The rise of ISIS, the disintegration of Iraq, Syria's ongoing civil war, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the promise and peril of the Arab Spring... What role should America play in the Middle East? For some, America's restraint has been a sign of disciplined leadership. But for others, it has been a sign of diminished strength and influence. How do we strike a balance between our national interests, moral obligations, and the maintenance of world order? Are we simply recognizing the limitations of our power, or does this embattled region require a bolder, more muscular, American presence?
Michael Doran is a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in Middle East security issues. He served as senior advisor to the undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs in the State Department, and prior to that, held an appointment at the Pentagon as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for support to public diplomacy, and at the National Security Council as the senior director for the Near East and North Africa. At the White House, Doran helped devise and coordinate national strategies on a variety of Middle East issues, including Arab-Israeli relations and the containment of Iran. He has held several academic positions, teaching in the history department at the University of Central Florida, the Department of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, and at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.
Aaron David Miller
Aaron David Miller is currently the vice president for new initiatives and a distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Between 2006 and 2008, he was a public policy scholar when he wrote his fourth book The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace (2008). For the prior two decades, he served at the Department of State as an advisor to Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, where he helped formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process, most recently as the senior advisor for Arab-Israeli negotiations. He also served as the deputy special Middle East coordinator for Arab-Israeli negotiations, senior member of the State Department's policy planning staff, in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and in the Office of the Historian. He has received the department's Distinguished, Superior, and Meritorious Honor awards.
Paul R. Pillar is a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for Security Studies of Georgetown University and a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He retired in 2005 from a 28-year career in the U.S. intelligence community. His senior positions included national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia, deputy chief of the DCI Counterterrorist Center, and executive assistant to the director of Central Intelligence. He is a Vietnam War veteran and a retired officer in the U.S. Army Reserve. Pillar received an A.B. summa cum laude from Dartmouth College, a B.Phil. from Oxford University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Princeton University. His books include Negotiating Peace: War Termination as a Bargaining Process (1983), Terrorism and U.S. Foreign Policy (2001), and Intelligence and U.S. Foreign Policy: Iraq, 9/11, and Misguided Reform (2011). He blogs at nationalinterest.org.
Bret Stephens writes “Global View,” the foreign-affairs column for The Wall Street Journal, for which he won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. He is the paper’s deputy editorial page editor, responsible for the opinion sections of the Journal’s sister editions in Europe and Asia, and a member of the Journal’s editorial board. Previously, Stephens was editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post, a position he assumed in 2002 at age 28. He was raised in Mexico City and educated at the University of Chicago and the London School of Economics. His first book, America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder, will be published in November by Sentinel Books.
Wall Street Journal editor Bret Stephens and Paul Pillar, fellow at the Center for Security Studies of Georgetown University, debate foreign policy defined by a peaceful, "dream" Middle East versus the "nightmare."
Michael Doran, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and former National Intelligence Officer Paul Pillar debate whether sanctions will end weaponization and the nuclear arms race in Middle East countries like Libya and Iraq.