Event Video: Rep. Adam Smith Discusses Middle East Strategy

On December 5th, 2013 – NDN’s Middle East and North Africa Initiative hosted a discussion with Rep. Adam Smith, Ranking Member of the House Armed Services Committee. Topics covered include economic and diplomatic engagement, Iran, Egypt, Syria, military aid, and a broader regional strategy. Full video of the event is available below.


Policy Brief – Intervention in Syria Needs to be Tied to a Larger Strategy

Image: Handout of U.S. President Obama meeting with national security staff to discuss Syria in White HouseToday we have released a new Policy Brief analyzing some of the problems with the Administration’s current approach to winning support for Syria authorization and laying out a framework for a more convincing and strategy-led argument. We believe that:

The U.S. has already rightfully chosen sides in this conflict, sending aid, training, weapons, and logistical support to the rebels. Decoupling this latest action from these ongoing efforts to support the opposition and from the stated policy aim of regime change simply makes no sense. If the administration is going to convince the Congress, the country, and the world that military intervention is now the proper response, they must address this fundamental dissonance by articulating a cogent vision of American involvement in the region that ties the ongoing – and proposed – actions in Syria to American values and concrete U.S. interests. Only then will the President be able to make a compelling case for not only his Syria policy, but also a broader agenda of engagement. There should be at least three components to this argument:

  • Preventing  nuclear weaponization of Iran and constraining its foreign policy adventurism is a legitimate aim of U.S. policy.
  • We need to encourage more constructive engagement from our Gulf partners.
  • We need to help empower more modern and pluralistic forces vis-a-vis violent and radical groups who seek to destroy the emergence of open, tolerant, and prosperous societies.

Download the full Syria Policy Brief.

Update: This report is also available En Español

Middle East Engagement Briefing – “A Real Opportunity to Lead”

Bradley Bosserman hosted an interactive webcast on framing a more robust Middle East strategy. This previously unpublished briefing deck highlights some of the latest market research and polling from the United States and abroad, detailing political opportunities and framing mechanics that can successfully support a strategy of broader economic engagement with the Middle East and North Africa.

MENA Chat – The Israeli Elections

Click to Watch the Video

Click to Watch the Video


On Monday, January 28th NDN’s Bradley Bosserman hosted an interactive discussion about the foreign policy implications of the recent Israeli elections. He was joined by two other Middle East analysts and writers. You can watch the video here.

Grant Rumley is a Visiting Fellow at Mitvim – The Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies, and Editor in Chief at the Jerusalem Review of Near East Affairs.

Allison Good is a freelance writer, analyst, and contributor to the Daily Beast’s Open Zion. They live on twitter as @Grant_Rumley and @Allison_Good1 and @BradEEB

A few of the issues covered were the possible new governing coalition, the impact on Israeli and US policy toward Iran, and we address whether the latest Israeli statements on striking Syria should be understood as bluster or warning.

This discussion is part of an ongoing series of video Spreecasts designed to provide the NDN community with diverse insights – in new and interactive formats – on unfolding events in the Middle East and North Africa. Last month featured a conversation about the elections in Egypt, which you can view here.