Inside the Middle East: Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth

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9781634505727: Inside the Middle East: Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth
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Acclaimed Israeli intelligence analyst Avi Melamed has spent more than thirty years interpreting Middle East affairs. His long-awaited Inside the Middle East challenges widely-accepted perceptions and provides a gripping and uniquely enlightening guide to make sense of the events unfolding in the region to answer how the Arab world got to this point, what is currently happening, what the ramifications will be, how they will affect Israel, and what actions must immediately be undertaken, including how Western leaders need to respond.

Melamed considers all the major power players in the Middle East, explains the underlying issues, and creates a three-dimensional picture, an illustration that connects the dots and provides a fascinating roadmap. He elucidates developments such as the Arab Spring, the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood, the rise of ISIS, the epic Sunni-Shiite animosity, the essence of the war in Syria, the role of the Caliphate and Jihad, and the looming nuclear arms race. He also provides a rare opportunity to journey into the psyche of Arab society. Look through the lens of its leaders and its most ruthless terrorists. See what makes them tick and what they want. Discover how they can be overtaken.

This unparalleled volume is a milestone in our understanding of the Middle East. It is the untold story of the struggles that will shape the region, and the world, for decades to come, and a groundbreaking guide that will shake you to the core, force you to reevalute your outlook, and give you tips to navigate the future.

From author Avi Melamed:

The conflicts in the Middle East grow more confusing and dangerous every day.
In my encounters with thousands of people from across the world - from global leaders to high school students - I know there is deep and intense thirst for knowledge because today understanding the Middle East is not optional it’s mandatory.

My new book, Inside the Middle East: Making Sense of the Most Dangerous and Complicated Region on Earth is based on my decades of advisory, counterterrorism, education, and intelligence positions - as well as my intimate connections throughout the Arab world.

The book also provides the building blocks and database to understand the contemporary Middle East, offers a unique insight into the Arab world, and is a GPS to help you navigate the dramatically changing Middle East.”

In the book, I also offer an out of the box idea that could lead to a positive breakthrough in the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Author:

In December 2010a Tunisian peddler set himself on fire.
The series ofevents that followed engulfed the Arab world at the end of the first and thebeginning of the second decade of the twenty-first century.  Some people call the process the Arab Spring.I prefer to join those who call it the Arab Awakening. The Arab Awakening generateda powerful shift in the cultural, economic, political and social tectonicplates of the Arab world.
The ArabAwakening took many people in the West by surprise. That fact intrigued me, andto a large extent has guided my career over the past five years. Indeed, thatwas one of the reasons I wrote this book.
There are peoplewho claim that the Arab awakening is responsible for the chaos in the MiddleEast. In my opinion, it would be more accurate to say that the Arab awakeningwas the result of the chaotic situation that has prevailed in the Arab world,which was previously held in check by a thin layer of oppression andrepression. The Middle East was a smoldering volcano; the Arab Awakening wasthe moment in time when that thin layer ripped open, and chaos exploded ontothe surface with all its might.
Since December2010, the face of the Middle East has changed beyond recognition. Arab stateshave disintegrated in a short and violent process, many of the"borders" are no longer relevant, Libya and Syria have fallen apart.Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen are on a perilous slope towards disintegration, Arabregimes part of the landscape for decades - have fallen, and militant Islamicfactors, inspired by a distorted translation of the Islamic faith and guided bya vision of restoring the early Medieval Muslim Caliphate, are buildingemirates all across the Middle East - and stretching from Iraq, through Syriaand the Sinai Peninsula and Yemen, across the northern belt of the Saharadesert all the way to Africa's western shores, and Arab societies have beenthrust into a powerful whirlpool as they struggle to define their identity,path, and direction.
It's importantfor me to stress that this book does not purport to present a deep andall-encompassing academic analysis of the Arab world or the Middle East. Iattempt to condense processes, trends, and events that have and are currentlytaking place in the Arab world into a general picture that is clear, yet alsoexpresses the complexity of what is unfolding and to asses and predict thepossible outcomes.
I am dedicatedto presenting points of view that are less common in Western conversations. Istrive to provide insights in a manner that is simple but not simplistic,intelligent but not eruditely alienating.
My view of theArab world is a critical one, but it is not condescending and it is nothostile.
My analysis issubject to rigorous standards of professionalism that I have adhered tothroughout my intelligence and policy careers and is firmly grounded in obligatoryhumility due to my awareness that, despite my best efforts to continually learnand understand more about the Arab world, I am not immune to mistakes or afaulty reading.
I also believethere is importance in a discussion whose essence is the way in which theWest's knowledge about the Middle East is shaped, and the repercussions thatthis has on relationships between the West and the Arab world. Therefore, Ithought it correct to include a chapter in the book, Chapter ? - Excuse Me, DoYou Speak English?  This chapter assessesthe way the Middle East is portrayed and interpreted in various circles in theWest. I hope the insights I suggest will be useful and lead to a positivechange. Some of the perspectives may be surprising.
I hope my bookcontributes to the public discourse by adding an additional voice and layer tothe dialogue regarding the Middle East. It is my desire that this book serve asa sort of road map or GPS to help the lay man as well as the law man navigatethe region and understand where the Middle East is going as we get deeper intothe twenty-first century. And, ultimately I hope it will result in anunderstanding of the region that will better serve the US and Israel'sinterests.
I share all thiswith you to provide a framework for the arguments, analyses, and insights thatwill follow.
It may behelpful to describe my own position in this "arena." I am an Israeli,a Jew, and a Zionist. I am the fifth generation of my family to be born inIsrael, Jerusalem to be exact. My family's roots are deep in this region fromJerusalem to Iraq to Turkey and as far as Italy and Spain. Growing up mygrandparents spoke Arabic, lots of the games we played as children had Arabicnames, Arabic was a natural part of my landscape as a child - and my childhoodin Jerusalem was a magical and sweet time filled with powerful and meaningfulmemories that I carry with me every day. I served in a field Intelligence Unitin the Israeli Defense Forces and have held positions connected to the Arabsector in Israel within and beyond the borders of Israel in my service to theState of Israel, including in Israeli intelligence.  I have a formal academic education in thefield of the Middle East. However, I have acquired the bulk of my knowledge,understanding, and point of view during an almost thirty-year career as anIntelligence, Middle East and Arab Affairs expert. For more than ten years Ioperated daily in Arab communities, in the fields of counterterrorism,intelligence, civil policy, and policy development and implementation, anothertwelve years as an Intelligence Analyst both within Israeli Intelligence aswell as independently, and another seven years teaching contemporary MiddleEast Affairs and Arabic.
During all ofthese years, I mastered complete fluency in the Arabic language and becameintimately familiar with the social and cultural norms and codes of Arabsociety. My years of work, and my decision to continue in the field afterretiring from my formal positions have compelled me to engage in an ongoingdedicated daily study of what is happening in Arab societies--from cultural,economic, political and social angles--and I feel confident in saying that Ihave developed an deep, intimate and unique understanding of Arab societies. Mydecades of experience have enabled me, in all of my positions, and mostrecently as an Independent Middle East Strategic Intelligence Analyst to takepride in a long and proven record of precise analyses and interpretationsconcerning developments in the Arab world, the ramifications of thosedevelopments, and their impact on the region.
I am honored tobe your guide and private analyst - I hope my insights will help you understandthis complicated, fascinating and critical region that is closely tied with mypersonal history, very close to my heart, and critically relevant for all ofus.

From the Back Cover:

With his superb book, "Inside the Middle East," Avi Melamed accomplishes a rare and important feat: he breaks down the most volatile and complicated region on earth in a way that both policymakers and the average person can comprehend. Avi draws on his decades of experience in the dangerous trenches of the intelligence world to explain and unpack the factors that have led to the rise of ISIS, the Arab Spring, the Israel-Palestinian conflict and other crises that have long confounded the West. Even better, he offers invaluable insights and solutions on how to tackle these complex problems. With "Inside the Middle East," Melamed cements his reputation as one of the world's leading authorities on the Middle East. Required reading for Western leaders and citizens alike.
Erick Stakelbeck
Host, TBN's "The Watchman" program
Author, "ISIS Exposed"

As the Fellow of Intelligence and Middle East Affairs at the Eisenhower Institute, Avi has created a new learning model and groundbreaking program - Inside the Middle East: Intelligence Perspectives. Through applying classic intelligence techniques, he is empowering young people with the tools to build an accurate view of the Middle East and to be media literate critical thinkers honoring the 34th President, Dwight D. Eisenhower's legacy of leadership excellence. Avi Melamed adds a desperately needed voice to the conversation about the Middle East and he consistently brings our attention to "the story behind the story." He is a keen analyst with a rare understanding of the Middle East - including what the future holds for the region. As a gifted and passionate educator, he offers us the insight and understanding so we can navigate the increasingly complex Middle East reality.

Major General William "Bill" Matz, US Army (Retired)
Member of the Eisenhower Institute National Advisory Council
Gettysburg College '61

Avi Melamed's inside knowledge of the Middle East makes him a vital resource for anyone striving to find accurate context for today's news from one of the world's most intractable battle zones.
If you really want to understand the Middle East and know where the region is heading, there is no better source. His expertise in the geo-political realities that face the Middle East are clear and concise. With unflinching accuracy and gripping facts, he illuminates the hard reality of war.
His layered and nuanced analysis offers insight so far beyond the superficial that it shines a light on the profoundly layered nuance of this rich and complex region.

Linda Solomon Wood
CEO, Observer Media Group
Editor in Chief at The National Observer

Avi Melamed is an outstanding Middle East analyst with exceptional insight into the Arab world, based on his unique set of experiences (or professional history). Through (insert the name of the book), Avi grants his audience "behind the scenes" access to the drama of today's Middle East. His impressive track record in prognosticating actions and reactions is based on decades of professional experience and ongoing, painstaking work monitoring events and trends. The deep, yet highly engaging analysis of the different players, the developing trends and their future implications, offers the readers a unique compass to navigate the incredibly complex labyrinth of the Middle East."

Maj. Gen. (Res.) Meir Klifi-Amir

National Director and CEO
Friends of the Israel Defense Forces

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