Bilkent IR Talks, Fall 2021- 3

Morgan L. Kaplan

“U.S. Foreign Policy in a ‘Post-Withdrawal’ Middle East”
On the afternoon of Thursday, November 4, the Department of International Relations’ “IR Talks” series hosted Morgan L. Kaplan, who spoke to Bilkent students and faculty about his latest research project: “US Foreign Policy in a ‘Post-Withdrawal’ Middle East.” Dr. Kaplan, a fellow in the American Statecraft Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is focusing on gauging how actors in the Middle East may react to the US deprioritizing the Middle East in its foreign policy agenda as it shifts instead toward East Asia.
He argued that this research is relevant, as the Biden administration is showing no hesitance in its decision to withdraw US military presence from the Middle East – a goal that the former two administrations tried but ultimately failed to do. “The third time is the charm!” Dr. Kaplan said several times throughout his talk.

The speaker contended that if this administration wants to make the shift successfully, it must establish a clear and realistic foreign policy approach to the Middle East that will replace the former one. He also cautioned that the US should not expect such policy changes to go unnoticed by actors in the Middle East.

The talk ended with questions from Bilkent students and faculty.

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