The Middle East Policy Council is a nonprofit educational organization founded in 1981 to expand public debate on the political and economic issues of the region and the policies devised to further American interests there. The Council is an independent, non-membership entity favoring neither right nor left and having no loyalties to any country but the United States. We have established two principal policy forums: the quarterly journal Middle East Policy (published by Wiley-Blackwell) and a series of conferences on Capitol Hill. Fresh thinking and new insights have been our stock in trade from the beginning. The policy practitioners, analysts, economists and academics appearing in our venues have provided a wide diversity of views on the region stretching from Morocco to Afghanistan and from Central Asia to Oman. They question conventional wisdom and explain complex issues without oversimplifying them. A receptive audience has welcomed these efforts from the appearance of the first issue of the journal.