Syria has once again taken a place at the top of America’s Middle East policy agenda. The ancient city of Damascus occupies an important strategic position in the Middle East, one made even more significant as the United States pushes forward with long-term involvement in the reconstruction and security of Iraq. At this critical moment in the Bush administration’s dealings with Damascus, and Syria’s impending departure from Lebanon, the Brookings Institution Press, in conjunction with the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, is publishing a new book, Inheriting Syria: Bashar’s Trial By Fire. Author and Senior Fellow Flynt Leverett draws on his expertise on the regime of Bashar al-Asad and long experience analyzing Syrian politics to present a fresh and timely assessment of policymaking under President Asad. Leverett also offers a penetrating critique of Bush administration policy.
At this briefing, sponsored by the Saban Center, Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the New Yorker and author most recently of Chain of Command, and James Bennett, feature writer for the New York Times and the paper’s Jerusalem bureau chief from 2001 to 2004, will join Leverett for a policy discussion on Syria’s domestic politics and foreign relations and U.S. policy options toward the Asad regime.
Panelists will take questions from the audience after their remarks.