Since 9/11, American security strategy has focused on building the military capabilities of global allies in order to advance shared goals and address joint threats. In the Middle East, the results of this approach have been mixed at best. Frustration over U.S. security assistance to the region has grown in Washington, as funding and arms transfers to various state and non-state partners have led to unintended consequences, prompting the Trump administration to reevaluate U.S. aid to Egypt, Pakistan, and the Palestinians.

The Middle East Institute (MEI) will convene a panel of experts to examine these key issues, with a keynote address by Lee Litzenberger, the senior advisor in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The keynote will be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Missy Ryan (The Washington Post) and featuring Michele Dunne (CEIP), Mara Karlin (SAIS and the Brookings Institution), Justin Reynolds (The Cohen Group), and Bilal Y. Saab (MEI).