The democratic wave sweeping across the Arab world has irrevocably altered the strategic and political landscape of the region. As Egypt seeks to define itself in the post-Mubarak era, many seemingly stable Gulf monarchies now face similar protests, and hostile actors like Iran and al-Qaeda are seeking to interject themselves as well. While the world watches to see where the revolution will spread next, the United States is faced with challenging questions. Can other U.S. allies in the Middle East and Gulf respond to the demands of their populations and avoid similar uprisings? How can the United States fundamentally reconstruct its policies to reflect the realities of the new Middle East?
On March 7, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted a discussion of the Middle East crisis and the broader implications for the U.S. and the wider region, featuring several Brookings scholars who have recently returned from trips to the region.
Panelists included Saban Center Director of Research Daniel Byman and Brookings Nonresident Senior Fellow Shibley Telhami, just back from Egypt and Tunisia. Brookings Doha Center Director Salman Shaikh who recently traveled to the Palestinian territories, and Shadi Hamid, director of research of the Brookings Doha Center, who just returned from Egypt and Jordan, participated via video conference.
Senior Fellow Kenneth Pollack, director of the Saban Center, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion. After the program, the panelists took audience questions.