Currently browsing - Dennis Ross

Containing ISIS: Guidance from expert speaker Dennis Ross

Dennis Ross speakerWriting in the LA Times, Dennis Ross, expert speaker on geopolitics and one of America’s foremost foreign policy experts on the Middle East region, warns that Washington’s actions toward ISIS now must be taken with both Iraq and Syria in mind.

Dennis explains that the calculus that guided the U.S. in Iraq and Syria was fear over the costs of action, which led Washington to ignore the costs of inaction. He argues that sanctions, a political process and humanitarian assistance did not affect reality in Syria, and that today we are seeing the cost in terms of spillover in the region, and the consequences of radical Islamists coming to dominate the opposition.

He goes on to say that “there is no border between Syria and Iraq, and the re-emergence of a terrible sectarian conflict in Iraq is inextricably linked to Syria. There will be no effective or enduring answer to the ISIS threat in Iraq without also taking steps in Syria to deny it a sanctuary and a recruiting base.”

Dennis argues that “there will be risks to acting, but by now we have seen the costs of inaction — and they are only likely to grow over time.” The military and diplomatic steps that President Obama has ordered reflect the U.S. need to prevent ISIS from embedding itself in more of Iraq. Whether they will work, Dennis adds, is another matter.

Click here to read the full article.

To book Dennis as a speaker, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk, at or on 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Dennis Ross: Obama Needs to Soothe the Saudis

In a recent op-ed for the Los Angeles Times, Dennis Ross, counsellor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, discussed President Obama’s trip to Saudi Arabia and what he needs to consider in order to affect Saudi behaviour.

Fundamentally, Dennis explains, the Saudis believe that America’s friends and interests are under threat, and the U.S. response has ranged from indifference to accommodation. Particular tensions have arisen because the Saudis claim that there is an Iranian effort to shift the balance of forces in the region dramatically in Tehran’s favour. Iran’s Quds Force encircling the surrounding region is thus perceived as an existential threat.

With regards to Iran’s nuclear disarmament, Dennis adds that Saudi leaders believe the U.S. is seeking détente with Iran and is turning a blind eye to Tehran’s troublemaking in the region. U.S. hesitancy in Syria, and the Saudis’ view of American policy toward Egypt adds to their sense of disquiet.

Dennis argues that none of this will mean that the Saudis will turn away from the United States; Saudi leaders know that only the U.S. can safeguard Saudi Arabia against external threats. However, as Dennis points out “insecurity often leads to self-destructive policies…given the depth of the Saudi doubts, the president will be unlikely to succeed if he offers only words of reassurance.”

Click here to read how Obama should tackle these concerns.

To find out more about Dennis Ross, or to book him as a geopolitical speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Dennis Ross analyses “Obama the pragmatist”

In an article for Politico Magazine, Dennis Ross, one of America’s foremost foreign policy experts, analyses how President “Obama the pragmatist” will approach his toughest foreign policy test yet. Dennis describes Obama as a pragmatic foreign policy thinker, but what does this means for the days ahead in Ukraine?

Although Obama is now acting to mobilise a set of diplomatic and economic consequences, Dennis states that he can’t be sure whether this is done out of realism or idealism, or indeed if any President’s foreign policy can be categorised so neatly.

This becomes particularly apparent when looking at how Obama reacted to earlier foreign policy crises: his hesitancy to intervene in Syria leads many to conclude that he is a traditional realist, whereas his call for Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to leave office, and the intervention in Libya were driven very heavily by humanitarian instincts.

Dennis explains that regardless of which stance drives his foreign policy, undisguised military aggression should warrant a cost for such behaviour. He points out that “what guides Obama in his decision-making on interventions as much as anything is feasibility…he has to evaluate those costs against what we have at stake.”

He added that “[having] stated that there will be consequences for Russian aggression in Crimea and Ukraine, the president understands that the costs of doing nothing would be high, and we must now demonstrate the meaning of those words—even if that does not translate into military action.”

Will his actions be driven by idealism or realism – or both? Click here for the full story.

To find out more about Dennis Ross, or to book him as a geopolitical speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Dennis Ross on Syria’s role in Israeli-Turkish relations

A scholar and diplomat with more than two decades of experience in Soviet and Middle East policy, Ambassador Dennis Ross is particularly well-known for his roles as foreign policy advisor to Clinton and Obama. He has recently co-written an interesting article with Moran Stern, a Lecturer on Jewish Civilization at Georgetown University and at American University’s Centre for Israel Studies.

Drawing on their areas of expertise, Dennis and Moran explore how past and current developments in Syria have affected Israeli-Turkish relations and suggest ways in which the two countries could reinstate their deep strategic cooperation.

In the 1990s Turkey and Israel had a particularly close and fruitful relationship, which weakened and fizzled out in the following years. Now Syria’s civil war has “posed a new set of challenges and opportunities for renewed Israeli-Turkish ties.” Dennis and Moran suggest that because the two countries have shared interests on Syria this may well encourage their cooperation on security, economic and humanitarian issues.

Using historical analysis the authors “attempt to explain the evolution of Israeli- Turkish relations through the prism of Syria” with the belief that understanding the background of this situation is key to developing a stable post-war Syria.

Click here to read the article in full

To find out more about Dennis Ross, or to book him as a geopolitical speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Listen to Dennis Ross on BBC Radio 4’s Today show discussing his fears for Syria

Ambassador Dennis Ross, former foreign policy advisor to Presidents Clinton and Obama, has over 12 years of experience shaping US involvement with Middle East peace processes. He spoke to Sarah Montague on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ news and current affairs show this morning about Palestine and Israel and his fears for Syria.

Following the news that Palestinian leaders are considering restarting a peace treaty with Israel after the EU decision to stop funding to Israeli projects, Dennis gave his opinion on both matters.  He revealed that he thinks the EU decision is a mistake and suggested that the Secretary of State must believe that there is a real possibility of achieving meaningful negotiation with Israel to even contemplate the move.

When questioned on whether the US should be more engaged with Syria, Dennis said he would like to see an approach that aims to change the balance of power on the ground and supports those in the opposition who are committed to a nonsectarian Syria.

Click here to listen to the clip in full (approx. 2 hours 34 minutes in)

To find out more about Dennis Ross, or to book him as a geopolitical speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

Ambassador Dennis Ross calls for “credible endgame” on Iran

An interesting piece by Ambassador Dennis Ross, former special assistant to President Obama, on how the US and other governments should approach diplomacy with Iran. As Tehran’s nuclear ambitions once again hit headlines Ambassador Ross discusses the need for a tougher stance on Iran to be underpinned by a credible endgame proposal if coercive diplomacy is to make ground.

A fascinating insight into this potential geopolitical flash-point.

Click here to read the article in full.

To find out more about Dennis Ross, or to book him as a geopolitical speaker for your conference or event, please contact Leo von Bülow-Quirk at or call 0044 (0) 20 7792 8000.

get in touch

We’re here to help.

If you can’t find the right speaker you need, or would like speaker ideas tailored to your event,

talk to us on the details below.

For UK, Europe, Middle East and other international enquiries, please contact

Raleigh Addington

+44 2072930864

For US enquiries,

please contact

Ellis Trevor

+1 646-844-8287 

For Asia enquiries

please contact

Rafe Fletcher