In the rapidly changing Middle East, the geostrategic position of the Arabian Peninsula has taken on a renewed importance. In Yemen, the war has entered its fourth year and threatened the critical Bab al-Mandab shipping lanes, the Qatar-Saudi rift has pitted two close American allies against one another since 2017, and the Iran-Saudi rivalry has furthered geopolitical competition in the region since the onset of the Arab Spring. In addition to these dynamics, the United States must account for the increasing role of both China and Russia in the region. Please join us for a discussion on these new and pressing challenges with Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan (ret). Moderated by Iran Project Director Payam Mohseni.

Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan, USN (ret), served as Commander of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet and Commander of the 32 Nation Combined Maritime Forces in the Middle East.  In those roles he led teams that planned and executed joint and combined combat, counter-terrorism and anti-piracy operations at sea and in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen.

In the Pentagon he served as Director of the Navy Staff and Deputy Chief of Naval Operations, for Operations, Strategy and Planning.  He was responsible for integration of U.S. Naval forces and operations, international relations, and also oversaw the development of $160+ billion annual Navy budget. He led initiatives for accelerated learning and innovation across the Navy enterprise with focus on implementing cyber security, artificial intelligence, unmanned systems, and big data management into Navy programs. Vice Admiral Donegan also led the team that developed the revised U.S. Maritime Strategy and was the Service lead for the Department of Defense Strategic Review, the guiding strategies for the Navy and Department of Defense.