As the Syrian conflict approaches its twentieth month, fears are mounting that Bashar al-Assad’s regime may stay in power or that Syria will collapse into sectarian war. An enduring conflict in Syria will have far-reaching consequences for the region, could threaten key U.S. partners, and may require urgent decisions. Has the struggle for democracy in Syria been lost? Is there more the United States could do to influence events there? What steps could the international community take to prevent strife and sectarianism from spreading throughout the region?
On November 8, the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings will explored these and other questions about the conflict in Syria. Panelists Mike Doran, the Roger Hertog senior fellow in the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, and Director of the Brookings Doha Center Salman Shaikh, appearing by video conference, discussed policy options for the U.S. and international community, with a focus on Shaikh’s recently authored paper, “Losing Syria (And How to Avoid It).” Daniel L. Byman, senior fellow and research director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, moderated the discussion.