by Danielle Pletka, Frederick W. Kagan
American Enterprise Institute
January 16, 2014
This project is intended to outline a strategy built on soft power to compete with Iran’s activities in the Middle East, with a view to containing the Islamic Republic with a bulwark of friendly states tied to the United States by common interests and purpose. Such a strategy is still urgently required, notwithstanding the current negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. Those negotiations, on the contrary, have further eroded the strength of America’s relationships with key partners in the region, requiring more effort to maintain them rather than less. It may well be that Iran will be willing to negotiate limits to its nuclear program; however, the Islamic Republic does not limit itself to a strategy reli¬ant solely on nuclear weapons power. It has pursued a sophisticated and multidimensional soft- and hard-power strategy in the Middle East. It is time for the United States to do the same.

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