In this op-ed published on Real Clear Defense, Eliot Silverberg (MASIA’20) discusses the possibility and potential benefits of a joint counter-terrorism effort between the U.S. and China. According to Silverberg, despite the fact that “Washington and Beijing appear headed for a period of sustained economic competition, the United States should consider developing a combination of economic pressures and incentives to engage China on counter-terrorism operations in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.”
In the Media
Bruce Hoffman, SFS Professor and terrorism and insurgency expert, contested Vice President Mike Pence’s recent remarks claiming to have defeated the Islamic State. Not only is “defeated” inaccurate, he says, but it suggests “a misunderstanding of terrorism as a phenomenon that can be ‘defeated’ in conventional military terms.”
Jeffrey Anderson, professor at the BMW Center for German and European Studies, voiced his concern for the diplomatic downgrade of the European Union Delegation to the United States. The downgrade, he said, is “yet another gratuitous, petty slap at the idea of European unity.” However, Anderson was reassured that many of the broader trans-Atlantic networks remain in place.
In this piece published on the San Diego Union-Tribune, Professor Daniel Byman weighs in on the state of the war on terrorism. According to Byman, “If you had told officials after 9/11 that in the next 17 years there would be only 104 deaths from terrorist attacks in the United States, they would have raised a glass of Champagne,” adding that “back then, we were worried that we’d lose that many people in a week.” He made sure to add the caveat, though, that “it’s impossible to know whether this is a durable trend or merely a lull,” and that “we could have mass attacks again, [or] we could go 10 years without anything.”
Professor Brenda Shaffer analyzes the economy and oil prices in 2019, beginning by noting that in October 2018, there was a four-year high for oil prices, but then dropping 30% by December 2018. In the first few days of 2019, oil prices have been tipping up and down. What are the factors driving these numbers? Most importantly, Shaffer writes for The Hill, is the state of the global economy and the strength of the US Dollar.
In this article published on Ozy, Professor Christine Fair offers a rebuttal to the idea that former Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq was “a leader that put Pakistan on a path to becoming an unwelcome place for religious minorities and a welcome place for religious radicals.” To this, Fair responded that “it was Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who began Pakistan’s jihad in Afghanistan,” as Bhutto “was the one to ban alcohol and gambling, the one to introduce Arabic in public schools.” “I think this tendency to over-attribute everything to Zia is wrong,” she added.
In this op-ed published on Lobe Log, Professor Shireen Hunter warns of the dangers of ruling out the possibility of war with Iran. Instead, she said those “who do not want another devastating war in the Middle East” should be aware of the possibility of exactly that happening, and “do all they can to end the current U.S.-Iran standoff.”
John Esposito, professor and Founding Director of the Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, talked to the Middle East Eye about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the Middle East this month. Given Trump’s tendency for erratic behavior and last minute decisions, Esposito notes that Pompeo’s visit did little to deter uncertainty about U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.
Thirty years after its original publication, Paul Miller, Professor of the Practice of International Affairs and Co-Chair for Global Politics and Security in the MSFS program, revisits Francis Fukuyama’s famous article, “The End of History.” In it, Fukuyama says that the end of the Cold War marked the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government. Miller contends that Fukuyama’s verdict is as persuasive and powerful as ever, though it faces challenges.