"A trenchant and often pugnacious demolition of the numerous misconceptions about strategic thinking on the Middle East"
-The New York Times
Now updated with a new chapter on the current climate, Myths, Illusions, and Peace addresses why the United States has consistently failed to achieve its strategic goals in the Middle East. According to Dennis Ross-special advisor to President Obama and senior director at the National Security Council for that region-and policy analyst David Makovsky, it is because we have repeatedly fallen prey to dangerous myths about this part of the world-myths with roots that reach back decades yet persist today. Clearly articulated and accessible, Myths, Illusions, and Peace captures the reality of the problems in the Middle East like no book has before. It presents a concise and far-reaching set of principles that will help America set an effective course of action in the region, and in so doing secure a safer future for all Americans.
Ross (The Missing Peace) and Makovsky (Making Peace with the PLO) contend that if the U.S. wants to broker peace in the Middle East, it must cease operating from ideological assumptions and see the world as it is. Ross, now an adviser to Hillary Clinton, was chief negotiator for the Clinton administration, and Makovsky is with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; their call comes with real bona fides. Context matters, they write but they, too, fail to consider the entire context in question: Israel is all but denied agency, as the authors fail to address the impact of its occupation of Palestinian lands. What may be the crux of the book is found in a mention of This Much Too Promised Land by Ross s former deputy, Aaron David Miller, which examines American negotiating mistakes, including the efforts of his and Ross s team. Ross and Makovsky s open antagonism to Miller suggest they may be less interested in learning from errors than in explaining why everyone else is wrong.