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

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 four, Jon analyzes U.S. diplomacy in the Middle East, and how U.S. policymakers have thought about U.S. diplomatic power in the region. He talks with Ambassador Thomas Pickering, a career diplomat with over four decades of experience, including as U.S. ambassador to the UN and to six other countries, and as the undersecretary of State for political affairs; Nathalie Tocci, an Italian scholar who served as a key advisor to the European Union’s chief diplomat; and Brian Katulis, senior fellow and vice president of policy at the Middle East Institute who served in the National Security Council, the State Department, and the Department of Defense during the Clinton administration.

Brian Katulis and Peter Juul, “Seeking a New Balance for U.S. Policy in the Middle East,” Center for American Progress, September 7, 2021.
Nathalie Tocci, "Transatlantic Action Plan: Middle East and North Africa," Harvard Belfer Center, February 2021.
Thomas Pickering, “Keynote remarks: the geopolitics of the Gulf from an American perspective,” Gulf International Forum, October 23, 2019.  
Transcript, "U.S. Power and Influence in the Middle East: Part Four," CSIS, March 29, 2022.
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Jon B. Alterman
Senior Vice President, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy, and Director, Middle East Program