AT THE CENTER

Social Media and Information War in the Middle East

On November 16, the Center held a lunch discussion on social media and information war in the Middle East. The panelists were Dr. Niki Akhavan, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Media Studies at the Catholic University of America; and Dr. Khalid Al-Jaber, Director of the MENA Institute in Washington and a visiting

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“The problem with Trump’s foreign policy rhetoric as a candidate and, at times, as president is that he poses good questions more often than he provides adequate answers.”

-Dimitri K. Simes

“The most important summits between leaders in Washington and Moscow—during the Nixon and Reagan administrations—took place precisely when the two governments recognized the dangers of inveterate mutual hostility and sought to limit them.”

-Paul J. Saunders

“The threat to the liberal order comes not from political shifts within democratic societies from liberal to conservative parties; that’s the normal cycle of democratic politics. It comes from resurgent autocrats in Russia, China, North Korea and Iran who do not tolerate such political shifts. Authoritarianism, not nationalism, poses the real threat to the liberal order.”

-Jacob Heilbrunn

“If Moscow views its social-media campaign as a defensive response to American meddling in Russian politics, then it might see little to gain and much to lose by giving up this activity without getting reciprocal U.S. concessions. Putin often recalls occasions when he made unilateral concessions to the United States, such as closing Russia’s intelligence collection site in Cuba and withdrawing from its naval facility in Vietnam in 2001, without gaining anything in return.”

-George Beebe

“Resolution of the Korean issues and North Korea’s threat is important, but it must be addressed in the context of the greater situation. North Korea is not the most important thing. Our interests and the security of our allies and friends are the most important.”

-Wallace C. Gregson

“Asia’s greatest challenge today is not a nuclear Pyongyang armed with missiles that can hit most parts of the planet, but something far more complex: a People’s Republic of China that is out of space to grow economically, and has in fact peaked. The ramifications of this fact could be profound, and indeed reorder our thinking of global politics not just in the Asia-Pacific, but on a global scale.”

-Harry J. Kazianis

“Unwilling to accept sunk costs, we keep pouring men, women and money into a war [in Afghanistan] that is unwinnable, even on our increasingly vague terms of victory. ‘Declare defeat and go home’ may not be politically palatable, even in an America that last won a war in 1991."

-Gil Barndollar

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Social Media and Information War in the Middle East

On November 16, the Center held a lunch discussion on social media and information war in the Middle East. The panelists were Dr. Niki Akhavan, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Media Studies at the Catholic University of America; and Dr. Khalid Al-Jaber, Director of the MENA Institute in Washington and a visiting

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