With one sentence, the New York Times raised dozens of Middle East pundits’ hopes that their words were reaching the most powerful man in the world. "At night in the family residence…Mr. Obama often surfs the blogs of experts on Arab affairs or regional news sites to get a local flavor for events," read Mark Landler’s account of how the Obama administration will attempt to use the killing of Osama bin Laden to recast the U.S. relationship with the Arab world.
Well, Mr. President, we have some late-night reading suggestions for you. First, of course, there’s Marc Lynch and the Middle East Channel – Foreign Policy’s own contribution to the fast-changing world of politics in the Arab world. But there’s also an entire community of Middle East bloggers who obsessively follow and comment on developments in their countries, and throughout the region.
Caveat emptor: Many of these authors will take you outside the comfort zone of the Washington policy debate. What’s more, if you tried to gather them all in one room, you’d be virtually guaranteed a fight. But these blogs will also give you a more realistic sense of the political conversation in the Arab world. Don’t stay up too late – you have a full-time job, after all.
Broader Middle East
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at email@example.com.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |