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Sandstorm: Policy Failure in the Middle East

About the Book

Leon Hadar provides a sweeping re‐​examination of the conceptual bases of American policy and proposes a strategy of “constructive disengagement” from the region, a policy of benign neglect to promote the interests of the United States as well as those of the people of the Middle East. He exposes the flaws of conventional thinking and shows that continued American presence and involvement in the Middle East have tremendous political and economic costs that outweigh the benefits. He challenges the United States to let the regional states take increased responsibility for security, economic growth, and political stability.

It is about time, Hadar contends, for the European Union to play a greater role in the Middle East. The Europeans have far more at stake in the future of the Middle East, due to their geographical proximity, economic ties, and demographic links to the region.

As Americans re‐​examine why their country is bogged down in the Middle East, and as they discuss the roots of American failure and the bases of future interaction in the Middle East, Sandstorm is essential reading.

About the Author

Leon Hadar is a research fellow in foreign policy studies at the Cato Institute. He is the former United Nations bureau chief for the Jerusalem Post and is currently the Washington correspondent for the Singapore Business Times.

What Others Have Said

“Leon Hadar’s fine book Sandstorm starkly outlines differing U.S. and European interests in the Middle East. His prescription for U.S. disengagement from the region is sound, well argued, and based on an incisive reading of legitimate U.S. national interests. His argument for greater European involvement—if only for self-defense—seems irrefutable. Given the internal security and immigration disasters the European Union has fastened on Europe, it will be interesting to see if Mr. Hadar’s advice is followed or if, as usual, the Europeans are content to hope the alligator eats them last.”
—Michael F. Scheuer, author of Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror

“You don’t have to agree with every observation or proposal in Leon Hadar’s book to applaud the bravery and importance of his analysis. The United States needs a fundamental reconsideration of its approach to the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. Sandstorm is a big help in this effort.”
—James Fallows, National Correspondent, The Atlantic Monthly

“Hadar makes the lucid and much‐​needed argument that Americans have better choices in the Middle East than the commonplace Beltway establishment option of ‘Empire’ and ‘Empire Lite.’ ”
—Scott McConnell, Executive Editor, The American Conservative

“Leon Hadar’s Sandstorm provides a tour‐​de‐​force of America’s past and current engagement in the Middle East and correctly argues that neither neoconservative idealism nor left‐​ish sentimentalism will fix America’s hemorrhaging Middle East problem. He suggest an alternative course—a hard‐​nosed, interest‐​driven strategy that would be good for American interests but also good for Europe, Israel, and the broader arena of nations in the Middle East. I highly recommend it.”
—Steven Clemons, Executive Vice President, New America Foundation

“Leon Hadar bravely predicted many of the consequences that would flow from U.S. involvement in the first Gulf War and was almost alone in doing so. Now he has written another bold book on Middle East issues. He should be read, in part because so few others are willing to explore the issues he tackles.”
—Charles William Maynes, President, Eurasia Foundation