February 22, 2013
The first JINSA Young Leadership Council (YLC) event of 2013 took place the evening of February 21. A cocktail reception was followed by a compelling discussion of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood led by Eric Trager, the Next Generation Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. JINSA YLC members were given a firsthand perspective of the Islamist organization and Egypt's revolution as an ongoing struggle against western influence and values.
Trager has personally interviewed Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi (now President of Egypt) in 2010 as part of his ongoing research on Egyptian opposition parties. He was in Cairo during the 2011 anti-Mubarak protests in the course of conducting further research into the Brotherhood. He studied at the American University in Cairo while also working as an Islamic Civilizations Fulbright fellow from 2006 to 2007. Trager’s writings have been featured The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic, and The New Republic.
At the event, Trager’s presentation detailed the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt’s Islamist future. He explained the Brotherhood’s membership recruitment, chain-of-command, and policies. He argued that the idea of moderate views within the Brotherhood simply ignores the rigid structure of the organization and the many years of evaluations necessary to progress within the organization.
Trager’s presentation included audio and video segments including footage from the 2011 Tahrir Square demonstrations at the moment when Morsi came to power.
The YLC is a non-partisan, non-sectarian council whose principal mission is to build the next generation of JINSA lay leadership that can and will effectively support the organization’s mandate. The YLC hosts happy hour briefings for young professionals every other month on topics important to U.S. national security. Past events have included Leif Babin, a former lieutenant commander in the Navy SEALs, and Rear Admiral Terry McKnight, USN (ret.), who commanded the U.S. anti-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa.