Mission Statement

The U.S./Middle East Project was established in 1994 by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) under the direction of Henry Siegman, a senior fellow on the Middle East at the Council. In 2006, the U.S./Middle East Project became an independent policy institute. Its mission is to provide non partisan analysis of the Middle East peace process and to present policymakers in the United States, in the region and in the larger international community with balanced policy analysis and policy options to prevent conflict and promote stability, democracy, modernization and economic development throughout the region.

The U.S./Middle East Project pursues these goals under the guidance of an International Board chaired first by by General (Ret.) Brent Scowcroft (President, Forum for International Policy; former National Security Adviser to President Gerald Ford and President George H.W. Bush), and now by Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering (Vice Chairman, Hills & Company; former Under Secretary of State; former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; former Senior Vice President, Boeing Corporation). The International Board comprises eminent personalities with extensive experience, in government and in the private sector, in dealing with the political, economic and social aspects of this critical and troubled region.

The U.S./Middle East Project pursues its mission through a range of activities that include studies, periodicals and publications, conferences, consultations with heads of states in the region and collaboration with a wide range of international agencies pursuing similar goals.



General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

General Brent Scowcroft, Eric Melby and Henry Siegman

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Israel Provoked This War

There seems to be near-universal agreement in the United States with President Barack Obama’s observation that Israel, like every other country, has the right and obligation to defend its citizens from threats directed at them from beyond its borders.

But this anodyne statement does not begin to address the political and moral issues raised by Israel’s bombings and land invasion of Gaza: who violated the cease-fire agreement that was in place since November 2012 and whether Israel’s civilian population could have been protected by nonviolent means that would not have placed Gaza’s civilian population at risk. As of this writing, the number killed by the Israel Defense Forces has surpassed 600, the overwhelming majority of whom are noncombatants.

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