discussed the self-proclaimed Islamic State as a mass movement and laid out the reasons for reasonable versus unreasonable fear of the movement and its constituents’ intentions. Based on his interactions with the Islamic State’s supporters abroad, Wood recommended that future U.S. government policy responses toward the Islamic State take into account not only military and political factors, but also “countercultural, religious, and existential ones,” and that politicians remain simultaneously rational and empathetic for their constituents.

See more in United States; Middle East and North Africa; Terrorist Organizations and Networks; Counterterrorism

Article

If American Jews and Israel Are Drifting Apart, What's the Reason?

Author: Elliott Abrams
Mosaic Magazine

If American Jews and Israel, are drifting apart, what’s the reason? That is the title of Elliott Abrams’s review essay in Mosaic, covering two new books that blame Israel—and its government’s policies—for the apparent drift. But the conventional wisdom is wrong, and the problems lie at home, among American Jews, not in Jerusalem.

See more in United States; Israel; Ethnicity, Minorities, and National Identity; Society and Culture