You might do well to check out our friend, Dr. Leon Hadar of CATO and author of the book Sandstorm. Leon was the guest and subject of a CATO policy book forum today. He was joined by a panel featuring Jim Pinkerton of Newsday and Fox News, as well as Geoff Kemp, nee Reagan NSC staff for Middle Eastern Affairs and currently with the Nixon Center. Christopher Preble, Director of Foreign Policy Studies for CATO, served as the able emcee.
Leon's innovative analysis has earned strongly positive reviews from James Fallows, Middle East Review, Foreign Affairs and others. That trend continued today with both Jim and Geoff Kemp.
In short, Leon advocates the United States abandon the prison of the outmoded Cold War paradigm mandating massive (and counter-productive) U.S. engagement in the Mid East in favor of a gradual disengagement and discernment of true U.S. national interest. You can get more info via the link to the reviews of Leon's book at Amazon. Over on the left there.
When Krauthammer et al. are clamoring for the U.S. to “go ashore”, Leon and as endorsed today by both Jim Pinkerton and Geoff Kemp, counsels doing the precise opposite. Leon and the commentators today at CATO all of course recognize that such “disengagement” and sloughing off the old Cold War paradigm will take time and must be done gradually. But all note that what is going on over there emphatically is NOT “our war” and other such AgitProp falsehoods.
I couldn't find a video of the event on the CATO site or I would link it here. Perhaps it is forthcoming. Leon, as you may know, is also very funny and the presentation today crackled with some wry humor. I second Geoff Kemp's recommendation today that Leon definitely should continue the analysis in a further work exploring alternative political architectures that would support such gradual disengagement.
You might want to consider picking up Sandstorm. For two reasons, actually. First, Leon's books and columns on the Middle East over the years have a rare almost prescient quality. And secondly, analysis oddly reminiscent to Leon's somehow seems to pop up under other bylines now and then — so you might as well get the 100% genuine undiluted stuff straight from the source.
Kudos to CATO, Leon and the commentators today on a terrific event.