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As the presidency of Donald J. Trump passes the halfway point, the Middle East remains a region in turmoil. The Trump administration has aligned itself with strongmen in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, which along with Israel have a common goal of frustrating Iranian expansion. What will be the fallout from policy reversals such as withdrawing from the Iranian nuclear accord and moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem? Does the United States see a path forward in troubled states such as Syria, Yemen, Libya and Iraq? Is the United States headed toward war with Iran?
Michele Dunne directs the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C. Her research focuses on political and economic change in Arab countries, particularly Egypt, as well as U.S. policies in the Middle East. Previously she was the founding director of the Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East at the Atlantic Council, as well as editor of the Arab Reform Bulletin at Carnegie. Before her think tank career, Dunne was a Middle East specialist at the U.S. Department of State for nearly 20 years, serving in assignments that included the National Security Council staff, the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning staff, the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, and the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem. She also served as a visiting professor of Arabic language and Arab studies at Georgetown University, where she obtained her PhD.