U.S. Power and Influence in the Middle East: Part Five

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In seven episodes, the Babel: U.S. Power and Influence in the Middle East podcast miniseries will take a closer look at two decades of heightened U.S. engagement in the region. Over seven weeks, Babel will cover how the United States has used its military, economic, diplomatic, and soft power tools in the Middle East—and how the Middle East has responded.  

In part five, Jon takes a look at U.S. soft power in the Middle East, and just what makes American culture, ideals, and institutions enduringly attractive in the region—and around the world. He talks with Paul Salem, president of the Middle East Institute; Lisa Anderson, who served as the president of the American University in Cairo from 2011 to 2016; and Alanoud Alsharekh, a Kuwaiti women's rights activist and an associate fellow at Chatham House.

Paul Salem, "Why the Arab Spring Failed—And Why It May Yet Succeed," TIME, January 5, 2021.
Lisa Anderson, "Is There a Future for American Universities in the Middle East?" Foreign Affairs, March 22, 2019.
Alanoud Alsharekh, Angry Words Softly Spoken: A Comparative Study of English and Arabic Women Writers, 2006.
Transcript, "U.S. Power and Influence in the Middle East: Part Five," CSIS, April 5, 2022.
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Jon Alterman
Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and Director, Middle East Program