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A key player in the Middle East and the site of violent protests in 2011, Syria has long been a thorn in Washington's side when it comes to forging peace or rolling back the influence of the Islamic republic of Iran. But only after the events of 9/11 and Damascus's staunch opposition to the war in Iraq did the U.S. government begin an unannounced campaign to pressure President Bashar al-Assad's regime to revamp its regional and domestic policies. The book vividly captures Tabler's behind-the-scenes experiences and provides a firsthand look at 21st-century Syria and Washington's attempts to craft a "New Middle East." Examining the effects of the neoconservatives' strategy and asking what went wrong and how Washington can achieve a new relationship with this pivotal Middle Eastern nation, this investigation provides a rare glimpse into U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

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