All Content

Thu, Jan 9, 2020

Qasem Soleimani and escalatory parity

For the better part of forty years, American action and inaction have persuaded the Islamic Republic that it could act with impunity; that the United States feared the escalatory implications of push-back. That dangerous, destabilizing belief seems to have been suspended with the killing of Soleimani.

MENASource by Frederic C. Hof

Iran Politics & Diplomacy

Fri, Jan 3, 2020

Soleimani killing threatens to break open US-Iranian conflict

The assassination of a top Iranian military official in Iraq on January 2 is the most dramatic step yet in the ongoing escalation between the United States and Iran in the Middle East.

New Atlanticist by David A. Wemer

Conflict Iran

Tue, Dec 24, 2019

Top Five of 2019

The Middle East continued to be a tumultuous region this year, as protest movements expanded across Iran, Algeria, Sudan, Iraq, and Lebanon. As we have reported and provided analysis on these ongoing issues, it is clear that much remains to be resolved in 2020. Below are the top five blog pieces of 2019 that touched a nerve with our audiences and were the most viewed of the year.

MENASource by Reema Hibrawi

Corruption Democratic Transitions

Frederic C. Hof is a distinguished fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and specializes in Syria. Prior to becoming a nonresident senior fellow, he was director of the Center.

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.