The UCLA Center for Middle East Development hosted the event, "Can America Lead in a New International Arena? Where Does That Leave the Middle East?," on June 2, 2022.
In the wake of the chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan, many believed America could never lead again. Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine demonstrated that the US could not only lead but inspire and encourage others to do so, too. Yet still early days in the Russian war against Ukraine merit considerable caution as to whether US leadership will produce a world more favorable to US interests and those of its allies. For the United States, the road ahead is strewn with major challenges, including a fiercely polarized political system at home and an international environment where powers large and small challenge US influence and threaten its interests abroad. The US may face a weakened, yet dangerous Russia; a still rising China; and a continually unpredictable and often controversial Middle East— with much of the world unwilling to choose sides. For America, it’s likely to be a world still to be managed if possible, and where transformation may be extremely difficult.
Aaron David Miller, senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, talks with UCLA Director of the Center for Middle East Development and Research Professor Steve Spiegel as they explore what is in store for US leadership, the world, and the MENA region.
PRESENTER— Aaron David Miller is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, focusing on US foreign policy. He has written five books, including his most recent, “The End of Greatness: Why America Can’t Have (and Doesn’t Want) Another Great President” (Palgrave, 2014) and “The Much Too Promised Land: America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace” (Bantam, 2008). Between 1978 and 2003, Miller served at the State Department as a historian, analyst, negotiator, and advisor to Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, where he helped formulate US policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process, most recently as the Senior Advisor for Arab-Israeli Negotiations. He also served as the Deputy Special Middle East Coordinator for Arab-Israeli Negotiations, senior member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and in the Office of the Historian. He has received the Department’s Distinguished, Superior, and Meritorious Honor Awards. From 2006 to 2019, Miller was a public policy scholar, vice president for new initiatives, and director of the Middle East Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Miller is also a global affairs analyst for CNN. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, Foreign Policy, USA Today, and CNN.com. He is a frequent commentator on NPR, BBC, and Sirius XM Radio.
MODERATOR— Dr. Steven Spiegel is Director of the UCLA Center for Middle East Development. He is also a research professor of political science, focusing on international relations and American foreign policy in the Middle East. He has written over 100 books, articles, and papers. He is the author of “The Other Arab-Israeli Conflict: Making America’s Middle East Policy from Truman to Reagan,” and “World Politics in a New Era,” as well as one of the authors of "The Peace Puzzle: America’s Quest for Arab-Israeli Peace, 1989-2011.”