On August 28-29, 2012, the Saban Center at Brookings and the United States Central Command brought together analysts, officers, and policymakers to discuss the new and enduring challenges facing the United States in the Middle East.
The conference, Beyond the Arab Awakening: A Strategic Assessment of the Middle East, explored security developments in key countries of the region, focusing on those issues where the risks and opportunities for the United States are the greatest.
General James N. Mattis, then CENTCOM’s commander, delivered opening remarks, and the Honorable Michèle Flournoy, formerly the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, deliver a keynote address. The conference also featured experts from the Middle East as well as senior American analysts and officials. Together, the speakers and conference participants offered insights that went well beyond conventional Washington wisdom and provided valuable lessons and ideas for the U.S. military and policy community.
The proceedings from this conference include summaries of the sessions and the full text of Dr. Flournoy’s keynote address.
The image people often have is plane-loads of these [jihadists] flying out, but that’s the wrong image: It’s people filtering out in dribs and drabs.