From Conflict to Cooperation
March 1, 2005
Although achieving peace in the Middle East may be closer now than it has been in years, the United States must establish two new initiatives--one designed to promote economic and governance improvements and the other to foster the next generation of Arab leaders--in order to overcome strong negative Arab sentiment and secure enduring regional stability, according to the CSIS Advisory Committee on U.S. Policy in the Arab World.
In 2004, CSIS brought together this committee of former senior U.S. government officials, academics, and businesspeople to think about what the U.S. government does, and what it needs to do, to serve U.S. interests in the Arab world over the long term. The committee interviewed partners and potential partners in the Arab world, seeking to understand their perspectives and honing its recommendations with their help. The thinking was that if partnerships are needed--to reach the mutually desirable goals of peace, stability, and growth--the process of dialogue with prospective partners needs to start early and be sustained. This report is the culmination of the committee's work and lays out its practical recommendations for changing the dynamic of U.S.-Arab relations from one of conflict to cooperation.
William S. Cohen is a CSIS trustee and former U.S. secretary of defense. Edward Gabriel is a visiting fellow at CSIS and former U.S. ambassador to Morocco. Jon B. Alterman is director of the CSIS Middle East Program. Laura E. Schiller is an independent writer and consultant.