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Obama and the Middle East
 
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Obama and the Middle East
The End of America's Moment?
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
 
14 Jun 2012
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£17.99
|Hardback In Stock
  
9780230113817
||
 
 
12 Jul 2013
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£11.99
|Paperback In Stock
  
9781137278395
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to distance the United States from the neoconservative foreign policy legacy of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and usher in a new era of a global, interconnected world. More than three years have passed since his inauguration, and the reality of President Obama's approach is in stark contrast to the ebullient and optimistic image that he originally built up. In fact, Obama is not committed to redefining U.S. foreign policy in a transformational way, but calibrating and correcting the Bush policies, and reclaiming the neorealist approach that defined America's foreign policy since WWII. Taking stock of Obama's first three years in the White House, this book places his engagement in the Middle East within the broader context of U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 and examines key areas that have posed a challenge to his administration: negotiation with Israel and Palestine, troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, engagement with the Arab Spring, intervention in Libya, and the death of Osama bin Laden. Gerges analyzes Obama's policies toward the Middle East, reckons with the administration's history, priorities, and goals, and makes essential strategic recommendations for advancing US-Middle East relations.


Description

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised to distance the United States from the neoconservative foreign policy legacy of his predecessor, George W. Bush, and usher in a new era of a global, interconnected world. More than three years have passed since his inauguration, and the reality of President Obama's approach is in stark contrast to the ebullient and optimistic image that he originally built up. In fact, Obama is not committed to redefining U.S. foreign policy in a transformational way, but calibrating and correcting the Bush policies, and reclaiming the neorealist approach that defined America's foreign policy since WWII. Taking stock of Obama's first three years in the White House, this book places his engagement in the Middle East within the broader context of U.S. foreign policy since 9/11 and examines key areas that have posed a challenge to his administration: negotiation with Israel and Palestine, troop levels in Iraq and Afghanistan, engagement with the Arab Spring, intervention in Libya, and the death of Osama bin Laden. Gerges analyzes Obama's policies toward the Middle East, reckons with the administration's history, priorities, and goals, and makes essential strategic recommendations for advancing US-Middle East relations.


Reviews

'There can be few more authoritative and engaging commentators than Fawaz Gerges...' -Times Higher Education
 
"Fawaz Gerges has written a provocative book that should make Americans think carefully about their country's role in the rapidly changing Middle East. He describes a largely dysfunctional policy-making apparatus dominated by poorly informed and often ideologically biased individuals. President Obama raised hopes in some quarters that he would recalibrate American policies in a constructive direction, but, on balance, he has failed to do so. This book deserves to be read in university classrooms and by those in the general public who care about the direction of American foreign policy." —William B. Quandt, professor of Politics, University of Virginia

"A penetrating study by one of the most influential writers on a most troubled region, one that shows every sign of becoming more troubled still in the future. But as Fawaz Gerges convincingly shows, the United States is highly unlikely to be a beneficiary. Indeed, in his view, the American 'moment' in the Middle East is fast coming to an end with potential consequences we can only yet dimly perceive. A must-read.' —Michael Cox, professor and co-director, IDEAS, The London School of Economics and Political Science

"Gerges lays out the problems from multiple viewpoints and establishes the points of greatest need. How Obama addresses the challenge to America's hegemony and whether he can stand up to political pressure from home will determine if this is truly the end of America's moment in the Middle East. An exceptional book that thoroughly scrutinizes the struggles of all the nations of the Middle East and doesn't hesitate to distribute blame where it's warranted." —Kirkus (starred review)

"Fawaz Gerges scrutinizes President Obama's Middle Eastern policy with the clinical accuracy and piercing insight of one of the leading authorities on the region. Distinguishing sweeping rhetoric from policy, he is compelling in demonstrating that while Obama has inherited reduced influence abroad and a rapidly changing landscape, American official attitudes towards Israel, local allies, and terrorism remain largely constant. In highlighting that Egypt, Iran, and Turkey provide both limitations on and opportunities for the United States in the region, he adds his informed and balanced judgment to critical foreign policy debates of the day." —James Piscatori, Durham University

"If there were still hope for President Obama, one would have dreamed that he would have sought Fawaz Gerges's counsel on his North African and Middle Eastern policies or at the very least read his poignant, precise, and judicious book, Obama and the Middle East: The End of America's Moment?. But all the indications are that Obama was a mirage—not the audacity but the calamity of a delusional hope. As Fawaz Gerges describes in lucid and deeply informed prose, Obama has lost a historic opportunity to redefine the American political culture—and he has in fact managed to drag it even deeper into a habitual politics of brute force and vulgar violence. The magnificent democratic uprising called the Arab Spring happened on Obama's watch and he miserably failed to read and respond to it. Fawaz Gerges' timely and tempered book is too late for Obama but vastly informative and deeply encouraging for the rest of us still committed to a better and more responsible world." —Hamid Dabashi, Columbia University, New York

"With characteristic and skillful gusto, Fawaz Gerges goes straight to the heart of the matter. Arguing that a supposedly transformational president has been anything but when it comes to US foreign policy in the Middle East, he lays out an ambitious strategy for navigating a region in tectonic flux. Essential reading for policymakers, pundits, and all students of the contemporary Middle East." —Peter Mandaville, author of Global Political Islam and director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Islamic Studies, George Mason University

"Fawaz Gerges is one of the foremost scholars of Middle East politics and US foreign policy toward the region. Here he delivers a cogent analysis of Barack Obama's foreign policy toward the Middle East. Gerges's verdict is harsh: Obama has neither prioritized the region nor taken the necessary risks required to alter a flawed foreign policy. Obama has also squandered opportunities at a key moment in America's troubled relationship to this vitally important region: the beginning of the end of America's dominance of the Middle East. This is simply the best analysis of the Obama administration's foreign policy toward the region." —Samer Shehata, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, Georgetown University



Contents

Introduction: Overcoming the Bitter Inheritance

America’s Encounter with the Middle East

In a Single Morning: The Bush Doctrine

The Obama Doctrine

Pivotal Peace

Obama and the War on Terror

Allies and Foes: The Pivotal States - Egypt, Turkey, and Iran


Authors

Fawaz A. Gerges is a professor of Middle Eastern Politics and International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where he is chair of the Middle East Centre. He was a senior ABC television news analyst from 2000 until 2007 and has been a guest on Charlie Rose, Oprah, ABC Nightline, and other prominent shows. He has contributed pieces to The New York Times, The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, Middle East Journal, Al Mustqbal al-Arabi, and many others. He lives in London.