On July 28, Senator Chuck Hagel, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Select Intelligence committees, participated in The Brookings Institution’s 90th Anniversary Leadership Forum series with an address on U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Chaos continues in the Middle East as Israel confronts attacks by Hezbollah guerrillas from Lebanon, following Israeli incursions into Gaza. Recent events, including Iran’s pursuit of nuclear arms, the continued violence and instability in Iraq, Hamas’ victory in the Palestinian elections, and talk of further Israeli disengagement from the West Bank, have created new political terrain in the Middle East.
Senator Hagel discussed the new challenges this presents for U.S. foreign policy and our national security, as well as our relationship with other countries in the Middle East and around the world. He offered his perspective on the need for new strategic thinking, creative diplomacy, and recognition of the varied perspectives and values of other countries.