On March 14 to 15, the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and the United States Central Command jointly convened for their annual conference on the Middle East. This year’s conference, “The Middle East 2017,” covered a range of issues relating to both near-term events and long-term trends in the region and for U.S. policy. Over the two days of discussion, the participants focused on the civil wars in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen that are fueling extremism, humanitarian crises, rising sectarianism, and the collapse of socio-political systems, as well as the likely courses of action for the critical competing regional and great powers, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Russia. The conference explored how best the United States can safeguard its interests and its allies in the face of these many challenges in the region.
Former Brookings Expert
Resident Scholar - AEI
The conference featured a range of experts from the United States government and military, academia, think tanks, and the region. The center was honored that General Joseph Votel, Commanding General, United States Central Command, was able to attend and participate for some of the conference. Together, the speakers and conference participants offered insights that went well beyond conventional Washington wisdom, peered into the future, and provided valuable lessons and ideas for the U.S. military and the broader policy community.
The proceedings from this conference include summaries of the sessions and an overarching essay by Kenneth M. Pollack.
If Trump and his group hoped that this kind of tough talk would make the North Koreans nervous, and make them come back with their tail between their legs — no, that’s just not the way they work. This is a stupid move. By pushing North Korea away, in such an in-your-face way, he’s pushing them to work separately with the South Koreans and the Chinese.
Timing the pull-out to the exact moment North Korea was publicly doing Trump a favor looked like an intentional burn. This was a slap in the face against Kim [Jong-un].