Segments in this Video

Debate "Housekeeping" (03:06)


Moderator John Donvan provides the framework for the debate on America's foreign policies in the Middle East and introduces panelists.

Opening Statements For: Mary Beth Long (03:58)

International Security Affairs and Former Assistant Secretary of Defense Long states that four years ago, America was considering deploying additional resources and troops to the Middle East. Today, the level of conflict has greatly diminished.

Opening Statements Against: Justine A. Rosenthal (04:44)

Former "The National Interest" Editor-in-Chief & "Newsweek Magazine" Executive Editor Rosenthal states that the Trump Administration's Middle East policy has been bad for peace and prosperity in the Middle East and for U.S. national interests. She cites specific policy failures.

Opening Statements For: Danny Danon (03:17)

Former Israeli Deputy Defense Minister, UN Ambassador, and World Likud Chairman Danon states that the bond between the U.S. and its allies in the Middle East is stronger and there is a new paradigm with Palestinians. Iran sponsors terrorism.

Opening Statements Against: Michael Ware (04:45)

Former "Time Magazine" Baghdad Bureau Chief & CNN Correspondent Ware states that the Trump Administration did not have a coherent foreign policy in the Middle East. The U.S. has increased rather than lessened the lines of hostility in the region.

U.S. Respect in the Middle East (04:47)

Donvan summarizes opening statements. Long believes America is respected and the Trump Administration receives credit for the Abraham Accords. Rosenthal questions, respect by whom?

Iran Nuclear Deal (09:40)

Danon believes the JCPOA was a "feel good" agreement; more sanctions should be applied. Ware counters that sanctions have not worked. Long states the Middle East is safer today than four years ago and cites the Sunni agreement with Israel.

Palestinians First? (03:23)

Danon cautions the Biden Administration; he does not believe the Palestinians are capable of negotiating without help.

Has Life and Security Improved? (07:03)

Rosenthal and Ware support the Abraham Accords but they need conditions. Panelists consider COVID vaccine administration. Normalizing relations with Tel Aviv comes at a cost. Long cites examples of improved security.

Israel, Occupation, and Iran (04:21)

Hamas took over and there is no longer occupation in Gaza; enhancing the moderate voice in the Muslim world provides hope. Rosenthal states that Iran is enriching uranium at a higher level and disrupts the region more so than four years ago.

Iran On the March (04:52)

Long states that Russia, Syria, and Israel have done well keeping Iranian activities in check; Iraq is not an Iranian proxy. Panelists disagree about the influence of Iran.

Israeli Safety (04:15)

Danon agrees that Iran is getting stronger, but so have moderate forces; Long cites protestors against corruption. Ware counters that Iran completely controls or influences the people in power.

Advice on Iran and the Palestinians (05:02)

Rosenthal believes the Biden Administration should return to the JCPOA and move towards the discussion of a two-state solution. Danon encourages promoting dialogue with the Palestinians, but the U.S. must include its allies. Long and Ware encourage Biden to use leverage from the previous four years.

Closing Statements For: Long (02:02)

Many of the problems in the Middle East have existed for decades. Today, those in the region are not reading about ISIS and al-Nursa in the newspaper and the Palestinian issue has dramatically changed.

Closing Statements Against: Rosenthal (00:36)

Thousands are dying in a humanitarian crisis, China, Russia, and Turkey overrun American interests, and the possibility of nuclear armament is increasing.

Closing Statements For: Danon (00:51)

People in the Middle East are working together with the U.S. and have felt safer and more secure in the last four years.

Closing Statements Against: Ware (01:36)

The Trump Administration has marshaled allies but at a cost. The lack of fetter on allies to change behaviors has escalated tensions with Iran.

Debate and Voting Results (06:50)

Robert Rosenkranz reflects on the resolution, highlighting the importance of reasoned debate. Participants appreciate the experience. Donvan reveals audience votes, declares the winner, and thanks the panelists.

Credits: For the Last Four Years, America Got the Middle East Right (00:14)

Credits: For the Last Four Years, America Got the Middle East Right

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For the Last Four Years, America Got the Middle East Right

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President Joe Biden’s approach to the Middle East will likely be far different from that of former president Donald Trump. But should it be? For some, the Trump legacy was the right approach: a transactional style that resulted in a host of political and diplomatic victories, including normalizing relations between Israel and several Arab nations. It was also selectively aggressive when it came to the death of the leader of the Islamic State and sanctions against Iran that, some argue, blunted Iran's ambitions and reduced its power in the region. But others, including many key members of the Biden administration, see the last four years as a failure of strategy and leadership. Trump's personalized approach to the Middle East, they argue, eroded America's moral agency and gave cover to authoritarian leaders. To them, Trump’s stance on Iran emboldened hardliners, while its staunch support for Israeli interests isolated U.S. allies and undermined the Palestinians. Did America get the Middle East right under President Trump?

Length: 76 minutes

Item#: FPT238634

ISBN: 978-1-63722-264-5

Copyright date: ©2020

Closed Captioned

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