U.S. Policy and Avoiding Catastrophes in the Middle East
This month, my book The Lost Spring: U.S. Policy in the Middle East and Catastrophes to Avoid will be in libraries across America and online. This new book, published by Palgrave-McMillan in New York, is an analysis of the evolution of the Arab Spring and its future. It also addresses other democratic revolutions, upheavals and civil wars in the Middle East, including events in Iran, Turkey, Sudan, and beyond.
In “Ž Future Jihad (2005), a book that was selected for the U.S. House of Representatives Summer Readings 2006, I projected the rise of the global jihadist movement, including its surge in the West. My most recent book published in English, The Coming Revolution: Struggle for Freedom in the Middle East (2010), predicted the Arab Spring, its successive waves, and the civil wars it would cause. I projected three cycles before they even happened: the rise of civil societies, the takeover by Islamists, and the comeback of the seculars to push back against the Islamists. And this is the very pattern we witnessed in both Egypt and Tunisia. My book in French, Du Printemps Arabe a l’Automne Islamiste (From the Arab Spring to the Islamist Fall), which was published in November 2013 in Paris and launched at the European Parliament in Brussels, described the global race between Islamists and seculars in the region.
My new book will take this analysis and projection even further. It explains why the West and the United States failed to predict the Arab Spring and why they failed to handle it effectively. The book also addresses the direction these upheavals are headed and how to correct U.S. policy before irreparable catastrophe strikes the region. From bloody and expanding civil wars in Syria, Iraq, and Libya to the fight against terror in Egypt, Lebanon, and Tunisia; from genocide in Sudan, Darfur, and beyond to the persecution of Christian and ethnic minorities and the rise of al Qaeda and Hezbollah – so much in the region appears hopeless, but one must also recognize the emergence of reformers, women, minorities, and civil societies.
In “Ž The Lost Spring I tackle the deep impact the “Islamist lobby” in the West has developed regarding U.S. foreign policy and show the link between petrodollars influence, Middle East studies, and the political weapon of Islamophobia – designed by this influential network to weaken American support for Middle East, Arab, and Muslim democrats actively opposing Salafists, Khomeinists, and jihadists.
In essence, I argue that the Obama Administration made strategic mistakes from the moment it took power in 2009 – by striking the wrong alliances while simultaneously abandoning friends and ideological allies. I share with readers what could have been more effective policy had the election of 2012 swung in the other direction. As a senior national security and foreign policy advisor of presidential candidate Mitt Romney, I had prepared alternative ideas for the Middle East – ideas a Romney administration could have adopted.
Introducing the book to the public, the publisher’s reviewer wrote:
One of the greatest unanswered questions after the massive and violent changes that hit the Middle East in 2011, known to some as the “Arab Spring” and to others as the “Islamist Winter,” is how the West failed to predict both cataclysmic seasons in world affairs and to meet their challenges. The so-called spring didn’t last long, quickly unraveling into a collection of civil wars, civil unrest, and secessions. The author argues that Washington is too hesitant to take action when necessary, that U.S. policy is highly disoriented on counterterrorism efforts, and that the effects of these errors have already proven costly. In Benghazi, U.S. foreign policy failed to see the explosions coming, didn’t meet the challenges of political transformation where and with whom it should, and failed in isolating the Jihadi terrorists worldwide. Too many strategic errors were committed. In this fascinating new book, the author, the only expert who accurately predicted the Arab Spring, will foretell a major demise in U.S. and Western policies in the Middle East, unless a deep change in strategies and policies is made in Washington and around the world.
Nevertheless, the book argues that although there is still a chance to avoid catastrophe if the current administration and Congress implement a dramatic change in foreign policy, there will be a high price for the next administration to pay if Washington maintains its current direction. I know readers will enjoy reading this historical-future analysis, and I am looking forward to their reactions and the debate it will generate. “Ž
Dr Walid Phares is the author of The Coming Revolution and of the new book The Lost Spring,coming out in March 2014. He advises members of the U.S Congress and the European Parliament on the Middle East. www.walidphares.com