A Four-year Forecast of Middle East Priorities 

Wednesday, May 19, 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM 

The U.S. Global Leadership Council (USGLC) and the SAME Blue Ridge Post are partnering to provide an outlook and insights on the next four years of America’s policy in the Middle East under the Biden Administration. What are the new Administration’s priorities for the region? How will these priorities shape U.S. policy? And how will these policies affect U.S. military presence in the region?  


John K. Glenn serves as Policy Director at the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), where he leads engagement with the USGLC’s National Security Advisory Council, with the Executive Branch including the National Security Council, State Department, and US Agency for International Development, and with the think tank communities. 

Lieutenant General Mick Bednarek retired in 2015 after nearly 40 years of military service. He most recently served 26 months as the Senior Defense Official in Iraq and Chief of the Office of Security Cooperation in Baghdad. In this capacity he coordinated Security Cooperation and Security Assistance activities to strengthen the strategic partnership and promote a unified, democratic, stable, self-reliant, and regionally integrated Iraq. 

Tom Waters serves as the Director of Programs for the USACE Middle East District.  He is responsible for the District’s program execution and overseeing all aspects of the District’s Engineering, Construction, Contracting, and Programs and Project Management Division requirements. 

Celebrating a Century of Service

The Society of American Military Engineers is now 100. Founded in 1920, in the interests of patriotism and national security, the organization has never wavered from a vow to support the needs of the United States and strengthen the profession of engineering. As was stated in the inaugural issue of The Military Engineer a century ago: “this Society will serve no selfish purpose.”

The genesis of SAME was born from the lessons of World War I, and the realization of those who went “over there” that the engineering community was unprepared for what was confronted. That prescient leadership would prove invaluable, as “The War to End All Wars” was anything but.

Never again would America face an enemy for whom it was not ready. SAME would exist to enable three core tenets: promote solidarity and co-operation between engineers in civil and military life; disseminate technical knowledge bearing upon progress in the art of war and the application of engineering science thereto; and preserve and maintain the best standards and traditions of the profession.

It was the commitment to developing relationships between industry and government (and the technical collaboration it would bear) that made the Society unique at a time of great proliferation for many other discipline-specific professional societies.

Today, as we begin our second century, our mission of building leaders and leading collaboration among government and industry to develop multi-disciplined solutions to national security infrastructure challenges indeed echoes the motivations of SAME’s founders, who, very clearly valuing diversity of thought and the benefits of welcoming many perspectives, proclaimed 100 years ago that “eligibility qualifications for membership in this Society are drawn on the broadest possible lines, consistent with the achievement of its aims.”

SAME is vital and enduring. And after 100 years, our role has never been more clear. Let’s help secure America’s future, together.