Middle East and South Asia

A Political-Economic Conflict Seminar

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Program Description

The three-day Middle East and South Asia Seminar will cover the profound political, economic, and social transformations sweeping the Middle East and South Asia.  For the last 70 years the United States has been deeply involved in shaping the political, strategic, and economic developments of the Middle East and South Asia. Even though the U.S. is less dependent on Middle Eastern oil than it was in recent decades, the region remains crucial for world economy, and its strategic value remains intact. Today, the U.S. and its European and regional allies are facing new threats represented by the rise of powerful non-state actors like ISIS and others who are undermining the modern nation-states of the region.

New tensions, supplied by Russia and China, are added to the old unresolved ones emanating from the unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestine.   In recent years, an increasingly assertive Iran has spread its political and military influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, and has presented the U.S. and its Arab allies and Israel with a serious challenge.

Speakers include scholars and former policymakers who have lived and worked in the region and are familiar with its rich and old cultures. They bring to the discussion their experience as policymakers, as well as a nuanced understanding of the political and cultural currents that are driving the peoples of the Middle East and South Asia.


Seminar Topics

  • The Eastern Flank – South Asia and the Middle East: An Overview
  • The Middle East: Security Challenges in a Changing Region
  • America’s Quandary in South Asia: Understanding the New Strategic Dynamics
  • A New Era of U.S./Saudi Relations?
  • The Iran Challenges: The Political and Economic Dynamics of the Islamic Republic
  • Iran’s Nuclear Challenge: Will a Negotiated Settlement Work?
  • The Regional and International Implications of the War in Syria
  • Afghanistan and Tribal Pakistan: An Analysis of our Current Strategies
  • The Taliban: The Continuing Threat
  • Pakistan: Nuclear Power and Divided State
  • India’s Strategic and Military Policy Towards Russia, China and the United States
  • Is Middle East Democracy Doomed to Fail?
  • Hamas and Hezbollah: The Politics of Intransigence and U.S. Options
  • Turkey and the Ottoman Empire Revisited: Is Turkey Destined to be a Middle East and European Great Power?
  • Al Qaeda and the Terrorist Threat Today
  • The Rise of Political Islam: Consequences to U.S. Security and National Interests
  • Four Small Countries – Hugh U.S. Equities: Yemen, Kuwait, Jordan, and Bahrain
  • Egypt in Transition: Challenges in the Coming Period
  • Thoughts on Leadership in American Middle East Policy
  • The Arab-Israeli Issue: The Promise vs. The Realities
  • Assessing the Future of Iraq and the Implications for U.S. National Interests

*The above topics may change to address current events 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 $2,250 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 at the Capitol Hill Club. 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 Iris Fernandez or Patricia Patton at 703-684-8807.  To register click here.


Additional Information

The Foreign Policy Seminars will be held in a private meeting room at the Capitol Hill Club, located at 300 First Street, SE, Washington, DC. The Club is directly across the street from the Capitol South Metro Station (Blue and Orange Lines). Business attire for participants is required. 

Reporting information concerning registration time and meeting room assignment will be sent to all participants approximately two weeks prior to the start of each program. The seminar meeting room will open at 7:45 am and seminars will be conducted from 8:00 to 4:00 pm.

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

Extremely enjoyable, thought-provoking, informative, professional program. I very much enjoyed and learned from the speakers and appreciated their experience and analysis. Thank you!

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

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

Outstanding Seminar. Thoroughly enjoyed the rich perspective brought forward by well-credentialed speakers.

M.F., 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

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