How America's Partners Help and Hinder the War on Terror

A book talk with Professor Stephen Tankel
Friday, October 12
12:00 - 1:15 pm
Middle East Institute
1319 18th Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036

Event Information

Since 9/11, many counterterrorism partners have been both "with" and "against" the United States. This has been especially true in the Middle East and South Asia. Many of the terrorist groups that threaten America are concentrated in these two regions, where numerous risk factors for terrorism abound. How can the United States reconcile tradeoffs between between achieving short-term and concrete security cooperation on the one hand, and promoting  the longer-term political and socio-economic reforms necessary to reduce the risk factors for terrorism on the other hand?

Join us on October 12 as Stephen Tankel, author of With Us and Against Us: How America's Partners Help and Hinder the War on Terror, will analyze these tradeoffs in U.S.-Middle East Policy. MEI senior fellow and director of the Extremism and Counterterrorism program, Charles Lister, will join as a discussant and will delve into how the U.S. approach to counterterrorism cooperation and political reform has evolved since 9/11. MEI's Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan studies, Marvin Weinbaum, will moderate the conversation.

Speaker biographies:
Charles Lister
Director of the Extremism and Counterterrorism program, MEI
Charles Lister is a senior fellow and Director of the Extremism and Counterterrorism Program at the Middle East Institute. His work focuses primarily on the conflict in Syria, including as a member of the MEI-convened Syria Study Group; and on issues of terrorism and insurgency across the Levant. Prior to this, Lister was a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Qatar and a Senior Consultant to the multinationally-backed Syria Track II Dialogue Initiative, where he managed nearly three years of intensive face-to-face engagement with the leaderships of over 100 Syrian armed opposition groups.

Stephen Tankel
Associate professor, School of International Service, American University
Stephen Tankel is an associate professor in the School of International Service at American University and a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security. He specializes in international security with a focus on terrorism and counterterrorism, political and military affairs in South Asia, and U.S. foreign and defense policies related to these issues.Tankel is on the editorial board of Studies in Conflict and Terrorism and is a senior editor of the web magazine War on the Rocks. In 2014, Tankel served as a senior advisor for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs at the Department of Defense. He wrote his first book, Storming the World Stage: The Story of Lashkar-e-Taiba (Columbia University Press, 2011) in 2011, and will publish another exploring how partner nations in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia enable and constrain U.S. counterterrorism efforts.

Marvin Weinbaum (moderator)
Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan Studies, MEI
Marvin G. Weinbaum is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and served as analyst for Pakistan and Afghanistan in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 1999 to 2003. He is currently director for Pakistan Studies at The Middle East Institute. At Illinois, Weinbaum served for fifteen years as the director of the Program in South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. His research, teaching, and consultancies have focused on the issues of national security, state building, democratization, and political economy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.