Middle East

The Program primarily focuses on the future of America’s strategic role in this critical region for international security and global energy security and the future of its relations with regional states: both with long-standing allies, Israel and the Gulf States, and its changing relations with regional rival, Iran.  Through regular engagement with senior policymakers, members of Congress, and the public in both its commentary and publications, the Program offers policymakers timely and actionable analysis and recommendations on how the U.S. can best advance its national interests as it engages and addresses regional challenges.

By convening policymakers, experts, and scholars from both the U.S. and the region, the Program, seeks to examine how the U.S. can judiciously respond to the growing challenges confronted by the region and not become prone to the temptations of over-extension. As Washington’s main realist voice in American foreign policy for the past two decades, the program both seeks to understand regional states’ national interests and how Washington in partnership with these states and other global powers can advance its own interests while respecting these states’ interests. The program regularly engages in fieldwork in the Middle East and North Africa and consults policymakers in the U.S. and the region to ensure that its analysis is both timely and relevant.

The program presently is conducting in a long-term examination of the future of U.S.’s relations with critical allies in the region (including Israel and the GCC), the implications for the U.S. of the strategic re-alignments occurring in the region since the Arab uprisings of 2011 and the Iranian nuclear agreement, and the impact of Syria’s civil war and the rise of ISIS on international peace and security and America’s national interests.


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