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Rethinking Regional Security

October 22, 2015

Co-hosted by the Atlantic Council and Johns Hopkins SAIS Middle East Strategy Task Force:
Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State
Stephen Hadley, former National Security Advisor
General Michael Hayden, former Director of the NSA
Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs
Kenneth Pollack, Senior Fellow, Center for Middle East Policy, Brookings Institution
The Middle East Strategy Task Force headed by former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley conducted a panel on how to address security issues in the Middle East. They were accompanied by policy leaders including General Michael Hayden, former Director of the NSA, Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, and Kenneth Pollack, a Senior Fellow of the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution.
Johns Hopkins SAIS Dean Vali Nasr began the panel with a short introduction to the various security issues affecting the region including the rise of ISIS, lack of democratic governance and the increase in fundamentalism.
Secretary Albright shared remarks on the Middle East and the work of the task force on effective policy proposals. She discussed the challenges the US faces in building a lasting peace in the region while ensuring moderation and human rights.
Mr. Pollack gave a short presentation on the report released by his security working group on combating instability in the Middle East. He shared various insights regarding civil wars in the region and the possibility for successful intervention and lasting peace.
General Hayden endorsed a focus on civil war resolution as integral to the peace process. Furthermore, he asserted that ineffective interventions can harm security and emphasized the need for innovation and multilateral approaches rather than reliance on traditional alliances.
Finally, Mr. Khouri discussed the responsibilities of the nations in the Middle East as well as the US in addressing issues in the region. He advocated democratic reform in the region and a more integrated approach that incorporates the underlying causes of the civil wars in the Middle East as well as greater interventional legitimacy.

Panelists discuss challenges of security in the Middle East amid the Syrian civil war and international conflict with ISIS.