By: Andrew Skitt Gilmour
“A Middle East Primed for New Thinking: Insights and Policy Options from the Ancient World” is the work of former CIA Senior Analyst Andrew Gilmour, a specialist in the Near East during his CIA career. In “A Middle East Primed for New Thinking,” Gilmour ponders present analysis of the Middle East and how it might be improved by looking at ancient history. He provides numerous classical examples to propose that analysis and policymaking would both benefit from a revival of understanding of the deepest historical and geographic underpinnings of political life in the Middle East. These factors he asserts tend to be undervalued in current analysis. He argues, for example, that constructs of the Cold War that still influence analysis of regional issues no longer illuminate but rather inhibit fresh thinking about the region’s challenges.