As a long-time Senate Committee on Foreign Relations senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia, Danielle Pletka was the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan issues. As the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, Pletka writes on national security matters with a focus on Iran and weapons proliferation, the Middle East, Syria, Israel and the Arab Spring. She also studies and writes about South Asia: Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.
Pletka is the co-editor of “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (AEI Press, 2008) and the co-author of “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (AEI Press, 2011) and “Iranian influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (AEI Press, 2012). Her most recent study, “America vs. Iran: The competition for the future of the Middle East,” was published in January 2014.
The press is reporting that Israel accepted the terms of an Egyptian offered ceasefire on Tuesday morning, and that Hamas rejected it. The terms of the truce required rocket fire to cease at 9 am Israeli time; Hamas launched several dozen rockets over the course of the morning, though fewer than in recent days.
The Middle East need not have unraveled in the way that it did; nor can we separate out the escalating shooting war between Israel and Hamas from the larger conflict engulfing the entire region. Since the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens June 12, likely by Hamas terrorists, the group has hit Israel almost daily with its arsenal of ever more sophisticated rocketry.
Please join analysts from the United States and across the Middle East to discuss Shi‘ite strategies to preserve communal independence and how the United States can successfully work with Shi‘ite communities outside Iran.
Join us for a conversation with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) and General Jack Keane (ret.) as they assess the deteriorating security situation in Iraq and consider what role the US should play to help the Iraqi government confront terrorists hostile to democratic government in Baghdad and Washington.
The Middle East is in a downward spiral. More than 160,000 have died in Syria's civil war, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, aka ISIS, has captured key Iraqi cities and is marching on Baghdad, and the security investments made by the U.S. over the past decade—like them or not—are being frittered away.