President Obama is now faced with a dilemma: Defending his red line could undermine his carefully crafted strategy of steering clear of direct military involvement in the Syria crisis. Aaron David Miller notes several points the president should keep in mind as he grapples with this conundrum.
Although Iran’s mastery of the nuclear fuel cycle presents an inherent option for creating a bomb, the Tehran regime has no urgent incentive to build nuclear weapons. Current U.S. policy, which emphasizes coercive sanctions and diplomatic isolation to compel Iran to comply with its obligations under the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), would fall squarely under the rubric of containment, even as the term has been eschewed and delegitimized in the U.S. policy debate. As long as Iran does not overtly cross the U.S. “red line” of weaponization, U.S. policy will likely remain containment in form, if not in name.
Recent events in the Middle East, including Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and the results of Israeli and Palestinian elections, generated varied reactions among panelists at a May 10 conference, which featured current and former government officials from the region. This was one of several recent meetings to discuss the unfolding situation.
In this interview on CTV News, Distinguished Scholar Robin Wright discusses the nuanced message in Annan’s latest speech and the great stake that Syria’s allies Russia and Iran have in the outcome of the conflict. Would Assad’s ouster bring peace to Syria or would violence erupt among Syria’s various ethnic groups in a bid for power?
Wilson Center Senior Scholar Marina Ottaway discussed the legitimacy of the outcome of Egypt's recent elections and the validity of the country's new constitution in a June 6, 2013 National Interest article.
Middle East Program Director Haleh Esfandiari chronicles her interrogation and incarceration in Iran, including 105 days in solitary confinement at Evin Prison, in My Prison, My Home. The new book is set against the backdrop of fond memories of her Iranian upbringing, with insights into the current troubled political climate.
The international community is taking gradual—yet effective—steps to secure nuclear materials, with Russia “turning the corner from nuclear problem state to nuclear solution state,” Carnegie’s Matthew Rojansky says. In this interview, he and other experts assess the 2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul.
John Kerry has made the Middle East peace process a major priority of his term as secretary of state. But the prospects of success are not very high. That raises the question of what Kerry's strategy is -- and what his motivations are, writes Aaron David Miller in Foreign Affairs.