Although the United States wants to see the Assad regime in Syria removed, there is no clear way to achieve this goal. Calls are growing for the U.S. to arm the Syrian opposition and even conduct air strikes against the regime, but skeptics believe these measures will fail or embroil the United States in a costly war. However, the clock is ticking as the regime continues to brutally repress its own citizens with military support from Iran and diplomatic cover from Russia and China.
On March 19, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted a discussion on U.S. policy options in Syria. Panelists included: Senior Fellow Daniel Byman, director of research for the Saban Center for Middle East Policy; Senior Fellow Michael Doran; Senior Fellow Kenneth Pollack; and Fellow Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center, who appeared live from Doha via video feed. Senior Fellow Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Saban Center, moderated the discussion.
After the program, panelists took audience questions.