Overview

The project is co-directed by Martin S. Indyk, director of the Saban Center at Brookings, and Gary Samore, vice president and director of studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and is comprised of fifteen experts from the staffs of the two establishments.

The group is divided into small teams, two or three experts each, who are focusing on specific policy issues:

Overview & Policy Conclusions

Richard N. Haass, President, CFR

Martin S. Indyk, Director, Saban Center at Brookings

Arab-Israeli Conflict

Steven A. Cook, Douglas Dillion Fellow, CFR

Shibley Telhami, Nonresident Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy

Counterterrorism

Steven Simon, Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, CFR

Daniel L. Byman, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy

Iran

Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, CFR

Suzanne Maloney, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy

Iraq

Stephen Biddle, Senior Fellow for Defense Policy, CFR

Michael E. O'Hanlon, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy

Kenneth M. Pollack, Director of Research, Saban Center for Middle East Policy

Political & Economic Development

Isobel Coleman, Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy, CFR

Tamara Cofman Wittes, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy

Nuclear Proliferation

Gary Samore, Vice President and Director of Studies, CFR

Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, Saban Center for Middle East Policy


Ariel Kastner of the Saban Center at Brookings and Katie Ivanick of the Council on Foreign Relations facilitate the coordination of the strategy group. Andrew Apostolou of the Saban Center at Brookings will edit the policy reports.


Products

The strategy group will circulate trip reports to the Board of Advisors. Drafts of the policy papers will also be discussed with the Board of Advisors and will be published as a book.

Each team will travel to relevant parts of the region for fact-finding purposes and dialogue with regional figures from government, academia, the media, and the private sector.  They will attempt to reach a consensus view on the specific policy options they present.

There will be no attempt to reach consensus across the entire strategy group but other members of the group will be expected to provide input and feedback for each of the team reports and papers.

  • Trip Reports: Each subgroup will author a trip report upon return from travel. The trip report will give an overview of impressions developed on the field trips.  Other members of the strategy group will provide comments and reactions that can be incorporated into the final draft.
  • Final Report: The final chapters will be reviewed by the Board of Advisors before being published in book form.
  • Briefing Transition Team: Between November 2008 - January 2009, the strategy group will brief members of the incoming administration and present its recommendations for constructing a new Middle East policy framework to the public.