Currently, the Middle East is collapsing: The failed Arab Spring, the ongoing civil war in Syria, the expansion of the Islamic State and its escalation— the jihadists will also escalate their efforts to acquire advanced weapons, chemical weapons and cyber capabilities to use them against those enemies. The chaotic situation in the Middle East is far from being contained. On the contrary, it can spill over into other countries in South Asia, South-East Asia, Europe and the entire West — even though the closest targets are failed regimes, Israel, and pro-Western conservative Arab states.

In this unpredictable scenario, it is important to create and shape American and European policies for the Middle East and align them closer with Israel’s. This would not resolve all outstanding disagreements between Israel and the West, but it might allow a growing circle of American and European leaders to appreciate the challenges that Israel faces and to underscore the commonality of values and strategic interests between the West and Israel. In this regard, the output of the Strategic Outlook Series Project launched by FOII has been an integrated study that, on the one hand, defines the perspective of Europe and the West influenced by events in the Middle East and, on the other hand, the Israeli perspective and its role in the Middle East for the coming years

The study is based on a series of strategic studies and high-level discussions with the participation of former senior European officials and political figures seeking to define the interests of Europe and the West influenced by events in the Middle East, the role of Israel and other Middle Eastern countries in bolstering or harming those interests, and the projection of scenarios that could impact positively or negatively on Europe’s strategic interests and security.

The first study delves into Israel’s role and its perspective for a future strategy in the aforementioned context, called The Middle East, Israel and Western Strategic Interests by Middle-East the expert Dr. Shmuel Bar, has discerned a new regional picture, detailed implications for external actors—from the Europeans and the U.S. to China—to outline issues around nuclear proliferation, the challenge of Islamist terrorism, the role of Russia in the new regional disorder in the Middle East, among other relevant topics. All is in search of a cohesive narrative about how we should understand the post-Arab Spring world, its consequences, and what may lie ahead. Dr. Bar also dealt with the status of Israel as a stable ally for Western interests with military, intelligence, and technological potentials.

The second study, The New Middle East and Its Consequence consists of several essays from Israeli, American and European perspectives. Written by Jonathan Spyer, Elliot Abrams and Bruno Tertrais, renowned experts on military, strategy and foreign policy respectively, the report is an attempt to understand the new realities after the deep chaos and disorder in the Middle East through regional eyes. Beginning with a comprehensive overview of the situation following the Arab Spring as seen from Israel and an examination of Israel’s national security policymaking, the essays explore the current framework following the chaos in the Middle East from American and European perspectives. As Dr. Bar also pointed out in his study, this second report highlights the essential alliance between Israel and the West for the coming future.

The third study, The Meaning of the Russian Deployment Throughout the Middle East authored by General Yaakov Amidror, is an analysis on the reasons behind Russia’s increasing involvement in the Middle East. Certainly, due to the U.S. withdrawal, Russia emerges nowadays as the most influential foreign power in the region. General Amidror delves into the past and the present events that explain this Russia’s move, its interests, especially its intervention in the civil war in Syria, and the role of Moscow in the reordering of the Middle East. Last but not the least; he examines the Israel’s perspective and the relation with Russia, which shall imply new challenges and balances for the Jewish state.