August 23, 2023

Iran, the United States, and the Middle East

Frank McKenzie

General Kenneth F. McKenzie Jr., former commander of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) from 2019 to 2022, delivers a comprehensive analysis of the strategic military challenges and geopolitical intricacies in the Middle East and Central Asia, overseeing operations in pivotal countries such as Yemen, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan. He explains the complexities of American foreign policy failures, the ambiguity in U.S. strategy, and the risks of creating a security vacuum due to the potential shift of U.S. military focus from the Middle East to the Far East. As a graduate of the Citadel and a seasoned Marine Corps officer, he provides a nuanced discussion on Iran’s increasing influence in the region, highlighting its nuclear pursuits, military developments, and regional ambitions. The talk underscores the necessity for astute strategic planning in U.S. approaches to the Middle East, advocating for a deep understanding of the region’s historical and current geopolitical landscape. His lecture is a fusion of military expertise, regional analysis, and strategic recommendations, offering insights into shaping U.S. policy in the Middle East amidst evolving challenges. Following his presentation, he engages in a Q&A session, addressing questions on regional stability, the balancing act of military and diplomatic efforts, and the critical role of strategic foresight in U.S. foreign policy.
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