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Sep 25

Past Event

Campaign 2012: Arab Awakening



  • Tamara Wittes: Coping with Dramatic Change Is a Challenge for the U.S.

    Tamara Wittes: No matter who wins the election in November, it remains clear that there is no greater foreign policy challenge for a superpower than coping with fundamental political change in one of its allies.

    Tamara Cofman Wittes

  • Shadi Hamid: Reform Should Be Incentivized

    Shadi Hamid: Reform should be incentivized, meaning we would dole out financial aid according to a set of benchmarks. This “carrot and stick” approach to assistance could yield the type of changes that need to be made in these countries.

    Shadi Hamid

  • Raj Desai: Desire for Income Equality and Access to Public Services Fuels Unrest

    Raj Desai: What fuels the unrest we’re seeing in this part of the world? It’s not solely the cry for democratic elections or religious freedom, or other civil rights; it’s basically the desire for income equality and access to publi

    Raj M. Desai

  • Panel: U.S. Foreign Policy Drivers In the Middle East

    Tamara Wittes leads panel on the U.S. foreign policy drivers in the Middle East: Our primary goal is stability in the region, largely due to the global dependency on oil from the Persian Gulf.

    Raj M. Desai, Shadi Hamid and Tamara Cofman Wittes

Full Event


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Following the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi and the death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens, the United States is weighing its position and policies in the post-Arab Spring Middle East. More than a year after the initial Arab uprisings, the United States is questioning the state of its relations with the nascent Arab democracies and the emerging Islamist regimes. As the second anniversary of the Arab revolutions approaches, political and economic instability persists alongside growing anti-American sentiment, forcing the United States to adapt its policies to the evolving landscape in the Middle East. With the U.S. election just over six weeks away, many American voters are questioning the presidential candidates’ foreign policy strategies toward the region and wondering how the volatility in the Middle East and North Africa will affect the United States in the months and years ahead.

On September 25, the Campaign 2012 project at Brookings held a discussion on the Arab Awakening, the tenth in a series of forums that identify and address the 12 most critical issues facing the next president. POLITICO Pro defense reporter Stephanie Gaskell moderated a panel discussion where Brookings experts Tamara Cofman Wittes, Shadi Hamid and Raj Desai presented recommendations to the next president.

Participants can follow the conversation on Twitter using hashtag #BIArabAwakening.

Download papers from the event:

Campaign 2012: Twelve Independent Ideas for Improving American Public Policy is an indispensable guide to the key questions facing White House hopefuls in 2012.

Event Agenda


September 25, 2012

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM EDT

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW


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SERIES: Campaign 2012 Events | No. 10