Reimagining American Influence in a New Middle East

May 1st, 2013

There is an old saying that says that if the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat every problem as if it is a nail. So too for American policy in the Arab world. If every problem looks like an existential threat, then perhaps it’s because we often see the military as the only tool we have.

In fact, as Bill Clinton famously said, “it’s the economy stupid.” Perhaps if we found new ways to deal with the Middle East in terms of its economics, its desire for goods, jobs for the 60% of it’s population under 30, we’d have a better outcome.

Few know the region better than two time Pulitzer Prize winning journalist David Rohde. He lays out his ideas in Beyond War: Reimagining American Influence in a New Middle East.

My conversation with David Rohde:


May 1st, 2013

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, would set off the ten year search for Osama bin Laden. That manhunt would end exactly two years ago today, on May 1st, 2011. In between, was one of the greatest detective stories of our time.

CNN’s national security analyst Peter Bergen, through his exhaustive research, unprecedented interviews with key players, and exclusive access to the Abbottabad compound in which bin Laden lived his final years, has now been able to tell the full story.

In fact, Bergen was the only outsider to tour the compound before it was destroyed by the Pakistani military. Considered the definitive account of the hunt for bin Laden, his book Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad, serves as the basis for the documentary of the same name, which debuts tonight on HBO.

My conversation with Peter Bergen:

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