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Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere

Previous SSI Researcher
Phone: (717) 795-9336

DR. STEPHEN C. PELLETIERE has served as the Strategic Studies Institute’s Middle East expert since 1988 and travels frequently to the region. Prior to this appointment, he was an intelligence officer in Washington monitoring the Iran-Iraq war. He has also held positions in journalism and taught at the University of California-Berkeley, Ripon College, and Union College. He is the author of The Kurds—An Unstable Element in the Gulf and The Iran-Iraq War—Chaos in a Vacuum, and is currently writing a book on Iraq and the international oil system. Dr. Pelletiere’s current research deals with America’s Dual Containment policy. He holds a B.A. in English from the University of Vermont, and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California- Berkeley.

*The above information may not be current. It was current at the time when the individual worked for SSI or was published by SSI.

SSI books and monographs by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere

  • Land Power and Dual Containment: Rethinking America's Policy in the Gulf

    November 01, 1999

    Authored by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    In an attempt to regain some control of the strategic commodity, Washington developed special relationships with the two foremost oil procedures, Iran (under the Shah) and Saudi Arabia. Dual Containment, promulgated in 1993, was supposed to constrain the two most powerful area states, Iran and Iraq, by imposing harsh economic sanctions on them. But, the author contends, the policy has only antagonized America's allies.

  • Searching for Stable Peace in the Persian Gulf

    February 01, 1998

    Authored by Dr. Kenneth Katzman. Edited by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    Congressional Research Staffer Kenneth Katzman reviews the history of dual containment, and shows how adherence to the policy has eroded. He suggests it is time for Washington to change course in the Gulf, and lays out a course of action the United States should follow to maintain its leadership role in this vital region. Dr. Katzman's monograph deals thoughtfully with this controversial issue.

  • Assessing the Costs of Failure

    June 01, 1997

    Authored by Mr. Lawrence R. Velte, Prof. Shibley Telhami. Edited by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    The two papers presented here are particularly timely, as the authors examine the likely effects of breakdown, or breakthrough, on America's broader regional interests, extending in particular to the Persian Gulf. As U.S. policies with respect to the Gulf and the Arab-Israeli peace process come under increasing stress, these authors elaborate linkages between them. They also make clear that the outcomes will have profound implications for U.S. security commitments and, potentially, future missions and deployments.

  • The Peace process, Phase One: Past Accomplishments, Future Concerns

    January 01, 1997

    Edited by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    In these three essays, the authors analyze several key aspects of what can be considered the first phase of the Mideast Peace Process (the time from the 1991 Madrid Conference to the 1996 Israeli election). They remind us that despite recent renewed progress on the Israeli-Palestinian agenda, the peace process has a long and difficult road ahead.

  • Managing Strains in the Coalition: What to Do About Saddam?

    November 01, 1996

    Authored by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    Iraq's September 1996 actions in the Kurdish north found such a seam in coalition objectives, or, to return to the original metaphor, shook one anchor of the U.S. policy tightrope. Dr. Stephen Pelletiere examines how the Kurdish crisis developed, why--most disturbingly--the key coalition members divided in response to U.S. actions, and what factors might guide future U.S. policy. He concludes that U.S. policy needs reanchoring if we are to achieve our paramount interests in this vital region.

  • Yemen and Stability in the Persian Gulf: Confronting the Threat from Within

    May 01, 1996

    Authored by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    Yemen's fortunes sank. Soviet support vanished, and the United States saw little need to cultivate Sana'a, particularly in light of Yemen's actions preceding the Gulf War. This study argues that Yemen should not be abandoned. It is part of the vital Persian Gulf system, which the United States has pledged to uphold. That whole system could be destabilized by conflicts that currently simmer on Yemen's borders.

  • A Theory of Fundamentalism: An Inquiry into the Origin and Development of the Movement

    September 01, 1995

    Authored by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    Islamic fundamentalism is growing at such a rapid rate that many believe it threatens to take over the Middle East. To prevent this, enormous resources have been summoned, not only from within the region, but in the West as well. The author concludes by building a theory about fundamentalism, which implies a need to redirect policy for coping with it. Dr. Pelletiere maintains that the solution is not to try to crush the movement--that has been attempted numerous times and consistently has failed.

  • Terrorism: National Security Policy and the Home Front

    May 01, 1995

    Authored by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    The recent bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma has highlighted the complexity of the phenomenon of political extremism. Until this occurred, inside the United States foreign terrorists were the focus of attention, particularly the so-called Islamic fundamentalists. Undue emphasis on the "foreign connection" can make it appear that only Middle Eastern terror is of consequence. The Strategic Studies Institute (SSI) has long resisted this approach.

  • Assad and the Peace Process: The Pivotal Role of Lebanon

    February 01, 1995

    Authored by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    This study shows how the Syrian was able to improve his originally weak position in the peace talks by exploiting crisis conditions in Lebanon. Assad's major weapon against the Israelis has been the guerrilla group Hizbollah. The author claims that the fact that a small group of guerrillas could have such an enormous impact in this international drama reveals changed power relations in the strategic Middle East.

  • Hamas and Hizbollah: The Radical Challenge to Israel in the Occupied Territories

    November 01, 1994

    Authored by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    This study argues that Hamas and Hizbollah, the two main religious groups fighting Israel, probably are more threatening to U.S. interests than is generally believed. It discusses the various openings that the groups were able to exploit to advance themselves, and particularly how they profited from errors on the Israelis' part. At the same time, the study contends, there has been a corresponding rise of religious radicalism in Israel.

  • Shari'a Law, Cult Violence and System Change in Egypt: The Dilemma Facing President Mubarak

    April 01, 1994

    Authored by Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    Egypt is one of the more economically deprived countries in the world. Societal stress is a major challenge. Few believe that Egypt will escape the poverty that has for so long oppressed it. This study looks at the unrest, identifies the forces behind it, and prescribes steps that can be taken to alleviate the situation.

  • Turkey's Strategic Position at the Crossroads of World Affairs

    December 01, 1993

    Authored by Dr. Stephen J. Blank, Dr. William T. Johnsen, Dr. Stephen C. Pelletiere.
    This report analyzes the implications of Turkey's policies and the reactions of Turkey's neighbors in three discrete chapters. The authors focus their conclusions and options for U.S. policymakers on the effect of Turkish policies in Europe, the Middle East, and the former Soviet republics. The final chapter summarizes their conclusions with respect to the three regions and provides policy options for continuing U.S.-Turkish relations that are so important in the search for peace and stability in these regions.