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IranSourceApr 21, 2021
More questions than answers about Iran’s nuclear intentions
By Frederic C. Hof
If negotiations aimed at reviving the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear talks fail and economic sanctions on Iran remain in place, would Tehran seek to field nuclear weapons?
MENASourceMar 30, 2021
Some advice to my Syrian and Syrian-American friends
By Frederic C. Hof
President Biden cannot do everything. Nor should he try. But what happens in Syria won’t stay there. It never has and never will. Still, advocates for an American policy in Syria focused on political transition must be sensitive, in their advocacy, to the policy priorities of an administration whose success would be vitally important to the US and the world.
MENASourceMar 24, 2021
Assad is testing Biden. The US president must not fail.
By Frederic C. Hof
Regardless of what the Biden administration may wish to think or acknowledge, it may well be sitting for an initial examination administered by Bashar al-Assad—the teacher of many harsh lessons to American presidents. Failing the test will not be consequence-free.
Frederic C. Hof is a former distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East specializing in Syria. He was the director of the center from 2016 to 2018 and a resident senior fellow from 2012 to 2015.
On March 28, 2012 President Obama conferred on Hof the rank of ambassador in connection with his new duties as special adviser for transition in Syria. Hof was previously the special coordinator for regional affairs in the US Department of State’s Office of the Special Envoy for Middle East Peace, where he advised Special Envoy George Mitchell on the full range of Arab-Israeli peace issues falling under his purview and focusing on Syria-Israel and Israel-Lebanon matters. He joined the State Department in 2009 after serving as the president and CEO of AALC, limited company, an international business consulting and project finance firm formerly known as Armitage Associates LC.
Hof’s professional life has focused largely on the Middle East. In 2001 he directed the Jerusalem field operations of the Sharm el-Sheikh Fact-Finding Committee headed by former US Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell and was the lead drafter of the Committee’s 2001 report. In 1983, as a US Army officer, he helped draft the “Long Commission” report, which investigated the October 1983 bombing of the US Marine headquarters at Beirut International Airport. Both reports drew considerable international praise for fairness and integrity.
A 1969 graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, Hof began his professional career as an Army officer. He is a Vietnam veteran and served as a US Army Middle East Foreign Area Officer, studying Arabic at the Foreign Service Institute in Tunisia and receiving a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School. He served as US Army attaché in Beirut, Lebanon and later in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as director for Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestinian Affairs.
Hof has written extensively on Arab-Israeli issues. He is the author of Galilee Divided: The Israel-Lebanon Frontier, 1916-1984 (Westview Press, 1985); Line of Battle, Border of Peace? The Line of June 4, 1967 (Middle East Insight, 1999); and Beyond the Boundary: Lebanon, Israel and the Challenge of Change (Middle East Insight, 2000). He has also written many articles on Jordan Valley water issues. His writing on the Israel-Syria, Israel-Lebanon, and (by virtue of his work on the “Mitchell Committee”) Israel-Palestinian tracks of the Middle East peace process has contributed positively to the body of literature promoting Arab-Israeli peace.
His awards include the Purple Heart, the Department of State Superior Honor Award, the Secretary of Defense Meritorious Civilian Service Medal, and the Defense Superior Service Medal. He resides in Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife, Brenda.