The overarching question imparting urgency to this exploration is: Can U.S.-Russian contention in cyberspace cause the two nuclear superpowers to stumble into war? In considering this question we were constantly reminded of recent comments by a prominent U.S. arms control expert: At least as dangerous as the risk of an actual cyberattack, he observed, is cyber operations’ “blurring of the line between peace and war.” Or, as Nye wrote, “in the cyber realm, the difference between a weapon and a non-weapon may come down to a single line of code, or simply the intent of a computer program’s user.”
A discussion with Marc Lynch, Professor of Political Science at George Washington University and Director of the Project on Middle East Political Science, on his upcoming book The New Arab Wars: Uprisings and Anarchy in the Middle East (Amazon, Public Affairs).
Moderated by Tarek Masoud, Sultan of Oman Associate Professor of International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School.
How did the enthusiasm of the Arab uprising of 2010-11 descend into failed states, repression, and proxy war? The New Arab Wars explains the new power politics and human costs of a Middle East still undergoing profound transformations.
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RSVP requested but not required. No reserved seating. Seating on first come, first served basis.
About the book:
"Less than twenty-four months after the hope-filled Arab uprising, the popular movement had morphed into a dystopia of resurgent dictators, failed states, and civil wars. Egypt’s epochal transition to democracy ended in a violent military coup. Yemen and Libya collapsed into civil war, while Bahrain erupted in smothering sectarian repression. Syria proved the greatest victim of all, ripped apart by internationally fueled insurgencies and an externally supported, bloody-minded regime. Amidst the chaos, a virulently militant group declared an Islamic State, seizing vast territories and inspiring terrorism across the globe. What happened?
The New Arab Wars is a profound illumination of the causes of this nightmare. It details the costs of the poor choices made by regional actors, delivers a scathing analysis of Western misreadings of the conflict, and condemns international interference that has stoked the violence. Informed by commentators and analysts from the Arab world, Marc Lynch’s narrative of a vital region’s collapse is both wildly dramatic and likely to prove definitive. Most important, he shows that the region’s upheavals have only just begun—and that the hopes of Arab regimes and Western policy makers to retreat to old habits of authoritarian stability are doomed to fail."
"A keen observer of the violent upheaval in the Middle East since the Arab Spring makes a strong assertion: there is no returning to the old autocratic ways." -Read the full review at Kirkus Reviews.
"The New Arab Wars is a compelling, accurate, and comprehensive overview of our turbulent region’s very mixed condition at this historic transitional moment. Lynch succinctly captures all the nuances, strengths, weaknesses, actors, dangers, and promises that define the Middle East today. I strongly recommend this book for anyone who seeks to understand what is going on in our region, how we reached this situation, and how to appreciate the changing roles of the many regional and global players." -Rami G. Khouri, MEI Senior Fellow; Senior Public Policy Fellow, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut; and internationally syndicated political columnist.
Read more reviews here.
About the author:
Marc Lynch is professor of political science at George Washington University and the director of the Project on Middle East Political Science. He edits the Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post, and is a nonresident senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.