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Middle East PolicyCast

Podcast by The Washington Institute

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Middle East Strategy with Dennis Ross

How can policymakers deal with the urgent crises of the day without neglecting important issues of long-term strategy? Ambassador Dennis Ross has advised presidents from both parties since the 1980s, and he literally wrote the book on diplomacy and statecraft. In this episode, he connects the dots between immediate policy challenges in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran, as well as the rising threat of a regional war, to chart a wider policy agenda for securing the most vital American interests in the Middle East. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

31mins

8 May 2018

Rank #1

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Hussein and Abdullah with Robert Satloff

For two decades, rumors have swirled around the royal succession from Jordan’s King Hussein to his son, King Abdullah II. Hussein reinstated Abdullah as crown prince just days before Hussein died, a move that struck many at the time as sudden, controversial, even capricious. But in a private conversation years earlier, King Hussein told Robert Satloff in confidence of his plans to return Abdullah to the line of succession, and the deeply personal reasons why. Long sworn to secrecy, Satloff can now tell the story of how a royal father’s heartache changed the course of a kingdom.Middle East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

23mins

19 May 2020

Rank #2

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The Middle East 2017: Challenges and Choices - Strategy with Michael Singh

Where does the Middle East fit into America's global strategy, and is the rise of Russian and Chinese great-power competition in the region a permanent new reality or an anomaly that the next president can reverse? We talk with Michael Singh, the National Security Council's former senior director for Middle East affairs about regional challenges to America's interests, the policy choices necessary to overcome them, and the personnel and management decisions that can help the next president avoid the foreign policy blunders common to most new administrations. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

38mins

4 Nov 2016

Rank #3

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Middle East 2017: Challenges and Choices with Amb. James Jeffrey

When the forty-fifth president of the United States gets down to work on January 21, 2017, the new commander in chief will face life-or-death decisions that will shape America’s role in the Middle East for years to come. In this podcast series, Washington Institute scholars explore those historic challenges. As former high-level officials in Democratic and Republican administrations, our experts know the issues, the stakes, the leaders and the players on the ground. Ambassador James Jeffrey is Solondz Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute and former United States ambassador to Iraq and Turkey. His most recent publication, coauthored with Michael Eisenstadt, is "U.S. Military Engagement in the Broader Middle East," a comprehensive study of American involvement in the region since World War II.

27mins

21 Sep 2016

Rank #4

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Decision Points Episode 1 with Michael Oren

"Decision Points" is a new Washington Institute podcast that provides fresh insights into critical moments in the U.S.-Israel relationship from prominent historians and policymakers. The series is hosted by Ziegler Distinguished Fellow David Makovsky, a renowned expert on U.S.-Israel relations, including territorial solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

32mins

31 Oct 2019

Rank #5

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The Abbas-Trump Visit with Ghaith al-Omari, Ehud Yaari, David Makovsky, and Dennis Ross

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is in Washington, DC, for only the second time since 2010, and meets with President Trump at the White House on May 3. How should the U.S. administration approach Abbas as they begin to lay the groundwork for a new push to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

48mins

2 May 2017

Rank #6

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The Qatar Crisis with Lori Plotkin Boghardt

Gulf politics scholar and former intelligence analyst Lori Plotkin Boghardt explains the Qatar crisis - what it is, why it's happening now, and how it could affect American interests and alliances in the Middle East. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

25mins

20 Jul 2017

Rank #7

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Airstrikes on Syria

In military terms, what did the April 13 allied airstrikes on Syria accomplish? Will deterring the Assad regime from using chemical weapons change the Syrian battlefield? Veteran military analyst Michael Eisenstadt shares his insights into the tactical and strategic effects of the coalition airstrikes and the future course of the conflict there. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

26mins

16 Apr 2018

Rank #8

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Vision 2030 and the Saudi Future with Simon Henderson

Donald Trump is making his first foreign trip as president to the Middle East, with his initial stop in Saudi Arabia. President Trump will arrive in a kingdom on the precipice of major changes, including a youth boom, technological revolutions, a possible succession to a younger generation of royal leadership, and an ambitious economic reform program dubbed “Vision 2030.” Gulf and energy policy scholar Simon Henderson explains thepolitical, economic, and social changes facing Saudi Arabia, and what the future holds for the kingdom, for its Arab neighbors, and for Washington’s relations with Riyadh. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

31mins

19 May 2017

Rank #9

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Erdogan's Empire with Soner Cagaptay

"Turkey more isolated, more alone, and more exposed to foreign policy threats than it has been for decades if not centuries." Soner Cagaptay, author of a new book on Turkish foreign policy, details the ways in which Recep Tayyip Erdogan represents both a revolution in Ankara's regional relations and deep continuity with centuries of Ottoman and Turkish strategy. Find Cagaptay's new book, "Erdogan's Empire: Turkey and the Politics of the Middle East" at https://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/erdogans-empire-turkey-and-the-politics-of-the-middle-east. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

24mins

22 Sep 2019

Rank #10

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Middle East 2017: Challenges and Choices with Ambassador Dennis Ross

"Syria is going to hit the next president very hard," warns Ambassador Dennis Ross. A veteran of five administrations, under presidents of both parties, Ross shares his insights into the decisions that will face the next commander in chief as well as the planning that must take place before Inauguration Day to create an orderly process for making choices. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

29mins

6 Oct 2016

Rank #11

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Taking Stock of U.S. Counterterrorism Since 9/11 with LTG Michael K. Nagata

U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Nagata, director of strategic planning at the National Counterterrorism Center, delivered a hard-hitting address at the Institute earlier this month. After nearly two decades and much success, General Nagata said it's time for Americans to ask ourselves had questions: Why is terrorism today more widespread and complex than ever? Why have terrorists proven so resilient and adaptive in the face of massive military pressure from the United States and its global allies? And what new policies and approaches should Washington consider to turn the tide?

1hr 29mins

27 Jul 2018

Rank #12

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Middle East Policy on Capitol Hill with Dana Stroul

Dana Stroul, The Washington Institute's newest research fellow, is a veteran Pentagon and U.S. Senate foreign policy staffer. In this podcast, Dana shares her insights about Capitol Hill's role in making foreign policy, from the fraying bipartisan consensus on vital Middle East issues to the conflicts between the legislative and executive branches that transcend administrations. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

26mins

18 Jan 2019

Rank #13

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The 'Shia Crescent' and Iranian Influence

What is the Shia Crescent, and how does Iran’s government exploit it to spread its influence and sow division across the region, from the Karun River to the Mediterranean Sea? Lebanese journalist Hanin Ghaddar, a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute, discusses the Shia Crescent, Iranian influence, and the loss of the Lebanon she once knew. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

17mins

30 Jan 2018

Rank #14

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Israeli Security Today with Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, IDF (ret.)

Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkote, IDF (ret.) delivered the 2019 Zeev Schiff Memorial Lecture on Middle East Security earlier this month. In his first public remarks since his retirement as chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, General Eizenkot detailed the four pillars of Israeli strategy and shared his assessment of Israel's military position as it faces new threats on multiple fronts. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

25mins

30 May 2019

Rank #15

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Preventing a Third Lebanon War

Functioning as a state within the Lebanese state, Hezbollah has accumulated more rockets than many European militaries. But it is also an irregular army that uses terrorism as a strategic weapon against adversaries at home and abroad. Today, the conflicts in Syria and Iraq have reconfigured Hezbollah and other forces in ways that could lead to a new war, one far more destructive than previous Middle Eastern conflicts. In this episode, we'll hear from three senior European military leaders who have just published a detailed report on the growing likelihood of Hezbollah aggression against Israel, the devastating course such a conflict would take, and what Western governments can do now to prevent renewed bloodshed. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

22mins

26 Oct 2017

Rank #16

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The UN's Assessment of ISIS & al-Qaeda with Edmund Fitton-Brown

The head of the UN team charged with monitoring each group assesses their prospects for bouncing back and recommends further steps that governments can take to counter them.Middle East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

42mins

14 Feb 2020

Rank #17

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Israeli National Security with Maj. Gen. Yair Golan

On September 7, distinguished Israeli general Yair Golan, who recently completed service as the IDF’s deputy chief of staff, delivered The Washington Institute's 2017 Zeev Schiff Memorial Lecture. General Golan’s remarks focused on three themes: the role of vision and founding values in Israeli society, the overall contours of Israeli national security policy, and military defense as a component of that policy. In assessing the current military situation, the general emphasized the threat posed by Iran, a sophisticated adversary that seeks "to become the most dominant power in the Middle East." Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

1hr 4mins

14 Sep 2017

Rank #18

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Northwest Africa with Sarah Feuer

The countries of northwest Africa – Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria – may look like islands of stability in a sea of Middle East turmoil. But perhaps better to see them as low coral atolls – and the sea around them is rising fast. Soref Fellow Sarah Feuer, coauthor of a presidential transition study of American challenges and policy options in northwest Africa talks about why these countries matter to the United States, what Washington can do to help preserve reform and democracy there, and what the stakes are should these islands of regional stability sink below the waves of chaos lapping at their shores. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

27mins

17 Mar 2017

Rank #19

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U.S. Iran Policy with Michael Singh

On October 13, President Trump announced a new Iran strategy, including decertifying the 2015 nuclear deal and asking for changes from Congress and from international partners. Does this mean the end of the nuclear deal? What comes next for the executive branch and for Congress? Can the administration bring our allies on board for a comprehensive push to counter the full range of Iran's destabilizing activities? Institute scholar and former National Security Council senior official Michael Singh joins us to dig into the details of the Trump administration’s new Iran policy, from the nuclear agreement to terrorism sanctions, and to explain how the White House can turn the broad outlines of strategy into successful policy that advances American interests. Near East PolicyCast: Conversations on Middle East issues from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

26mins

17 Oct 2017

Rank #20