U.S. Foreign Policy Moving Forward: Perspectives from the Middle East

Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave NW, 8th Floor, Washington, DC

February 19, 2020

Co-hosted by the Forum on the Arms Trade and Security in Context.

Over the past decade the Middle East has witnessed upheavals and violent conflicts that have resulted in a devastating human toll. Over the same time-period, there has been a growing debate about the nature of United States engagement in the region- what it is and what it should be. This panel will bring together experts on US foreign policy with scholars of the Middle East to discuss United States presence in the region from different perspectives.

The discussion will touch on a variety of topics, including the role of the United States in the major ongoing conflicts, the costs and consequences of United States arms sales to the region, and the question of whether or not the United States is in fact disengaging from the region or distancing itself from its traditional allies. Panelists will contribute to understanding the multiple consequences on Middle Eastern states and societies of external intervention (military, political, economic) in the region by the United States and other countries.

Panelists will also explore what concrete policy alternatives presidential candidates and United States policymakers should consider in terms of broader United States engagement with the region.  

  • Omar S. Dahi, Research Associate, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Project Director, Security in Context
  • Jodi Vittori, U.S. Research and Policy Manager, Transparency International’s Defense and Security Program
  • Samer Abboud, Associate Professor of Global Interdisciplinary Studies, Villanova University
  • Linda Bishai, Professorial Lecturer, Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University (moderator)


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