Middle East Studies

Chas Freeman ─ Order in Turmoil: Making Sense of Kaleidoscopic Change in the Middle East

Monday, March 11, 2019

4:00pm – 5:30pm

Watch on Watson's YouTube Channel. McKinney Conference Room, 111 Thayer Street

Reception to follow

As U.S. influence in the Middle East recedes, the situation in the region is evolving in unexpected ways. Iran is consolidating a sphere of influence. Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE have formed an anti-Iranian entente. Russia is unprecedentedly active and Turkey is increasingly at odds with the United States. Syria and Yemen have been devastated. Qatar is isolated and Egypt is sidelined. Israel has repudiated the "two-state" solution to its relationships with the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine. How should the United States deal with the new realities and trends in West Asia and North Africa?

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Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm), acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Chargé d'affaires at both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972.)

Ambassador Freeman is a much sought-after public speaker (see http://chasfreeman.net) and the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East was published in May 2016. Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, appeared in March 2013. America’s Misadventures in the Middle East came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of The Diplomat’s Dictionary, the companion volume to Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. He was the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on "diplomacy."

Chas Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan, and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University as well as a JD from the Harvard Law School. He chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its American and foreign clients create ventures across borders, facilitating their establishment of new businesses through the design, negotiation, capitalization, and implementation of greenfield investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchises, one-off transactions, sales and agencies in other countries.