User login

Join The Debate

Cast your vote and join the conversation.

Membership is free.


Get Started

You are here

Debates

Unresolved September 12, 2019
Unresolved: Shifting Power in the Middle East
Unresolved: Shifting Power in the Middle East

Saudi Arabia and Iran are vying for regional dominance. Turkey is cozying up to Russia and China. And instability, conflict, and proxy wars have engulfed Syria, Yemen, and beyond. How should the United States respond to shifting power in the Middle East?

Staged in our “Unresolved” format, this debate brings together five foreign policy experts to tackle pressing questions on geopolitics in the Middle East, including: Is Trump right on Saudi Arabia? Is the world safer without the JCPOA? And is Turkey an asset to NATO?

Trump Is Right on Saudi Arabia
Winner: Yes
Yes: +0.83%
No: -0.83%
The World Is Safer Without the JCPOA
Winner: Yes
Yes: +5%
No: -5%
Turkey Is an Asset to NATO
Winner: No
Yes: -10.83%
No: +10.83%
About The Debaters
An image of Michael Doran
Michael Doran − Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute & Fmr. Sr. Director, National Security Council
Michael Doran is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., where he specializes in Middle East... read bio
An image of Reuel Marc Gerecht
Reuel Marc Gerecht − Senior Fellow, The Foundation for Defense of Democracies & Fmr. CIA Case Officer
Reuel Marc Gerecht is a former case officer for the CIA, where he served as a Middle Eastern targets officer with... read bio
An image of Bernard Haykel
Bernard Haykel − Professor of Near Eastern Studies, Princeton University
Bernard Haykel is a professor of Near Eastern Studies and the director of the Institute for Transregional Study of... read bio
An image of Brett McGurk
Brett McGurk − Fmr. Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS
Brett McGurk served as Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS at the U.S. Department of... read bio
An image of Barbara Slavin
Barbara Slavin − Director, The Future of Iran Initiative, The Atlantic Council
Barbara Slavin is the director of the Future of Iran Initiative and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic... read bio
Where Do You Stand?
Trump Is Right on Saudi Arabia

The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the war in Yemen, and the rise of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman have called into question whether the United States should maintain its special relationship with Saudi Arabia. Despite heightened criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike, the Trump administration has continued the nation's long-standing relationship with the Saudis. Is that the best path forward for the United States? Or is it best to part ways?

The World Is Safer Without the JCPOA

The Trump administration's decision to pull the United States out of the JCPOA, colloquially called the Iran nuclear deal, has received mixed reviews. Some say Iran wasn’t really complying with the terms and that the deal gave too much away from the outset with the easing of sanctions. Others disagree, saying the multilateral agreement was the global community’s best shot at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Which side is right? Is the world safer without the JCPOA?

Turkey Is an Asset to NATO

Often regarded as the bridge linking together Europe and Asia, Turkey has been part of NATO for more than 65 years. But some wonder whether NATO truly benefits from Turkey’s membership, particularly with the country’s potential turn toward authoritarianism under president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. And with the Turkish leader cozying up to Russia and China, we ask: Is Turkey still an important ally to the West?