Subscribe to FDD

The “Arab Revolt” and Its Impact on the Regional Balance of Power


Khairi Abaza is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is an expert on democratic reform in the Arab world, the spread of terrorism, and the influence of the media on politics. His columns have appeared in various publications, including The New Republic, Newsweek, Foreign Affairs, The National Interest, and The Weekly Standard. Mr. Abaza is also a commentator on several American and international television stations such as Fox, BBC, France 24, Al-Jazeera, and CBC.

Soner Cagaptay is a senior fellow and director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has taught courses at Yale, Princeton University, Georgetown University, and Smith College on the Middle East, Mediterranean, and Eastern Europe. Dr. Cagaptay has written extensively on U.S.-Turkish relations, Turkish domestic politics, and Turkish nationalism, publishing in scholarly journals and major international print media, including The Wall Street Journal, Washington Times, Los Angeles Times, Jane's Defense Weekly, and is a regular columnist for Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey's oldest and most influential English-language paper. He appears regularly on Fox News, CNN, NPR, Voice of America, al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN-Turk, and al-Hurra.

Reuel Marc Gerecht is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a former Iran analyst at the CIA’s Directorate of Operations. He focuses on Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, terrorism, and intelligence. Mr. Gerecht is the author of The Wave: Man, God, and the Ballot Box in the Middle East, Know Thine Enemy: A Spy's Journey into Revolutionary Iran, and The Islamic Paradox: Shiite Clerics, Sunni Fundamentalists, and the Coming of Arab Democracy. He is a contributing editor for The Weekly Standard and a correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly, as well as a frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and other publications.

Lee Smith is a Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. He is the author of the critically-acclaimed book, The Strong Horse: Power, Politics, and the Clash of Arab Civilizations. He contributes commentary to The New York Times, The New Republic,, the Boston Globe, Wired, and The Weekly Standard, where he is a senior editor. Mr. Smith also writes a regular column for Tablet Magazine called, "Agents of Influence." He has been a guest on radio and television, including Fox News and National Public Radio. Mr. Smith has worked at a number of journals, magazines, and publishers including the Hudson Review, the Ecco-Press, Atheneum, Grand Street, GQ Magazine, and Talk Magazine.


Jackson Diehl is the Deputy Editorial Page Editor at The Washington Post. He is an editorial writer specializing in foreign affairs and writes a biweekly column, which often examines the Arab Spring and serves as a leading voice for a strong U.S. stance on human rights and democracy in the Middle East. Mr. Diehl has been at The Washington Post since 1978, where he has accrued a decade of experience at the paper’s bureaus in Buenos Aires, Warsaw and Jerusalem. Mr. Diehl has received numerous awards for reporting and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Writing in 2011.