12:30 PM – 2:00 PM
Rami Khouri will assess the impacts of the past 15 years of American warfare across the Middle East, particularly the U.S.-led war on Iraq in 2003. Iraq, and now Syria, capture all the negative outcomes of that war and its miscalculations. The U.S. and other foreign powers that are active in the Middle East seem unable to shift from warfare to diplomacy and development, in order to stabilize the region and protect their strategic interests. This has been due mostly to indigenous factors like the predominant autocracies across the region, the ongoing Arab-Israeli conflict, and increasingly unraveling and dysfunctional Arab statehood. The next American president will have to decide quickly whether to perpetuate this legacy of shared violence, misery, death and destruction, or seek a new diplomatic and state-building strategy that more adequately engages the people of the region.