The Arc of Crisis: Beirut to Baghdad
The nearly three year old civil war in Syria shows no sign of slowing, despite the start of official talks between the Syrian government and opposition forces. Over 100,000 Syrians have died, and millions are internally displaced or have become refugees. The conflict is also destabilizing the neighborhood, with terrorism and civil strife surging in neighboring Iraq and Lebanon and radical voices becoming stronger throughout the region. Can Syria’s neighbors avoid civil wars of their own? Is the United States doing enough to reduce the risk of a broader conflagration?
On February 6, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings examined the rising tension and violence kindled by the Syrian war and offered recommendations on what the United States can do to counteract these trends. Panelists included Brookings Fellow Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center, who participated via videoconference from Doha; Senior Fellow Kenneth M. Pollack; and Roger Hertog Senior Fellow Michael Doran. Brookings Senior Fellow Michael O’Hanlon, director of research for Foreign Policy, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.
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Initially, it seemed Turkey was seeking a bargain with or financial support from Saudi Arabia. But it increasingly appears that Turkey is seeking to inflict maximum damage on [Mohammad bin Salman].