A New Strategic Approach for a Region in Transition

The security paradigm in the Middle East is changing as a result of political transitions and turmoil in key Arab states, the continuing destabilizing activities of Iran after the P5+1 nuclear agreement, strategic competition between regional powers, and a rebalancing of US foreign policy to Asia. Changes to the established order could result in prolonged instability and insecurity, but also lead to new opportunities for development and prosperity. These shifts highlight the need to cooperate with regional partners to address issues comprehensively and make practical recommendations to policymakers.

How should the United States engage its partners in the Middle East to improve security and promote political and economic development in a region in flux? Which policy tools are best suited for pursuing these objectives, and how should Washington employ them? Which aspects of US- Gulf bilateral relations could be optimized to achieve desired political outcomes? How can the long-term US interest in open political governance be reconciled with the immediate need for security in the region?

About the Initiative

Established in 2012 as a core practice area of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council, the Middle East Security Initiative brings together thought leaders and experts from the policy, business, and civil society communities to design innovative strategies to tackle present and future challenges in the region.