Jacob L. Shapiro is an independent writer, researcher, and consultant on geopolitical risk, global strategies, and international affairs. As the former director of analysis at Geopolitical Futures, he managed a team of analysts in forecasting geopolitical trends and events. Before that, he was a Middle East analyst and director of operations at the global intelligence firm, Stratfor. Mr. Shapiro holds a master’s degree from Oxford University in Jewish Studies and a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Near Eastern Studies.
Since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the United States has viewed the Middle East as a backward yet strategically important area in dire need of American military and moral intervention. As a result of its flawed preconceptions, Washington has never truly understood the Middle East – or the broader Muslim world, for that matter – and has, in turn, formulated ineffective Middle East policies.