What should we make of the Middle East’s upheavals? In recent weeks, the Islamic State (ISIS) “caliphate” collapsed. Syria’s Assad regime all but won the six-year war, thus consolidating Iranian and Russian influence. Saudi Arabia purged parts of its royal family. Lebanon’s prime minister abruptly resigned. Iraq’s Kurds voted for independence, triggering confrontation with Baghdad. Years of U.S. and international engagement has failed to rebuild fractured countries, and the very viability of states like Iraq and Syria has been challenged. At USIP, distinguished Middle East analysts explored where the region is headed, and the U.S. roles amid this tumult.
In the face of the region’s challenges, the Trump administration has voiced strong support for Israel and Saudi Arabia, while confronting Iran. Mike Yaffe, vice president of the Middle East and Africa center at USIP, moderated this discussion with Robin Wright, who has reported from the region for four decades, Bruce Riedel, a 30-year veteran of the CIA, Mona Yacoubian, who recently coordinated U.S. assistance to much of the region, and Aaron David Miller, who advised Republican and Democratic secretaries of state on Middle East policy over two decades.
Continue the conversation on Twitter with #MidEastUSIP.
Mike Yaffe, moderator
Vice President, Middle East and Africa, U.S. Institute of Peace
Journalist and Author, U.S. Institute of Peace and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and The New Yorker
Senior Fellow and Director of The Intelligence Project, The Brookings Institution
Senior Advisor, Syria, Middle East and North Africa, U.S. Institute of Peace
Aaron David Miller
Vice President for New Initiatives and Middle East Program Director, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars