The Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East and International Security Program launched a joint initiative on March 16 with the first meeting of the Task Force on Security Cooperation with the Transitioning Arab Democracies.

Co-chaired by General George Casey (ret.) and former Congressman Jim Kolbe, the Task Force includes more than 20 former US government officials, retired military leadership, and other experts, think tanks, and business leaders to discuss ways in which the United States can leverage its security and military assistance to further democratic development in transitioning Arab states.

The Task Force’s efforts will focus on relationships with Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, and will evaluate the needs of the militaries in these three countries, assess US interests and objectives, and propose how US security cooperation should change to achieve such objectives in each place. During its first meeting, the Task Force agreed upon the scope of the initiative and discussed how US security and military cooperation could support the democratic process in these countries, and how the US can integrate military assistance with democracy assistance and broader development goals.