The Epicenter of Crisis

From Washington Quarterly Readers

The Epicenter of Crisis

The New Middle East

Edited by Alexander T.J. Lennon

With Amanda Kozlowski and Monica Hertzman

Analysis of the security challenges presented by six states in the crucible of post-9/11 geopolitical change: Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.





Analysis of the security challenges presented by six states in the crucible of post-9/11 geopolitical change: Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

The Epicenter of Crisis argues that six contiguous states epitomize the security challenges of a post-9/11, globalized, world: Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Characterized by a dramatically transforming Islam, ethnic conflict, civil war, failed states, and terrorism, this “new Middle East” is the epicenter of what some call an arc of crisis, stretching from the Balkans into Southeast Asia. The Epicenter of Crisis examines this geopolitically dynamic region, analyzing the changing role of Islam in these six critical countries, the dangers posed by potential failed states, and the evolving terrorist threat.

The contributors, all specialists in Middle East or foreign policy, address such crucial issues as the relationship between the Saudi royal family and Al Quaeda, Syria's waning influence over Hizbollah, media coverage of the war in Iraq, a new U.S. strategy for dealing with Iran, Afghanistan's opium industry, and the effectiveness of U.S. multi-billion-dollar assistance to Pakistan. The Epicenter of Crisis challenges readers to reconceptualize the boundaries of the Middle East in a changed world.

ContributorsJohn R. Bradley, Rachel Bronson, Daniel Byman, Derek Chollet, Craig Cohen, Larry Diamond, Emile El-Hokayem, Vanda Felbab-Brown, Brian Fishman, Graham E. Fuller, Husain Haqqani, Elliot Hen-Tov, Jorrit Kamminga, Nina Kamp, Alexander T. J. Lennon, Michael McFaul, Abbas Milani, C. Raja Mohan, Michael O'Hanlon, Gwenn Okruhlik, Carlos Pascual, Kenneth M. Pollack, Dennis Ross, Karim Sadjadpour, Ashley Tellis, Peter van Ham, Eyal Zisser


$30.00 X ISBN: 9780262622165 376 pp. | 6 in x 9 in


Alexander T.J. Lennon

Alexander T. J. Lennon is the editor-in-chief of The Washington Quarterly, the flagship journal of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He is also a fellow in the international security program at CSIS, and an adjunct professor in Georgetown University's Security Studies program. He is the editor of The Epicenter of Crisis: The New Middle East; Reshaping Rogue States (MIT Press, 2008): Preemption, Regime Change, and U.S. Policy Toward Iran, Iraq, and North Korea (MIT Press, 2004); The Battle for Hearts and Minds: Using Soft Power to Undermine Terrorist Networks (MIT Press, 2003), What Does the World Want from America? and Contemporary Nuclear Debates (MIT Press, both 2002), and the coeditor (with Michael T. Mazarr) of Toward a Nuclear Peace (St. Martin's Press, 1994).


Amanda Kozlowski and Monica Hertzman.


  • An unusually strong collection of essays on the extended Middle East. Informed by thorough knowledge of the countries and a sense for the important choices facing the U.S., these selections urge and enlighten without following a party line. Scholars, policy-makers, and members of the interested public will benefit from this book.

    Robert Jervis

    Adlai E. Stevenson Professor of International Affairs, Columbia University

  • Alex Lennon and The Washington Quarterly have again compiled a much needed collection of leading articles, this time on the critical issues swirling in the Middle East. The sometimes disparate subjects of strategy, politics, radicalism, democracy, energy, and negotiation have been woven seamlessly together into a masterful collection that will allow both the well initiated and the simply interested to come away with a deeper understanding of the forces that are driving the modern Middle East.

    Kurt Campbell

    CEO and cofounder, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS)

  • For teachers and researchers alike, this collection of first rate, authoritative articles on Islam, security, and strategy in a critical part of the world is not just convenient but indispensable.

    Shahram Chubin

    Director of Research, Geneva Centre for Security Policy

  • A timely and provocative volume that sheds important insights into the great drama of our times.

    Geoffrey Kemp

    Director of Regional Strategic Programs, the Nixon Center