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Past Event

A look at the policy options in war-torn Syria

Past Event

Syria continues to dominate headlines as the country approaches the fifth anniversary of the beginning of a civil war that has taken some 300,000 lives and displaced half the country’s population. To date, international strategy in addressing the conflict has largely failed. But the war shows few signs of burning out on its own. As such, a new strategy is needed. Ideas that have yet to be fully explored include standing up a better and newly formed Syrian opposition army, working harder to contain the violence there with regional states and partners, and pursuing an “ink spot” approach aiming to create a confederal Syria with multiple autonomous zones. Which of these may be most realistic and promising for protecting core American security interests, U.S. allies, and humanitarian interests?

On November 16, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence and the Center for Middle East Policy hosted an event focused on such questions. Panelists included Daniel Byman, research director in the Center for Middle East Policy; William McCants, director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World; Kenneth Pollack, senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy; and Tamara Cofman Wittes, director of the Center for Middle East Policy. Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow in the 21st Century Security and Intelligence, moderated and shared his own thoughts.


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Agenda

A look at the policy options in war-torn Syria

On November 16, the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence and the Center for Middle East Policy hosted an event focused on standing up a better and newly formed Syrian opposition army, working harder to contain the violence there with regional states and partners, and pursuing an “ink spot” approach aiming to create a confederal Syria with multiple autonomous zones.

Kenneth M. Pollack

Former Brookings Expert

Acting Director, <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/saban.aspx">Saban Center for Middle East Policy</a>

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