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Unthinkable

Unthinkable

Iran, the Bomb, and American Strategy

How close are we to a nuclear Iran? What does it mean for American foreign policy? How did we get to this point? And what do we do now?

In Unthinkable, Kenneth Pollack, a former CIA analyst with twenty-five years of experience working on the Middle East, explores America’s intractable problem with Iran, Tehran’s pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, and the pro­longed clash that led us to this point. Pollack lays out key solutions to the Iran nuclear ques­tion, explaining and assessing the options for American policymakers:

• Redoubling our efforts at a carrot-and-stick approach that combines negotiations and sanctions
• Aiding the Iranian opposition to bring about a popular form of regime change
• An Israeli military strike
• The American military option
• Containing a nuclear Iran

Insightful, powerful, and balanced in its approach, Unthinkable is one of the most thought­ful and important books on foreign policy in the past decade.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 560 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476733920 | 
  • September 2013
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Read an Excerpt

Unthinkable

Introduction COMING TO THE CROSSROADS
Since 2002, when the world learned of Iran’s progress toward acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, the United States has endured a protracted crisis with the Islamic Republic. It has been painful and frustrating, as all interactions with the Iranian regime typically prove. There have been moments of success. The United States has helped forge a broad coalition of states that have imposed... see more

About the Author

Kenneth Pollack
Photograph by Paul Morigi

Kenneth Pollack

Kenneth Pollack is a well-known expert on the Middle East and Persian Gulf and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Charlie Rose, C-SPAN, and NPR. He is a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Dr. Pollack earned his BA from Yale and a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of seven other books on the political, military, and economic affairs of the Middle East, including Unthinkable, The Threatening Storm and The Persian Puzzle.

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