"The circumstances in the “Islamic Culture Continent”—extending from Morocco to Indonesia and from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean—do not differ so much from Europe’s predicament in the aftermath of the Napoleonic War. Decades of what Clausewitz thought to be “total war” had ruined the economies and “status quo ante” social systems of the many European states. To overcome the instability of the continent and the likelihood that this would lead to further disastrous warfare, the great powers of the time met at Vienna after 1815 to create a system of balanced agreements that would bring into equilibrium the interests of all possible adversaries in Europe. This system preserved European peace for many years, until it came to pieces in August 1914. The system has been known as the Concert of Europe. What is now needed is a Concert of the Greater Middle East." W. Patrick Lang
This piece is now almost two years old. I think it remains relevant to the continuing situation in the Islamic World. What is suggested in this article is initiation of a lengthy and intensive "campaign" of diplomacy and foreign policy initiatives that cumulatively, and over some period of time, would lead to a lowering of the average "temperature" in the Islamic World. The kind of policy suggested in this article led to a marked improvement of the situation in Iraq, but there is much left to do everywhere in the region.
Afghanistan seems a likely area in which to apply many of the methods applied successfully in Iraq.
The creation of a new administration in Washington seems an apt moment for the contemplation of such options. For this reason I offer it yet again.
I will be at the University of Oklahoma on the 17th of this month for a discussion of this general topic. I believe that the discussion will be open to the public. pl