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A nation must think before it acts.
Michael Doran is a Visiting Professor at NYU. An expert on the international politics of the Middle East, he has worked in both academia and government. His research interests include US policy toward the Middle East, radical Islam, and the Arab-Israeli conflict. He is particularly interested in inter-Arab relations, believing that contests for power and authority between Arabs and Muslims have an unrecognized influence, both over relations between the Middle East and the West, and over the Arab-Israeli conflict. Thus his book, Pan-Arabism before Nasser, interprets the 1948 Arab-Israeli war as an inter-Arab conflict. And one of his articles, “Somebody Else’s Civil War” (Foreign Affairs, Jan/Feb 2002), was the first piece after 9/11 to interpret al-Qaeda’s attacks on New York and Washington as an expression of a war within Islam – a thesis that is now common wisdom. In academia, Dr. Doran has held appointments at Princeton University and the University of Central Florida. In government he has served as a Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and as a Senior Director at the National Security Council. He received his MA and Ph.D. in History from Princeton University.
This essay is based on a lecture for a two-day History Institute for Teachers sponsored by FPRI’s Wachman Center in cooperation with the American Institute for History Education on U.S. Foreign Policy and the Modern Middle East.