- The Doorstep: America in the Middle East & the "Caliphate" Controversy, with NYU's Mohamad Bazzi
On this week's "Doorstep," hosts Tatiana Serafin and Nikolas Gvosdev are joined by NYU's Professor Mohamad Bazzi, an expert on the Middle East. The discussion focuses on America's role in the Middle East, including a look at the recently released Senate Foreign Relations Committee report on how the Trump doctrine has affected national security, and "The New York Times"' "Caliphate" controversy.
- The Last Million: Europe's Displaced Persons from World War to Cold War, with David Nasaw
The aftershocks of World War II did not end with German capitulation in May 1945. Millions were displaced, including concentration camp survivors, POWs, slave laborers, political prisoners, and Nazi collaborators. Many eventually returned home, but "the lost million" did not. Author David Nasaw and Carnegie Council President Joel Rosenthal discuss this forgotten chapter in history and its relevance to today.
- Peace By Poison: How the Coronavirus Could Fix Globalization Problems
How is the COVID-19 pandemic stress-testing the international system? Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev writes that the virus is accelerating a series of disintegrative processes, which could end up ushering in the long-awaited post–Cold War world. This article was first published on March 14, 2020 and an excerpt was reprinted with the kind permission of "The National Interest."
- The Crack-Up: The Birth of the Modern Middle East, with Ted Widmer
At the end of World War I, colonial powers carved up the Ottoman Empire and the reverberations are still being felt today. Historian Ted Widmer discusses the circumstances that led to this fateful episode and why Woodrow Wilson wasn't able to extend his principle of "self-determination" to the Middle East. How should we think about the Trump-Netanyahu peace plan in the context of what happened in Palestine in 1919?
- The Failure of the Two-State Solution: Hope for Palestinian Youth
With the two-state solution facing obstacles from all sides, Palestinian youth need to "answer the urgent question of how to reframe the conflict discourse and avoid succumbing to a future of perennial suffering in silence under the status quo," writes security analyst Tariq Kenney-Shawa. What are effective methods of nonviolent resistance? How can the 1987 First Intifada serve as an inspiration for the next generation of Palestinians?
- The Crack-Up: 1919 & the Birth of Fundamentalism, with Matthew Avery Sutton
Washington State's Matthew Avery Sutton tells the story of a Minneapolis pastor named William Belly Riley and the rise of Christian fundamentalism in the post-World War I years. From concerns about FDR and the New Deal to the Trump administration's anti-Obamacare rhetoric--and a consistently "apocalyptic worldview"--Sutton and historian Ted Widmer trace the influence of this movement over the past century.
- The New Rules of War: Victory in the Age of Durable Disorder, with Sean McFate
"Nobody fights conventionally except for us anymore, yet we're sinking a big bulk, perhaps the majority of our defense dollars, into preparing for another conventional war, which is the very definition of insanity," declares national security strategist and former paratrooper Sean McFate. The U.S. needs to recognize that we're living in an age of "durable disorder"--a time of persistent, smoldering conflicts--and the old rules no longer apply.
- The Enduring False Promise of Preventive War, with Scott A. Silverstone
Does preventive war really work? "In the vast majority of cases historically, what we see is the country that thought it was saving itself from a greater danger in the future actually creates this greater danger because you generate a level of hostility, a deepening rivalry, and a desire for revenge that comes back to haunt them," says Scott Silverstone. His advice: Hesitate. Before taking action, think through this "preventive war paradox."
- The French Far Right in Russia's Orbit
"Far-right groups in France are not restricted to the party of the Le Pen family. They are diverse, operate through networks, and are now well within Russia's force field. But this is not only the result of Vladimir Putin's charisma or Marine Le Pen's need for funds. The Russian question has drawn French nationalist activists into combat, both at the rhetorical level...and at the level of armed combat."
- Army of None: Autonomous Weapons and the Future of War, with Paul Scharre
"What happens when a predator drone has as much as autonomy as a self-driving car, moving to something that is able to do all of the combat functions all by itself, that it can go out, find the enemy, and attack the enemy without asking for permission?" asks military and technology expert Paul Scharre. The technology's not there yet, but it will be very soon, raising a host of ethical, legal, military, and security challenges.
- The Peacemakers: Leadership Lessons from Twentieth-Century Statesmanship, with Bruce Jentleson
What are the qualities and conditions that enable people to become successful peacemakers? At a time when peace seems elusive and conflict endemic, Bruce Jentleson makes a forceful and inspiring case for the continued relevance of statesmanship and diplomacy and provides practical guidance to 21st-century leaders seeking lessons from some of history's most accomplished negotiators, activists, and trailblazers.
- Iran: A Modern History, with Abbas Amanat
There are few countries in the world that are more misrepresented in the West than Iran. By exploring the imperial rivalries that played out there, the dynastic changes and revolutions, the population explosion, the role of religion, and Iran's relations with other nations in the Middle East, Abbas Amanat provides a context that helps us to demystify present-day Iran, one of the most powerful nations in the Middle East.
- Deciphering the Middle East and Trump's National Security Stategy, with Asha Castleberry
Asha Castleberry, Fordham professor and U.S. Army veteran, describes her "mixed reaction" to Trump's National Security Strategy--touching on China and Russia, cybersecurity, and climate change--and what effect it will actually have on the military's operations. Plus, she details an increasingly complicated Middle East, with the Saudi crown prince on a warpath and a dangerous transitional period in Syria and Iraq after major victories against ISIS.
- No Place for Eritreans
Eritreans are fleeing their repressive homeland at the rate of 5,000 a month. Yet once they manage to leave, new dangers await these hapless refugees, from extortion to violence and death. How can the world turn its back?
- Donald Trump. . . . . Commander-in-Chief
Donald Trump is now president-elect. Despite the bitter opposition that occurred throughout the campaign, all Americans should want him to be successful. This is particularly true for his most important role as commander-in-chief, as he must deal with a variety of significant threats.
- How to Achieve Military Victory and Maintain National and Personal Ethics
Moshe Yaalon: "Military excellence has handed us an advantage on the battlefield, but this edge can only be maintained if we preserve our ethical superiority. And as the war on terror develops and intensifies, so must our determination to deliver an unequivocal moral response to the challenges it brings."
- The Last Supper: The Plight of Christians in Arab Lands
There are 7.5 million Christians in the Middle East, who live under constant threat of death and humiliation. Danish journalist Klaus Wivel (not a Christian himself) asks: What is the story on the ground and why are so few journalists covering it? Why aren't we in the West doing more to defend the human rights of this beleaguered minority?
- The Geopolitics of the Iran Deal: Winners and Losers
In the short term, one of the biggest winners in the Iran deal is China, and the biggest loser is Saudi Arabia. But 10, 15 years from now, we may see that the deal was a seminal factor in reintegrating Iran into the global political economy and strengthening civil society--making the U.S. and Europe the winners and countries like Russia and Syria the losers.
- What Went Wrong in the Arab Spring?
In the early days of the Arab Spring, non-violent civil resistance helped topple authoritarian governments in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen. Yet these apparent triumphs were followed by disasters. What went wrong? Was the problem rooted in the popular movements themselves, or in their societies? And what's the best way forward now?
- Sinai: Egypt's Linchpin, Gaza's Lifeline, Israel's Nightmare
The Sinai, this crucial land bridge connecting Asia and Africa, has become a haven for transnational crime, fostering arms trafficking, smuggling through the tunnels into Gaza, and Islamic militancy. Courageous Egyptian journalist Mohannad Sabry gives us an inside look at the current situation, both in the Sinai and in Egypt as a whole.