Middle East Policy Turns 30

The journal Middle East Policy will publish its 112th issue this week, marking thirty years as the most cited policy journal in its field. First published in the summer of 1982, the quarterly journal has consistently challenged the conventional wisdom informing U.S. national interests in the Middle East. Prescient on some of the most important policy debates of the past three decades, Middle East Policy today is more vital than ever and is one of the last remaining printed policy journals dedicated to the greater Middle East.

“Three decades ago, George Naifeh retired from the U.S. Foreign Service and founded the organization that publishes this journal. Then, just as is the case today, media narratives are rapidly set and redirecting them is almost impossible. The journal offers diverse, well-considered viewpoints — often challenging these established narratives — from the most qualified American and international analysts in the field,” said long-time journal editor Anne Joyce.

Throughout three decades, five American presidential administrations and four regional wars involving the U.S. military, the journal has remained focused on examining one central question: What are American national interests in the Middle East? Published interviews — notably with Zbigniew Brzezinski (1983), Noam Chomsky (1984), Richard Armitage (1987), and Yassir Arafat (1988) — challenged these prominent intellectuals, leaders and policymakers. Chas W. Freeman Jr.’s “The Arab Awakening: Strategic Implications” (2011) and W. Patrick Lang’s “Drinking the Koolaid” (2004) provided much-needed perspective on vital foreign policy decision-making. And in each issue, the transcripts from our sixty-eight Capitol Hill Conferences bring these expert policy debates on Capitol Hill to our journal subscribers, including universities around the United States.

In the fall of 2006, the journal published “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” the long-form essay previewing John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt’s highly publicized book a year later. Recent essays confronted complex issues in equally impactful ways, including Joshua Landis’ Spring 2012 piece “The Syrian Uprising of 2011: Why the Asad Regime Is Likely to Survive to 2013,” Leila Hudson’s “Drone Warfare: Blowback from the New American Way of War,” and Scott McConnell’s “The Special Relationship with Israel: Is It Worth the Costs?

The 30th anniversary issue, just like those after it, will remain dedicated to this mission, featuring a timely assessment of President Obama’s foreign policy in the Middle East by F. Gregory Gause and Ian S. Lustick, two frequent and highly respected contributors. For Anne Joyce’s 30th anniversary issue editorial, please click here.

Interviews with Ms. Joyce or other queries: Contact Rebecca Leslie – (202) 296 6767 – Rleslie@mepc.org

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