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The Sixth Crisis

Perhaps the most worrisome scenario in world politics right now is the possibility that Iran's commitment to building a nuclear weapon will lead Israel to launch a pre-emptive attack. The recent turmoil in Iran has strengthened the hand of the hardliners, at least in the near term, and tensions continue to escalate. While the potential for catastrophe is great for both of those nations, America's commitments in the region mean that a war could prove disastrous for the U.S. as well. An Israeli attack could re-align the basic alliance structure in the Middle East and cause Iran to create havoc for the U.S. in Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The Obama administration wants to avoid this, but the current Israeli government and most Israelis regard the current Iranian regime as an existential threat. In The Sixth Crisis, Dana Allin and Steven Simon provide a concise and penetrating analysis of the central dilemma: the interrelationship between the Iranian nuclear threat, the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and President Obama's plans for rebuilding America's reputation in the region. A balanced account of the various forces at work-an Iranian regime currently in the midst of a legitimacy crisis, Israeli domestic politics, and Obama's ongoing attempt to recalibrate Middle East politics by increasing America's appeal within the Arab world--The Sixth Crisis will be essential reading not only for policymakers, but for anyone interested in this still-unfolding crisis.
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About the Author

Dana H. Allin is Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London and the editor of Survival, a leading security studies journal. Steven Simon is Adjunct Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and co-author of both The Age of Sacred Terror (Random House) and The Next Attack (Public Affairs)


Not only is the book the best description available of "the sixth crisis" that Washington has faced in the Middle East since World War II; it also suggests a U.S. policy: given the likely failure to reach a negotiated settlement, a regional variant of the Cold War containment policy might be the best default position. * Foreign Affairs *

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