Middle East and South Asia Seminar

Domestic Divisions and Regional Conflicts

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Program Description

From Cairo to Karachi, from Dubai to Delhi, the countries across the Middle East and South Asia region pose unique challenges and opportunities for U.S policymakers. In the broader Middle East and North Africa region, traditional allies from Egypt to Saudi Arabia to Israel face new and complex challenges, while adversaries like Iran continue to assert political and military influence from Syria and Iraq to Yemen.

Across South Asia, the persistent problems of poverty and the lack of development remain. The promise of India’s rise has yet to materialize, and Pakistan increasingly falls under the shadow of China. At the same time an assertive China, while vying for dominance in South Asia, has moved strategically into the Middle East and North Africa, investing and trading robustly across the region. 

The demographic weight of South Asia – 1.6 billion people — coupled with its economic challenges ensures that the fate of those key countries will continue to affect the world. This special area studies program will offer attendees the opportunity to discuss critical regional issues with a group of nationally recognized speakers in an informal and off-the-record setting. 


Suggested Seminar Topics

  • From Tripoli to Tehran and Beyond: Reflections on a Changing Middle East
  • Whither Afghanistan After the U.S. Withdrawal
  • The Battle of the Ayatollahs in Iran: What It Means for U.S. Policy
  • Gulf States and the New Regional Order
  • The CENTCOM Area of Operations: Priorities, Challenges, and Opportunities
  • What Has the Global War on Terror Really Accomplished
  • Enter the Dragon: China’s Rise in the Middle East and South Asia
  • Let a Thousand Satellites Bloom: How the Arab Media Has Transformed the Region
  • The AF-PAK Nexus and the Future of South Asia
  • The Evolving Geopolitics of South Asia
  • ISIS and Transnational Terrorism Update
  • From Syria to Latin America: From Crisis to Conflict
  • Saudi Arabia’s Reforms: Cultural Revolution and Political Transformations
  • President Erdogan’s Internal Travails and Turkey’s Role in the New Middle East
  • The Troubled American Relations in the Area of Russian-Chinese Influence

The above topics may change to address current events and interests of the participants at the time of the seminar.


The Program Moderator will have extensive experience conducting senior-level foreign policy seminars for the Intel Community. The Moderator will have first-hand knowledge and a detailed, up-to-date understanding of the region being studied in each seminar. In addition to the daily morning introduction and afternoon wrap-up, the Moderator will generally make a separate presentation and be available to provide additional presentations as needed. The Moderator will facilitate, when necessary, dialogue between the speakers and participants as well as lead the group discussions and Q&A sessions.



The fee for each three-day Foreign Policy Seminar is $2,475 per person. The program will feature approximately 12-15 separate presentations. Also included are daily continental breakfasts and working luncheons. The seminar will be held in a private meeting room. An on-site staff person will assist participants as needed and coordinate daily activities.



The target audience for these seminars are civilians (GS-15 and above) and military (O-6 and above). Others who have a special interest in the subject, need-to-know, or are in key positions may apply. Seminar space is limited to assure participants have ample time for open discussion with presenters. Upon registration, attendees will receive confirmation via email within five days. Cancellations will be accepted in writing up to two weeks prior to each program. After that time, substitutions will be accepted. The Agency will be billed if registration is cancelled after the deadline.

If you have any questions or need further information, please call the office at 703-684-8807.  To register click here.


Additional Information

Reporting information will be sent to all participants approximately two weeks prior to the start of the program.

These programs are informal and strictly “off-the-record.” No video, PowerPoint or audio-visual aids are utilized in the presentations.

Excellent program! There were no weak speakers—all were outstanding! Overall I walked away with a much deeper knowledge of the Middle East.

T.Z., Air Force • Middle East & South Asia Seminar March 2017

Awesome presentations by speakers who are clearly well-prepared and have a strong depth of knowledge. I came away much more enlightened with the issues facing the Middle East.

T.G., Air Force • Middle East & South Asia Seminar March 2017

One of the best programs I have ever been to. The speakers and their perspectives will be very helpful in my soon-assignment to the Middle East. The enthusiasm and knowledge of the speakers is inspiring! Thank you.

C.B., Air Force • Middle East & South Asia Seminar March 2017

Excellent seminar—a semester of information compressed into a day. Outstanding!

Air Force attendee • Middle East Seminar October 2016

Very good program. I have taught and studied international security studies for a few years and found the program very worthwhile, informative, and full of highly qualified experts. Keep working hard to maintain the balance and diversity of views—it’s essential!

L.P., Air Force • Middle East & South Asia Seminar March 2017