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Australian Institute of International Affairs - NSW
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Biden and the Middle East: a new beginning or same old?

Tue, 20 Apr 2021
18:30 - 19:30

This is an on-line event


President Biden inherited a Middle East where America’s standing is still suffering from the effects of George W. Bush’s disastrous occupation of Iraq. US opponents have been emboldened by the experience and Americans have become disillusioned with foreign adventures. Attempts by presidents Obama and Trump to reduce direct US involvement in the region have caused allies and friends to question America’s reliability as an ally. American missteps since 2003 have encouraged Russia, China and Turkey to challenge the American place in the region. Ultimately, however, the United States retains considerable capacity in the Middle East and is the only power that can help regional states to establish a degree of stability.

President Biden has recruited to his administration many advisers who served the Clinton and Obama administrations and there is concern that those advisers as well as various interest groups will press the President to revive the failed liberal-imperialist policies of his predecessors. Biden has, however, displayed a degree of independence and imagination in his thinking on foreign policy and has shown signs that he is determined to pursue his own line. His priorities include reviving the Iran nuclear agreement, promoting human rights and resolving the crises in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.


Our event on Tuesday 20 April will be addressed by Dr Anthony Billingsley. Dr Billingsley is Adjunct Senior Lecturer of International Relations at the School of Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at UNSW. He has degrees from the University of NSW, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, the ANU and Macquarie University. He worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade from 1972 to 1988 with postings in Beirut, Cairo, Damascus and Ottawa. From 1988 to 1995 he worked for Westpac and from 1995 to 2001 worked in community relations with the Higher Colleges of Technology, Abu Dhabi. He was the Iraq analyst in the Office of National Assessments at the time of the US invasion of Iraq and has lectured in International Relations and International Law at Macquarie University and the University of NSW since 2004.

His main research focus is the Middle East and international law, with specialist interests in political succession in the Arab world, the role of constitutions and law in the region, and the politics of the Gulf, Syria and Egypt. His analyses have included the Arab Spring, Gaza–Israel conflict, Iranian foreign policy and Iraqi Kurdistan. He is also interested in international legal issues such as the use of force and humanitarian intervention, and the impact of US foreign policy, especially on the Middle East. He is currently engaged in a book on the impact of Western involvement in the Middle East.





This event is online only. Register by clicking the "get tickets" button below. Once you have registered, you will receive a follow-up confirmation email on the day of the event (Tuesday, April 20) containing details of the Zoom link and how to join the event.

The event will start at 6.30pm AEST (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne time), Tuesday April 20.

 For further information please email  nswexec@internationalaffairs.org.au


Ticket Type Price
All entries $0.00 Sale Ended
All entries (voluntary $5 contribution) This ticket is for those who wish to make a voluntary $5 contribution to the Australian Institute of International Affairs NSW to assist the organisation with running expenses during COVID-19. $5.00 Sale Ended
The Glover Cottages, 124-134 Kent St, Millers Point NSW 2000
The Glover Cottages, 124-134 Kent St, Millers Point NSW 2000

Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia