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The Fog of Peace: The Human Face of Conflict Resolution | 02/25/14
The courageous Gianni Picco played a central role in negotiating the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, met with Saddam Hussein to bring an end to the Iran-Iraq War, and traveled to both Beirut and Tehran to rescue 11 hostages and 91 other prisoners. How did he do it? By treating adversaries as individuals, not just government representatives.
Differing Perspectives on Iran and the Middle East Peace Process: Is there a Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations? | 02/13/14
Dov Waxman, David C. Speedie
Do the public disagreements between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government over Iran's nuclear program and the current peace talks with the Palestinians signal a growing rift between the United States and Israel? How strong is the alliance between the countries? What does the future hold for Israel?
Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late | 12/17/13
The threat of a nuclear nightmare is still real, says Joe Cirincione. With unsecured stockpiles in Russia, the ever-present threat of terrorists getting hold of a bomb, and the possibility of a nuclear Iran, America and the world need to pay attention to this potentially catastrophic issue.
My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel | 11/27/13
Speaking just after the November 23 nuclear deal with Iran, Ari Shavit is skeptical: "The question is: Is it an act of creating the time to wake up and see what's there; or is it a process of deluding ourselves one last time, which will be the very last time?" He also discusses his homeland, Israel--its history, its deep-rooted problems, and its vibrancy.
U.S. Policy on Iran and the Middle East: Where Do We Go From Here? | 09/27/13
Gary Sick, David C. Speedie
Are we on the brink of a new era in Iran-U.S. relations? Maybe. Iran expert Gary Sick discusses President Rouhani's UN speech, which took place just before this event, plus previous missed opportunities and the current possibilities of rapprochement. While condemning the regime, he sees an opening for constructive negotiations.
Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God | 09/23/13
Created and armed by Iran, Hezbollah's reach stretches around the world, including inside the United States. Matthew Levitt traces its terrifying activities and discusses how Iran/Hezbollah might retaliate in response to a U.S. strike on Syria.
The World Through Arab Eyes: Arab Public Opinion and the Reshaping of the Middle East | 06/10/13
While domestic injustices and the information revolution were key factors, Dr. Telhami argues it's impossible to understand the Arab uprisings without also referring to foreign policy. "The dignity that they sought to restore in these uprisings was not only about their relationship with the rulers, but was about their relationship with the rest of the world."
Behind the Headlines--After the Israeli Elections: A New Chapter or More of the Same? | 02/25/13
Why were the recent Israeli elections results so different from expectations? Why were the main issues domestic ones, with little attention paid to Iran or the Palestinian situation? For answers to these questions and more, look to Yoram Peri's expert analysis of the complexities of Israeli politics and concerns.
Report from the Middle East | 02/14/13
Charles D. Freilich
Chuck Freilich's knowledgeable talk gives us an overview of the primary forces at work today in the Middle East--and some potential outcomes. He also provides an insider's analysis of Israel's politics and prospects.
Public Affairs: The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate | 01/31/13
Robert D. Kaplan
With a breadth and depth of knowledge spanning not only current geopolitics but centuries of history, Robert Kaplan shows us the crucial importance of geography in shaping our destinies. Geography still matters, and always will.
Five Myths About Nuclear Weapons | 01/24/13
What if everything we believe about nuclear weapons is wrong? "Reexamine the facts and you'll see that the arguments for nuclear weapons aren't powerful; they're preposterous. They are an unpersuasive collection of wishful thinking held together by nothing more than fear and rationalization."
Ethics Matter: Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2013 with Ian Bremmer | 01/18/13
Ian Bremmer, Devin T. Stewart
"There are three big things happening right now in the world: China rising, Middle East exploding, Europe muddling through. Those are the things that truly matter, in the sense that they have potentially very different kinds of trajectories and outcomes depending on where they go."
Prospects for U.S.-Iran Relations | 01/03/13
Seyed Hossein Mousavian, David C. Speedie
Iran and the U.S. have a long list of common interests, including Afghanistan, stability in Iraq, and fighting drug trafficking. A good way to start creating trust between the two nations would be to cooperate on these issues, instead of always focusing on divisive ones like nuclear capability.
Israel and Hamas: Time to Talk? | 12/17/12
Hamas is unlikely to ever become a partner for peace with Israel, but it can be a partner for coexistence, albeit a limited and uneasy coexistence. For Israelis and Palestinians this is surely better than no peace at all, which is, alas, the most likely scenario at present.
The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics | 12/14/12
In the Cold War, the path to nuclear war always led through Moscow and Washington. In the second nuclear age the triggers to nuclear war are in Tel Aviv, Islamabad, Pyongyang, and in the future possibly Tehran, and possibly in other places too, because you can start a nuclear war even if you don't have nuclear weapons.
Hard Questions for Humanitarians | 12/03/12
Do international laws intended to constrain war and uphold human rights unwittingly legitimate violence? Zach Dorfman of Carnegie Council reviews Eyal Weizman's book, "The Least of All Possible Evils."
On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines--and Future | 11/30/12
Karen Elliott House, Joanne J. Myers
Drawing on over 30 years of experience of reporting on Saudi Arabia, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Karen Elliott House takes us behind the scenes in this secretive Kingdom--a country ruled by a coterie of princes with an average age of 77, where 60 percent of the population is under the age of 20.
Ethics Matter: Dan Ariely on the Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions | 11/20/12
Dan Ariely, Marlene Spoerri
Why do smart people cheat? Why do we eat more than we should or text while driving? In this funny and insightful talk, behavioral economist Dan Ariely explores the hidden factors that shape our most puzzling decisions and shows how emotions, peer pressure, and sheer irrationalism dictate our behavior.
Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad | 10/23/12
David W. Lesch
David W. Lesch has traveled to Syria repeatedly since 1989 and met President Bashar al-Assad several times in the mid-2000s. He discusses the conflict in the influential Middle Eastern nation, why an American intervention is a dangerous idea, and why Assad has cracked down so absolutely.
Public Affairs: America in the 21st Century: A View from Asia | 10/16/12
Kishore Mahbubani, Joanne J. Myers
The good, the bad, and the ugly: distinguished Singaporean Kishore Mahbubani politely but firmly tells Americans how Asians see them, and warns, "the world that is coming is a world outside your comfort zones."