International and Regional Involvement in the Middle East
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, center, accompanied by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, left, and UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, right, speaks at a joint news conference at the State Department in Washington, DC, Oct. 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Workshop Series

Mapping the Middle East in 2021

September 29, 2021

Since former President Barack Obama announced a U.S. pivot toward Asia, Gulf Arab leaders have perceived that the United States is withdrawing from the region. This is prompting Gulf Arab states to turn to other powers, principally Russia and, to a lesser extent, China. While the level of U.S. interest and involvement in the region can be debated, and a new administration reconfigures how it engages with partners and adversaries in the Middle East, the Gulf region is becoming increasingly multipolar. How is this reality affecting partnerships and alliances in the region? How are regional and local actors positioning themselves? Will there be increased Gulf Arab security cooperation following the Al Ula summit? Have the Abraham Accords reshaped regional alliances in the face of regional threats?

Speakers

    F. Gregory Gause, III, PhD

    Board Member, AGSIW; John H. Lindsey ‘44 Chair, Professor of International Affairs, and Head of the International Affairs Department, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University

    Benjamin Miller

    Full Professor of International Relations, University of Haifa

Regional Influences on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Following the Abraham Accords

November 17, 2021

The Abraham Accords came as a major blow to the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian national movement more broadly. The movement has tied its strategy for years to the Arab Peace Initiative, which committed Arab states to diplomatic openings with Israel based on a two-state solution and an end to the occupation that began in 1967. What do the accords mean for Israeli-Palestinian relations? Will these developments fundamentally alter Palestinian strategic calculations or simply expose existing weaknesses? Will the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain be able or inclined to use their new relations with Israel on behalf of Palestinian interests? How does this affect domestic Palestinian and Israeli politics? Is there a new opening on Palestinian issues for regional powers, such as Iran or Turkey, or does this mainly strengthen coalitions opposing their agendas?

Speakers

    Moran Zaga

    Researcher and Lecturer of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Haifa

    Hussein Ibish

    Senior Resident Scholar, AGSIW

The Abraham Accords: A Buffer Against Turkish and Iranian Influence?

January 19, 2022

The normalization process between Israel and Gulf Arab states opens up new diverse opportunities for strategic collaborations. Many in Israel and Gulf Arab capitals see the top political-security priority for relations as a strategic realignment and the creation of a broad regional front against the two non-Arab powers, Iran and Turkey. Do the Abraham Accords signify a combined attempt of Arab Sunni states and Israel to balance Iranian Shia regional influence? Does the same thinking apply vis-a-vis Turkish influence in the region?

Speakers

The Biden Foreign Policy Agenda

March 23, 2022

President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s Middle East priorities are becoming clearer: His statements and the special envoys he has appointed give primacy to Iran and Yemen. What are the implications of Biden’s evolving Middle East agenda? And what do the administration’s moves over the last few months indicate for the next three years?

Speakers

    DB Des Roches

    Non-Resident Fellow, AGSIW; Associate Professor, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University

    F. Gregory Gause, III, PhD

    Board Member, AGSIW; John H. Lindsey ‘44 Chair, Professor of International Affairs, and Head of the International Affairs Department, Bush School of Government and Public Service, Texas A&M University

    Evyenia Sidereas

    Director of Arabian Peninsula Affairs, Near Eastern Bureau, U.S. Department of State

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Through its careful examination of the forces shaping the evolution of Gulf societies and the new generation of emerging leaders, AGSIW facilitates a richer understanding of the role the countries in this key geostrategic region can be expected to play in the 21st century.

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