Abraham Sofaer argues that Reagan’s Cold War strategy offers important lessons for contemporary US policy toward Iran, despite Reagan’s failure to apply those lessons in his own negotiations with the Iranian regime. Recounting five principles from Reagan and Shultz’s diplomatic work with the Soviet Union, Sofaer shows how parties opposite the table can be effectively engaged without losing focus on the US agenda.
Abbas Milani focuses on Iran but paints a more complex picture of a state divided, with movements toward reform and international engagement clashing against authoritarian elements within the government. Stressing understanding a regime as a crucial prerequisite to effective strategy, Milani calls for targeted US policy toward Iran that bolsters movements for change and undermines support for the status quo.
Abbas Milani, a research fellow and codirector of the Iran Democracy Project at the Hoover Institution, discusses ISIS, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the future of the Middle East. Successive US administrations have declared Iran to be one of America’s most serious national security threats. Yet the last four wars the US has fought in the region — in Afghanistan, in the two wars in Iraq and in the current war with ISIS—have resulted in either removing or containing Iran’s powerful adversaries.
Hoover Institution fellow Kori Schake discusses the importance of defense spending, noting that we have bigger problems than defense spending and are not likely to solve those problems until we can agree on entitlement spending.