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July 15, 2019

President Trump seems to demand that Iran return to the nuclear deal of 2015 from which he withdrew.
——Marvin Zonis


July 09, 2019

One of America’s foremost strategic thinkers argues that Iran should develop its own nuclear weapons. Given President Trump’s threats, Iran’s most effective deterrent to U.S. aggression is a threat to use its own nuclear weapons if attacked.
——Marvin Zonis


June 18, 2019

U.S. foreign policy, at least since the Vietnam war through the decision to expand NATO and then to launch the Iraq war and the recent decision to send more troops to Afghanistan, has been a catastrophe. The result has been Americans turning away from almost all foreign entanglements (as David Brooks bemoans in the New York Times).

But the reason Americans have turned away — it is argued below — is that almost all U.S. foreign policy beginning with the Vietnam war has been an utter failure - tens of thousands of U.S. lives lost, trillions of dollars spent to no obvious desirable ends.

At the heart of this critique is the fact that much U.S. foreign policy was aimed at remaking the world in the image of the United States. That goal was made explicit by neo-conservatives in the George W. Bush administration who argued that the U.S. had the economic strength and the military power and the moral obligation to transform the world to free market economies and political democracies.

The author of this critique, Stephen M. Walt concluded in another recent article:

"Instead of expecting every president or secretary of state to be a combination of Otto von Bismarck, Klemens von Metternich, and George C. Marshall, I’d settle for America’s foreign policy being in the hands of officials who were honest, grounded in reality, resistant to wishful thinking, cognizant of American power and its limits, and willing to work with others to pursue sensible goals. Given how well off the United States is compared to most other countries, it doesn’t need to have miracle workers, wizards, or magicians handling its foreign policy. At this point I’d settle for integrity, competence, and consistency….” (https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/06/10/nobodys-asking-for-trump-to-be-a-genius/ )

There is little evidence of “integrity, competence, and consistency” in the current U.S. foreign policy team. The result will be an inevitable further erosion in Americans support for any foreign involvement.
——Marvin Zonis


June 04, 2019

The U.S. continually sounds out mixed signals on its policy towards Iran — from President Trump, Secretary of State Pompeo and National Security Adviser Bolton. Arab leaders are befuddled as are Iran’s leaders.
——Marvin Zonis


May 24, 2019

The following is a speech delivered to the annual benefit of World Chicago, May 14, 2019


May 20, 2019

There’s a new way to get tickets - for concerts, sporting events, theater — for any event that requires a ticket. And this new way can get you tickets in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles — across the United States — as well as London.
——Marvin Zonis


May 13, 2019

The President’s son-in-law seems close to issuing his long awaited plan to settle all the issues outstanding between Israel and the Palestinians. Yet the best bet is that the plan will fail. Kushner does not appear to recognize the lasting consequences of all the history and all the earlier peace negotiations and all the refusals by the Palestinians and the Israelis to make peace. Those consequences make it nearly impossible for either the Israelis and the Palestinians to accept any new thinking.
—Marvin Zonis


May 01, 2019

Robert Bianchi has lived and worked in China and the Islamic World for the past two decades. He has a PhD in Political Science and a Law degree, both from the University of Chicago. His new book focuses on how the new “Silk Road” is transforming global politics. Bianchi has a discerning vision which neither excuses nor vilifies his subject. He is especially insightful on how the One Belt One Road initiative will have blowback into China. Here is an excerpt from the book.
——Marvin Zonis


April 18, 2019

City Elementary, a diverse learning school located in Hyde Park, is celebrating its fifth anniversary. Please join us for this celebration and help us continue the good work of the school. Please go to https://city-elementary-benefit19.eventbrite.com to purchase tickets or make a contribution. If you cannot join us in person, please do make a contribution to City Elementary.


April 05, 2019

The simple line on the Middle East is that the Shi’a — as embodied in Iran, which is the world’s only official Shi’a state — is pushing an aggressive foreign policy that leaves the region in turmoil. In fact, Iran’s foreign policy is only a minor contribution to the chaos of the Middle East. Instead, it is important to focus squarely on the multiple dysfunctions of the Sunni states — the Arab world plus Turkey and Pakistan. Something is dramatically wrong in those countries and the consequences are poverty and political turmoil.
——Marvin Zonis


March 19, 2019

An avid China watcher argues that the travails of American companies in China, particularly Apple and GM, owe less to internal China conditions and more to the companies and their product offerings themselves.
——Marvin Zonis


Publications

Books

The Kimchi Matters: Global Business and Local Politics in a Crisis Driven World,
co-authors Daniel Lefkovitz and Sam Wilkin, Chicago: Agate Press, 2003

The Eastern European Opportunity, A Complete Guide and Sourcebook,
co-author Dwight Semler, New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1992

Majestic Failure: The Fall of the Shah,
Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991

Khomeini and the Islamic Republic of Iran,
co-author Daniel Brumberg, Cambridge: Harvard Middle East Papers
, 1987

The Political Elite of Iran.
Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1976
 

Press


Chicago Tribune
"Russian Protests Will Keep Haunting Putin"
April 3, 2017
 
Chicago Tribune
"Mission Creep and the Islamic State"
September 30, 2014
 
Chicago Tribune
"Plenty of Reasons for Ukraine's Grim Future"
March 5, 2014
 
Chicago Tribune
"Iran's New Leaders and the American Response"
August 5, 2013
 
EconoMonitor
"A Beheading in London; A Bombing in Boston: The Transformations of the al-Qaeda Threat"
May 24th, 2013
 
Chicago Tribune
"Realistic Optimism on Nuclear Talks with Iran"
May 22, 2012
 
International Business Times
"Austerity Push in Greece Leaves Citizens Hungry for Alternatives"
February 23, 2012
 
Advisor.ca
"US Economy Poised for Growth"
February 3, 2012
 
Chicago Tribune
"Will Israel Bomb Iran?"
November 13, 2011
 
Chicago Tribune
"MidEast Rulers of a Certain Age" [PDF]
March 6, 2011
 
Chicago Tribune
"Are We Going to Miss Mubarak?"
[PDF]
February 4, 2011
 
 
Archive

Les Echos
"Washington Risque de Regretter Le Depart d'Hosni Moubarak"
[PDF]
February 2, 2011
(French version)
 
Les Echos
"Washington Risque de Regretter Le Depart d'Hosni Moubarak"
 [PDF]
February 2, 2011
(English version)

Credit Suisse
"Middle East and Africa - Regulation Will Influence the
Future of Banking"
[PDF]
June 1, 2010

ROOZ, 1116
"The Iranian People Are Entitled to More Freedom"
[PDF]
February, 2010

The Wall Street Journal
"Russian Ripples Hit U.S. Firms - Sharp Slowdown in Consumer
Spending Is Felt From Cigarettes to Copier"
[PDF]
August 2009

The Mind of a Mullah
June 17, 2009

Focus Trends (Dutch)
"Obama Is Jezus Christus"
[PDF]
February 2009

GSB Magazine
"Faculty Smackdown with Marvin Zonis: From HBS Dropout
to Iran, Nightline, and the GSB"
Part One [PDF]
Part Two [PDF]
January, 2006