Authoritarian Reaction in Middle East Challenges American Policy

March 24, 2011

Content from the Brookings Doha Center is now archived. In September 2021, after 14 years of impactful partnership, Brookings and the Brookings Doha Center announced that they were ending their affiliation. The Brookings Doha Center is now the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, a separate public policy institution based in Qatar.

Syria is the latest country in the Middle East to see its population arise as demonstrators demand reforms. Following deadly anti-government protests, Syria has promised to implement a series of radical measures. But as unrest and protests continue to spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa, Shadi Hamid says it’s time for the U.S. to carefully consider its policies and actions in the region. And as the spirit of pan-Arab solidarity builds, and as authoritarian regimes push back, U.S. policy has to strike a balance between ideals and interests, he says.