Thomas Lippman: Saudi Arabia in 2011 From Arab Spring to Iran Showdown

November 7, 2011
6:30 p.m.
Frist Lecture Hall (4th Floor), Inman Building
Belmont University
900 Belmont Blvd, Nashville, TN
Parking is available in the Inman Building Parking Garage

Mr. Lippman will discuss contemporary Middle East politics and U.S. foreign policy, focused on Saudi Arabia and its relationship with the United States, in the context of the so-called “Arab Spring” and the recent US Justice Department charges that Iranian officials conspired to assassinate the Saudi Ambassador to the United States in Washington. What are the implications of both phenomena? Upheaval in the Arab World? Potential conflict between Iran and America’s Gulf allies?

This event is co-sponsored by the Tennessee World Affairs Council and the Nashville Cordell Hull Chapter of the UNA-USA.

Thomas W. Lippman is adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. Lippman is a Washington, DC, based author and journalist who has written about Middle Eastern affairs and American foreign policy for more than three decades, specializing in Saudi Arabian affairs, U.S. – Saudi relations, and relations between the West and Islam. He is a former Middle East bureau chief of the Washington Post and, throughout the 1990s, covered foreign policy and national security for the Post, traveling frequently to Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East. In 2003, he was the principal writer on the war in Iraq for Prior to his work in the Middle East, he covered the Vietnam War as the Washington Post’s bureau chief in Saigon.

Lippman is the author of numerous magazine articles, book reviews, and op-ed columns about Mideast affairs, and of five books: Understanding Islam (1982, 3d revised edition 2002); Egypt After Nasser (1989); Madeleine Albright and the New American Diplomacy (2000); Inside the Mirage: America’s Fragile Partnership with Saudi Arabia (2004), and most recently Arabian Knight: Col.Bill Eddy USMC and the Rise of American Power in the Middle East (2008). He is also the author of the essay on Saudi Arabia’s defense strategy and nuclear weapons policy published in 2004 by the Brookings Institution Press in The Nuclear Tipping Point, a book on global nuclear proliferation. In addition, he is currently a member of a study group on Saudi Arabia convened jointly by Princeton University and the Institute des Sciences Politiques in France.

Lippman is also a frequent television and radio commentator on Mideast developments. In 2005 he was a lecturer on Middle Eastern affairs at the National Defense University and at the Brookings Institution. In 2002, Lippman was a member of a task force on the future of the Balkans at the Council on Foreign Relations, of which he is a member; in 2004-2005, he was a member of CFR’s study group on Saudi-U.S. relations.