Middle East & North Africa

25 Items

Donald Trump

AP/Evan Vucci

Analysis & Opinions - Institut Montaigne

The Fall of American Primacy? Interview with Stephen Walt

    Author:
  • Soli Özel
| June 12, 2019

To discuss the future of the world order, America's relations with Europe, the status of Russia, and a Realist's assessment of the China challenge, Soli Özel, Institut Montaigne's Visiting Fellow in international relations, met Professor Stephen Walt in March in his office at the Harvard Kennedy School. 

Donald Trump

AP/Evan Vucci

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Has Trump Become a Realist?

| Apr. 17, 2018

Stephen Walt elaborates on why there is reason to think Donald Trump is becoming a closet realist or even an offshore balancer. However, he also writes that Trump  seems to grasp part of the logic — it's better to let others contend than to do the heavy lifting yourself — but he lacks the knowledge, skill, and subtlety to make a sophisticated strategy like this work.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks while submitting his next year's budget bill in an open session of parliament in Tehran

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Who's Afraid of a Balance of Power?

| Dec. 08, 2017

"...[I]nstead of looking for ways to encourage splits and schisms among extremists, the United States often acts and speaks in ways that drive them closer together. To take an obvious example, although there may be some modest ideological common ground between Iran, Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen, the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, and the Sadr movement in Iraq, each of these groups has its own interests and agendas, and their collaboration is best understood as a strategic alliance rather than as a cohesive or unified ideological front. Launching a full-court press against them — as Saudi Arabia and Israel would like us to do — will merely give all of our adversaries even more reason to help each other."

Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu shake hands

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Jewish Daily Forward

That 'Israel Lobby' Controversy? History Has Proven Us Right

| Oct. 02, 2017

"Unfortunately for Israel as well as the United States, the past 10 years provide ample evidence that our core argument is still correct. Nevertheless, shifts inside the pro-Israel community and in Israel itself may yet lead to positive shifts in U.S. Middle East policy and to a healthier relationship between the two countries." 

youth light candles at the Battle of Stalingrad memorial

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

Great Powers Are Defined by Their Great Wars

| Sep. 21, 2017

"If you want to understand the foreign policy of a great power, therefore (and probably lesser powers as well), a good place to start is to look at the great wars it has fought. And for most of the major powers, the last great war is still World War II. If one asks what this perspective to some contemporary powers, what might it reveal?"

President Donald Trump speaks at Fort Myer

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

What Trump Got Right About Foreign Policy

| Aug. 28, 2017

"One overlooked feature in this ongoing tragedy is that Trump isn't wrong about everything. Some of his critics won't admit it, but several of the themes he sounded during the 2016 campaign — such as the need to rebuild America's deteriorating infrastructure — were correct (if far from original), and some of his foreign-policy instincts were sound even if his command of details was not. A minimally competent president could have made substantial progress on most if not all of these fronts, thereby leaving the country better off and enhancing his prospects for a second term."

Jared Kushner

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Policy

The World Is Even Less Stable Than It Looks

| June 26, 2017

"If the past 25 years have taught us anything, it is that few foreign-policy problems can be solved simply by blowing things up. The United States is still unsurpassed at that sort of thing, but the real challenge is devising political solutions to conflicts once the guns have fallen silent. We've been singularly bad at this in recent decades, and Trump's disdain for diplomacy and efforts to gut the State Department will just impair us even more."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gives a double thumbs-up as he arrives to speak to State Department employees

AP

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

The Power of a Strong State Department

| May 12, 2017

"The State Department would no doubt benefit from certain reforms. But putting America’s diplomats on a starvation diet is not the way to do it. Gutting the State Department will dissuade smart and ambitious people from entering diplomatic service and make it harder for those who remain to acquire the professional training they need as they rise in the ranks — something our more lavishly funded military does quite well."