JINSA Gemunder Center Iran Task Force Co-Chair Ambassador Eric Edelman Testifies Before Senate Armed Services Committee

Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Reed, Members of the Committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today on the need for a coherent strategy to address the manifold challenges confronting the United States in the Middle East. I have been intimately involved with the region throughout my career, including as Ambassador to Turkey and Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. I have continued working on this issue since retiring from government service in 2009 as counselor at CSBA, as the Roger Hertog Distinguished practitioner in residence at Johns Hopkins SAIS, and as co-chair of task forces sponsored by JINSA’s Gemunder Center for Defense and Strategy and Bipartisan Policy Center. In these capacities, I have co-authored a range of reports laying out recommendations for U.S. strategy, but the views expressed here today are purely my own.

As on other issues, our country is currently roiled in debates over what role the United States should play in the Middle East, as well as what role the region should play in our broader strategic calculus. Although the Middle East remains increasingly complex and volatile, and as the threats emanating from the region continue to threaten the U.S. and our allies both in the region and beyond, these debates are far from academic. I, therefore, applaud this committee for examining these matters and assembling today’s panel of distinguished Foreign Service colleagues who have wrestled with the most intractable elements of the problems we face in the Middle East.

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