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LMC 2023

All Men Dream, But Not Equally: Prospects for the Middle East

The strategic shift of the US towards East Asia and Europe’s preoccupation with Russia have led to reduced western attention on the Middle East. This may be a mixed blessing. On the one hand, security in the region depends on a degree of western engagement, for example in moving forward the stalled JCPOA deal, and the west’s absence may open avenues for other possibly less benign actors, such as Russia and China, to assert their influence. On the other hand, the west’s approach is also far from altruistic, perhaps even hypocritical. For example, it has been ready to ignore the impact of Iranian weapons exports on the Yemen war, but not on the war in Ukraine.


Faisal J Abbas

Editor-in-Chief of Arab News

Mustafa Aydın
Mustafa Aydin

Professor of International Relations at Kadir Has University

Anna Borshchevskaya

Senior Fellow at the Washington Institute

Seth G Jones

Senior Vice President and Director of the International Security Program at CSIS

Hanna Notte

Senior Associate with the Vienna Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation


Jörg Lau

International Correspondent, German weekly DIE ZEIT

How do countries in the Middle East perceive the US role in their region? What are Russia’s interests and actions and how have these changed since the beginning of the war in Ukraine? How will Turkey navigate the complex political relations and security concerns it has in the region? Does the relationship between Russia and Iran have a sound strategic basis, or is it a temporary marriage of convenience?  How will the war in Syria be affected by the changing international positions and behaviour of Russia and the west?


“All men dream: but not equally.”

T E Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), The Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1926)