Peace in the Middle East remains an elusive goal. An expanding arc of Iranian influence has empowered extremists throughout the region. Those challenges have profound consequences for America’s security interests, from a nuclear arms race in the Middle East to the extinguishing of hope for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian problem.
On January 5, Martin Indyk, director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, and Kenneth Pollack, director of research for the Saban Center, offered a public memo to President-elect Obama with recommendations on how to deal with the urgent challenges that will confront him across the volatile Middle East. The memo is the eighth of 12 Brookings memos on the most crucial public policy priorities facing the new president.
A distinguished panel included Indyk; Pollack; Saban Center Senior Fellow Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Middle East Democracy and Development project; and Nonresident Senior Fellow Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat professor for peace and development at the University of Maryland. Bill Nichols, managing editor of Politico, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, panelists took audience questions.