Political scientist John Mearsheimer proposes a limited role for the U.S. in the Middle East

February 22, 2011

Produced by Eight Forty-Eight

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(AP/Hassan Ammar)
Protestors in the Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th fleet.

Political activity has been sweeping the Middle East and North Africa. For decades the region has been mostly under autocratic rule. Now long-standing dynasties, from Qaddafi in Libya to Khalifa in Bahrain may fall. But when new leaders emerge, will they continue to allow the United States access to their airspace and oil fields? Or, will the spread of democracy in the region become a hurdle for U.S. foreign policy?

University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer has written about the logic of American foreign policy in the article "Imperial By Design" which appears in the January-February edition of The National Interest. He also has a new book out called Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics.

To understand how revolution in the Middle East may shape American foreign policy, Eight Forty-Eight spoke to professor Mearsheimer. He is the R. Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago.

In the coming weeks, Professor Mearsheimer will speak to Worldvivew's Jerome McDonnell about his new book, Why Leaders Lie: The Truth About Lying in International Politics.

Music Button: Gaudi, "Back To Baia", from the CD No Prisoners, (Six Degrees)