The Syrian Requiem: The Civil War And Its Aftermath

Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Hoover Institution, Stanford University
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The Hoover Institution’s Working Group on the Middle East and the Islamic World held a discussion on Tuesday, March 16, 2021 from 8:30-9:30am PST with Ambassador Itamar Rabinovich, Professor Emeritus at Tel Aviv University and Dr Carmit Valensi, Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS).

The crisis in Syria has festered for ten years now. The addition of Russian and Iranian support in 2016 has kept the Asad regime in power but has never been enough to win the country. As the impasse lingers, instability locally and internationally is exacerbated, and another humanitarian catastrophe may be around the corner. Both the Obama and Trump administrations, reluctant to be drawn into yet another military conflict in the Middle East, were hard put to formulate an effective policy in Syria. The Biden administration must now confront the challenge of coming up with an effective strategy.

Followed by conversation with Russell Berman, Senior Fellow, Co-Chair of Working Group on the Middle East and Islamic World and H.R. McMaster, the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution.


About the Speakers

Russell A. Berman is the Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities at Stanford University, professor of German studies and comparative literature, senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, and cochair of its Working Group on the Middle East and the Islamic World. He served as senior advisor in policy planning at the Department of State and has written widely on topics concerning Germany, transatlantic relations, and Islamism. His books include Freedom or Terror: Europe Faces Jihad and Anti-Americanism in Europe: A Cultural Problem.

H. R. McMaster is the Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.  He is also the Bernard and Susan Liautaud Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute and lecturer at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business.  He was the 26th assistant to the president for National Security Affairs. Upon graduation from the United States Military Academy in 1984, McMaster served as a commissioned officer in the United States Army for thirty-four years before retiring as a Lieutenant General in June 2018.

Itamar Rabinovich is Professor Emeritus at Tel Aviv University, Vice Chair of the Institute of National Security Studies in Tel Aviv and Distinguished non-resident Foreign Policy Fellow at Brookings Institution. He was Israel’s ambassador in Washington, chief negotiator with Syria and President of Tel Aviv University. He is the author among other books of Yitzhak Rabin: Soldier, Leader, Statesman, The View from Damascus: State, Political Community and Foreign Relations in Twentieth-Century Syria and Israel Facing a New Middle East: In Search of a National Security Strategy.

Dr. Carmit Valensi, a research fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), the director of Syria research program and editor of "Strategic Assessment" specializes in contemporary Middle East, strategic studies, military concepts, and terrorism. She completed her Ph.D. in the Department of Political Science at Tel Aviv University. Her research focuses on "hybrid actors" such as Hamas, Hizbollah, and FARC. She holds a B.A. in Middle East history and political science, and an M.A. in diplomacy studies from Tel Aviv University. In 2010-2011 she was a research fellow within the Fox Fellowship program in regional and international studies at Yale University.

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