What Will "Odyssey Dawn" Bring?
America, Libya, and the "Arab Spring"
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With the initiation of Operation "Odyssey Dawn" in Libya, the United States has entered a third war in the greater Middle East. While American and allied military forces have been successful in establishing the "no fly" zone authorized by the United Nations, the Obama administration's policy and strategy is uncertain, opaque, and conflicting in its goals and rationales for action. There is no consensus about what a post-Gaddafi government in Tripoli might be like, or how the outcome in Libya will shape the "Arab Spring" sweeping the region. In addition, US domestic opinion is sharply divided. Discussing this complex and confusing situation will be AEI scholars Thomas Donnelly, Paul Wolfowitz, and Danielle Pletka, joined by Michael O'Hanlon and Kenneth Pollack from the Brookings Institution.
12:00 p.m.
Registration and Lunch



MICHAEL O'HANLON, Brookings Institution
KENNETH POLLACK, Brookings Institution



Event Contact Information
Richard Cleary
The American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-862-7184
Media Contact Information
Veronique Rodman
American Enterprise Institute
1150 Seventeenth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202-862-4870

Thomas Donnelly, a defense and security policy analyst, is the director of the Center for Defense Studies at AEI. He is the coauthor of Lessons for a Long War: How America Can Win on New Battlefields (AEI Press, 2010, with Frederick W. Kagan). Among his recent books are Ground Truth: The Future of US Land Power (AEI Press, 2008, with Mr. Kagan), Of Men and Materiel: The Crisis in Military Resources (AEI Press, 2007, coedited with Gary J. Schmitt), The Military We Need (AEI Press, 2005), and Operation Iraqi Freedom: A Strategic Assessment (AEI Press, 2004). Mr. Donnelly was policy-group director and a professional staff member for the House Committee on Armed Services from 1995 to 1999, and he also served as a member of the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission. He is a former editor of Armed Forces Journal, Army Times, and Defense News.

Paul Wolfowitz
is a visiting scholar in foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, where he studies development issues. He has spent more than three decades in public service and higher education. Most recently, Mr. Wolfowitz was president of the World Bank and deputy secretary of defense. Before that, he was dean and professor of international relations at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. He has also served as undersecretary of defense for policy (1989–93) and US ambassador to Indonesia (1986–89). Mr. Wolfowitz was the assistant secretary of state for East Asia and Pacific affairs (1982–86) and director of policy planning at the Department of State. He worked as deputy assistant secretary of defense for regional programs at the Department of Defense and as special assistant to the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency (1973–77).

Michael O’Hanlon is a senior fellow in foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, where he specializes in US defense strategy, the use of military force, homeland security, and American foreign policy. He is a visiting lecturer at Princeton University and adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University, and a member of the International Institute for Strategic Studies. Mr. O’Hanlon’s latest books are A Skeptic’s Case for Nuclear Disarmament (Brookings, 2010), The Science of War (Princeton University Press, 2009), and Budgeting for Hard Power (Brookings, 2009). He is currently working on books on Afghanistan and the future of nuclear weapons policy, while contributing to Brookings’s Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan indices.

Kenneth M. Pollack is an expert on Middle Eastern political-military affairs, with particular emphasis on Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the other nations of the Persian Gulf region. He is currently a senior fellow and director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. He served as the Saban Center’s director of research from 2002 to 2009. Mr. Pollack’s career includes work at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Council (NSC), and the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University. At the CIA, he was the principal author of its postmortem on Iraqi strategy and military operations during the Persian Gulf War. At the NSC, Mr. Pollack was director of Near East and South Asian affairs and, later, director of Persian Gulf affairs.  His latest commercial book was A Path Out of the Desert: A Grand Strategy for America in the Middle East (Random House, 2008).

Danielle Pletka
is the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI. She writes frequently on national security matters with a focus on domestic politics in the Middle East and South Asia, terrorism, and weapons proliferation. At AEI, she developed a conference series on rebuilding post-Saddam Iraq, directed a project on democracy in the Arab world, and designed a project tracking global business in Iran. Ms. Pletka testified several times before the Senate on confronting Iran’s threat and terrorist activities in the Middle East. She is currently leading a project on the impact of a nuclear Iran while updating the AEI report “Iranian Influence in the Levant, Iraq, and Afghanistan.” Ms. Pletka served for ten years as a senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations.
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  • As a long-time Senate Committee on Foreign Relation senior professional staff member for the Near East and South Asia, Danielle Pletka was the point person on Middle East, Pakistan, India and Afghanistan issues. As the vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at AEI, Pletka writes on national security matters with a focus on Iran and weapons proliferation, the Middle East, Syria, Israel and the Arab Spring. She also studies and writes about South Asia: Pakistan, India and Afghanistan.

    Pletka is the co-editor of “Dissent and Reform in the Arab World: Empowering Democrats” (AEI Press, 2008) and the co-author of “Containing and Deterring a Nuclear Iran” (AEI Press, 2011) and “Iranian influence in the Levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan” (AEI Press, 2012). Her most recent study, “America vs. Iran: The competition for the future of the Middle East,” was published in January 2014.


    Follow Danielle Pletka on Twitter.

  • Phone: 202-862-5943
    Email: dpletka@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Alexandra Della Rocchetta
    Phone: 202-862-7152
    Email: alex.dellarocchetta@aei.org


  • Paul Wolfowitz spent more than three decades in public service and higher education. Most recently, he served as president of the World Bank and deputy secretary of defense. As ambassador to Indonesia, Mr. Wolfowitz became known for his advocacy of reform and political openness and for his interest in development issues, which dates back to his doctoral dissertation on water desalination in the Middle East. At AEI, Mr. Wolfowitz works on development issues.

    Follow Paul Wolfowitz on Twitter.
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Hemal Shah
    Phone: 202-862-5889
    Email: hemal.shah@aei.org
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