The United States, Europe, and the Wider Middle East
Middle East policy continues to be dominated by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), Iraq security, and other chronic security problems. At the same time, however, the region and, by extension, the United States and Europe face a variety of new policy challenges, including the spread of Islamist extremism, the growth of al-Qa’ida and affiliated groups, and the growing rift between the West and the wider Middle East. This combination of new and perennial challenges served as the backdrop for an informal discussion among a group of experts who gathered on June 27-29, 2004, at a workshop focusing on the United States, Europe, and the greater Middle East, which was hosted by the Center for Middle East Public Policy, a RAND National Security Research Division program, and the Geneva Centre for Security Policy. The attendees explored a set of five topics: the insurgency in Iraq, the Arab-Israeli situation, the terrorist threat, internal security in Saudi Arabia, and Iran and the proliferation of WMD. Each topic was addressed with an eye toward understanding their implications for the region as a whole and exploring what the broader consequences might be for American and European policy.