Home / Articles / Instability and Interrelated Conflict: Evolving Security Dynamics in the Middle East
The Foreign Policy Research Institute and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Syria/Iraq office convened a two-day virtual dialogue that brought together experts and policymakers from the United States, European Union, and Middle East to discuss developments in the region. A follow-up to a 2019 conference held in Iraq, this dialogue focused on the challenges posed by the conflict in Syria, the role of the Russian Federation in the Middle East, and the future of Iranian-American tensions. Each half-day seminar featured two panels and a moderated discussion led by FPRI Director of Research Dr. Aaron Stein. What follows is a summary of the debates and actionable conclusions.
America’s regional adversaries use the U.S. military presence in the region to try to drive a wedge between Washington and its allies and undermine faith in the American security guarantee.
Cessation of the conflict in Syria is detrimental to the country’s population. Achieving this will likely require bilateral talks between the United States and Russia, but Moscow remains committed to undermining Western interests in the Middle East
The Biden administration has expressed clear interest in deprioritizing the Middle East, choosing instead to focus the brunt of U.S. resources on the IndoPacific and Europe. Policymakers must remain engaged in supporting post-conflict nation-building efforts to prevent the relapse of violence.
Great powers compete differently in the Middle East. Russia and China have differing interests in the Middle East, but each share an interest in decreasing regional trust in the United States as a trustworthy ally.
The Turkish-Russian relationship remains of great interest for the Trans-Atlantic alliance, and it remains to be seen how this cooperative and competitive relationship will impact U.S. and allied interests.
Iran remains a critical country for the United States, but disagreement continues about how to best approach managing U.S. relations with the Islamic Republic.