Dennis Ross, a veteran of the Bush 41 and Clinton State Departments, will most likely be tapped to serve as the State Department's special advisor for the Middle East and Iran. Ross has written extensively for The New Republic about the same hotspots that he will have to manage in his new diplomatic role. Here's a sampling of his recent pieces:


"The Exit Lever," February 2, 2008. Here, he suggests that America should threaten troop withdrawals from Iraq to compel the warring sectarian factions to make peace. 


"Baby Steps," January 8, 2008. In a mock memo to President Bush, Ross lays out concrete policy proposals that he believes would build upon the progress of the Annapolis summit and help reduce the anxiety among Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.


"The Can't-Win Kids," December 11, 2007. Ross assesses the fallout of the December 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iranian nuclear capability and laments how the document will make it more difficult to pressure Tehran to cease enriching uranium. 


"Squeeze Play," April 23, 2007. With the Middle East facing a potentially disastrous nuclear arms race, he urges the international community to utilize its economic and diplomatic tools against Iran more forcefully.  


"Internal Affairs," December 18, 2006. In this piece, Ross doubts that more direct diplomacy with Iran and Syria will help matters in Iraq.


Below is an interview of Ross by TNR editor Franklin Foer back in April 2007:

--Daniel Belkin