As Independence Day approaches, Tablet Magazine invited experts from the foreign policy community—policymakers, diplomats, activists, and analysts from both Washington and the Middle East, and across the political spectrum—to offer their assessments of President Barack Obama's Middle East policy. A year and a half into one of the most celebrated presidencies in recent memory—celebrated not just here but throughout much of the world—has Obama managed to hit the reset button in a part of the planet that the George W. Bush Administration had almost willfully alienated and enraged? Or has the new commander in chief misread notoriously tricky ground, empowering U.S. enemies and weakening Washington's traditional allies?
We asked where the White House had succeeded or failed. We looked for the premises on which the Nobel Peace Prize-winning president based his regional policy. And we wanted to know what the future looks like for the United States and the Middle East—on questions from the state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to the Iranian nuclear program, from U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the region's rising powers, like Turkey and Qatar.