tv Center for a New American Security Discussion on Syria - Panel 1 CSPAN April 30, 2019 2:31am-3:25am EDT
policy in the middle east focusing on the syrian conflict and the administration's priorities in the region. the center for a new american security hosted the event. >> thank you, everyone for joining us here today. wonderful stage has been set for us to move into the next phase of discussion. we will focus on syria and the way forward for the united states. we have an all-star crew of analysts is today -- analysts today. to my left we have francis brown. she has decades of experience working in conflict zones and fragile states. she has worked with other u.s. and has a agencies
love experience understanding how post-conflict stabilization and democracy building can be done in the greater middle east. to her left, the director of the nonstate actors in fragile environment at the center for global policy. she is the co-author of a new york times bestseller which has become the how-to manual on how to understand crisis -- isis. he is an expert on jihadist movements. his articles are some of the best i have ever read on how to understand how isis and other jihadi organizations function. we have aot least, doctoral student at georgetown university law, the next generation fellow here. she is an expert on constitutional drafting and democracy building in the middle east. she has a lot of experience working in syria and with syrian organizations and how to approach the way forward in
syria. one of the dynamics i would like us to open with is a question we ,lluded to in the fireside chat and that is what is the enduring u.s. interest in syria? president has emerged as a thought leader on the subject. as recently as january he stated that syria was lost long ago. we are talking about sand and death. blog this represents one of the occurrence in the discussion, there seems to be an active debate within the american public and the foreign policymaking community about what the u.s. does now that isis seems to have been defeated. i would like to ask you to start us off. what is your perspective and what is the u.s. interest in syria? what is the way forward? >> thank you very much for having me. i think that i would say three things related to syria. the first one is, the extremists
, whether you are talking about isis or other jihadists in northwestern syria. the second one is the border conflict in syria and the of -- in the syrian conflict and the third is related to iraq. even if you don't care about syria, if you're interested in a isk, syria -- iraq, syria very related to that. to expand on each element of those, obviously now we just heard isis just released a statement, a video showing -- of the first time since june 2014. he looks very healthy, despite recent reports saying -- including from defectors and people captured by isis, who
said he was a link, sick -- ailing, sick, slim. exactly as heks appeared in 2014. he grew a beard more slowly than i did. that's a significant video, massive propaganda for the group. over the past two years we have seen people were saying he's ,rrelevant, dying, very angry all this was gleaned from reporting from captured isis commanders. it seems like he is healthy and more importantly, the organization is very healthy. i'm talking about the core of the organization and that has
implications beyond syria. affiliates of isis, and this is the biggest failure, in my opinion, by the u.s. led coalition, is that isis has been able to transition safely from being a caliphate holding territory, we know the story, into becoming an underground insurgency organization. i think contrary even to my expectations, isis has expended, not just underground -- expanded, not just underground, but expanded. isis affiliates outside of syria and iraq have become more like isis. they are closer to isis then we would imagine with the demise of isis. that moment was big when they lost the caliphate. we would expect from any other
organization that's fractured, we see some elements of it. despite some of the reporting, we do not see that. that's very significant and has long-term implications. if he managed to say i built a caliphate, transitioned to insurgency, kept that war of attrition for a long time for another opportunity in the future, and these opportunities exist in syria, iraq, the wider region, then he could position himself, present himself in the future as a leader who made a difference at some point in time. if he was killed, if these affiliates were fractured as the caliphate collapsed, that would undermine that project for a long time and present an alternative to it. we have seen their affiliate in afghanistan, sinai, yemen, even west africa becoming closer to
isis. by that i mean they are becoming more attuned with the propaganda, with the message, and also with the kind of targets they are targeting. that's a trend going on since 2016. because isis had more time and resources to pay attention to these organizations and also because isis recognized something the u.s. led coalition should have recognized a long time ago, which is if they fracture at this point when they lose the caliphate, then they will lose the narrative war, but they haven't. , as is very sad for me someone who's hometown was destroyed because of isis. you have al qaeda originated, or affiliates, whatever you want to call it, that has now de facto control over one province in in northwestern
syria. not turkey, not the regime's are threat.to take on that the regime is becoming less willing to fight another war in northwestern syria. jihadists are still there, it's still growing. we can talk more about this. the second part that i want to talk about very quickly is the conflict. i think the u.s. has an interest to maintain some of the fragile gains that have been made in syria over the past few years. even though it's not a perfect ,ase scenario, it's not ideal but at least there is some stability that you can use to build on that and kind of push against the regime and the jihadists and other actors.
i think if the u.s. leads now, the regime will be able to consolidate furthermore and the jihadists will try to grow back again. i think the u.s. has an opportunity still to do something in syria. if the u.s. state pulls out of eastern syria, the whole conflict will unravel. turkey will try to do the same. the arabs and kurds will start fighting. it's going to be a mess. the final one, very quickly. i know i'm going on for a long time. a rock -- iraq is very important. security among term stability hinges on the stability in eastern syria. the borders are porous, isis is there, the threat of isis at least. if there is any conflict that would immediately affect places
and even the kurdish areas in the northeast. i think these are very important, key points the u.s. has to pay attention to. >> thank you very much. >> i will just add a couple of things. over anythingo go that hasn't already been mentioned, but a couple of things since i work a lot with civil society and the u.s. interests and ensuring the social conditions that not only allows for the conflict to begin with, but also is facilitated and -- facilitated and accelerated the emergence of isis. be a more pronounced part of the administration's goals. i know it is definitely an interest. i know the ambassador discusses e-up ourping to r ,inancial investments in idlib
which is still i think a very important piece of this puzzle and just assuring we address the conditions. unless we address these, the risk is this all return. and second, -- will return. and second, the danger with a care- iran is it does not how much the syrian people have to suffer. it has done this before in serious even prior to the concert -- syria even prior to the conflict. they are both used to surviving, outliving economic sanctions. the issue with iran is how long are sanctions will remain on especially if president trump is not reelected in two years.
european allies have found ways to go about it for some elements of the jcpoa agreement. i think pushing back on iran should remain a vital u.s. interests in dealing with syria. i will stop there. >> thank you. >> i agree with everything>> my colleagues have laid out in terms of the interests of the u.s. should be pursuing and has in syria. one of the tools that we have to achieve those -- what are the tools we have two achieve those interests? we have got several tools currently on the table. one is the facts on the ground. we hold considerable territory considerablesyria, natural resources, of marion resources. that's not -- agrarian resources. that's not nothing. our diplomatic leverage, power of persuasion and bring allies
on board is another to we have. economic tools. , sanctions. there is economic tools. our assistance programs help us achieve objectives as well. finally, we have the perception of our commitment, the perception of our credibility to actually use these tools to create outcomes. those are our cards to play. if we were having this panel a year and change ago, i would have said we are in a pretty good position to deploy b-schools affectively towards advancing these interests not to --ieve a perfect outcome -- deploy these tools effectively towards advancing these interests not to achieve a perfect outcome. front, obviously there has been a tremendous amount of coverage around the military presence in or out,
withdraw or not, what level of withdrawal. wen if the endpoint is that are not withdrawing all that much or there is some commencement of amount i like troops coming in -- commencement amount of i like troops coming in, -- allied troops, we have already -- in a related point, whatever our troop level or allied troop level ends up being, we have seen in the past few months more demands be placed on what these troops actually be doing. we are seeing discussions of the saison and northern syria -- safe zone in northern syria. these troops will be asked to do more with less. front,diplomatic
particularly with the arrival of ambassador jeffrey, we have seen a regeneration of the u.s. diplomatic leadership role, which is terrific. i also think our diplomatic bandwidth is being stretched really thin with many other objectives. the part of our diplomacy directed towards achieving a better political outcome is now being siphoned off in other directions. we have discussions with turkey on the safe zone issue, the iranian oil waiver issue. fryave a lot of ish to diplomatically with turkey. we are dealing with the foreign fighter issue. all this means that our diplomatic might is being stretched pretty thin. finally, i think we have to be realistic that the president's own signaling on lack of
commitments to stay the course grievously undermines all the messages about us being there and all the haul tools i mentioned at the beginning become a lot less powerful when the perception is we can just be waited out. i think we needed to be sober and clear eyed about that. i think that when we think about perceptions of our commitment, the perceptions that matter are those of actors on the ground, adversaries on the ground, counterparts on the ground. i think in washington we could sometimes have a tendency to create our own ecosystem and shared understanding that we are here in syria for some amount of time. i was just in the region the last couple weeks. the message i got from various actors, of course there is a range of opinions, but the senses we are leaving at some
point -- sense is we are leaving at some point. our adversaries are making bargains accordingly. >> i think what you said opens us up to a deep debt on this issue. when -- deep dive on this issue. the united states has potentially tremendous leverage through its control over one third of syria, some of its best resources, oil, agricultural land, and amatrice be production electricityts -- production are the elements. there is a point that you raised that's very interesting and important, which is how do you measure what success looks like, especially in a conflict environment like this? you have a foreign actors on the ground, they have their zones in control, we have our zones in
control, and they are at a loggerhead. how would you assess victory in syria? how do we prevent a u.s. investment in syria looking something like we have in afghanistan, where they are a decade from now, a decade and a half from now? >> what are we trying to achieve? i think about this a lot, particularly with the eastern part of the country that your report analyzed so well. i think when we think about our engagement in the east, there is basically two things i would say, our engagement being our military and civilian engagement. point number one is our engagement is doing important, critically need to work -- needed work in helping it devastated area. these programs are doing the mining, basic -- d mining, basic electricity.
these programs are doing really valuable work. time, we need to be clear right that these programs and this engagement is not going to change the strategic outcome of the war. military actors shape outcomes on the ground in syria. i have a report on this from carnegie. in short, i think we are fooling ourselves if we think our support to civilian actors can somehow make up for our perceived lack of military commitment. -- one form of success in syria or perhaps are minimal threshold for success is the counter isis objective, the enduring defeat or at least containment of isis.
we actually have a lot of good learning from this context and other contexts on what that would take. require all, it would security backbone, predictable security force. second of all, for civilian programs, it requires programs that get at the political grievances, the sense of injustice that ultimately helped give her to isis in the first place -- give root to isis in the first place. be,rams would also need to according to other research, would really need to be well overseen by civilian oversight development professionals. we have had some good things in syria, but that has been cast into doubt with the questions about our length of time of being there. in general, we need if we are trying to tamp down the
commercials -- conditions that gave rise to isis, we need a long-term, predictable presence, and we don't have that. what is the government structure we are tried to empower in the east -- governance structure we are trying to empower in the east? americans are pretty concerned about another do over. from my perspective, i think we are chastens by the experience of afghanistan. i feel like this syria engagement is nothing like the afghanistan engagement on this front, quantitatively and qualitatively. we have got a fraction of the military personnel, 2000 versus the over 100,000 during the height of the surge in afghanistan. a fraction of the civilian personnel, a fraction of the resources, and then finally the largest difference is that we do have an administratively capable
partner on the ground. in a lot of ways it's very different from the afghan stabilization experience. that's not my major concern. i think there is one parallel, which is what is the political end state the stabilization efforts are driving towards? in the afghan case we were china to make a government more --ponsive, localized, and trying to make a government more responsive, localized, and centralized. we have made it very clear we are not trying to bolster a ds state. s what are all these stabilization efforts actually empowering and loving towards? i don't think -- building towards? i don't think we have answered that question just it. >> this highlights a point we
looked at in the report, which is hand over dilemma. if you have made one third of the country rehabilitated from the conflict, built-up local organizations, then you have to hand it off, what does that mean? i think this goes well with a question i would like to ask. you alluded to this in your discussion to open the panel about sort of the challenges we face when it comes to how people lived the experience of isis on the ground. you recently wrote hauntingly xo let about how isis has worked the social fabric in eastern -- hauntingly excellent articles about how isis has worked the social that -- warped
the social fabric in eastern syria. >> i'm planting a lot of vegetables these days, so i would use an agricultural metaphor. the way i see syria today, just forget the discussions. if you zoom in to the villages and towns in eastern syria and elsewhere, the area is devastated. it's like a plow and soil upside down. over the past five years we defeated isis, but the current situation is really like that soil that's really for title -- for title -- fertile. that's not success. that's not the failure of the organization. that's not success for you, for the international community. it's just a new environment today.
the biggest winner will be the one who will be able to take advantage of this. today, just to give you an example, my -- i discussed this in an essay. my village has been liberated for about 3-4 months now. people were prevented to come back to this area because it was dangerous, because isis rigged all the houses, including our house back home, my family's house. people did not leave their homes until the end because people have nothing else. arease you look at the that are under isis, if someone stayed this long under isis, they must like isis. it's not that. people stayed because they had nowhere else to go. they couldn't go travel outside, but also because i think that sense has a policy implication.
i have been asking my parents to give property four years ago. they always insist they can't. families who live there for ancestors,their taken from this area. they have lived all their lives there. there is a detachment, a disconnect from the policies to the reality of these people. for four months it has been liberated, this hometown. the case applies to other ones. every time people tried to come back they are told they cannot because the area is full of mines and so forth. from the u.s.day officials and others is like, no one is allocated to these villages.
the u.s. led coalition has destroyed these areas because there was a fight against isis, but they don't have the resources to de-mine and make sure people can come back and resume their lives. there is resentment now towards the u.s. because nobody is doing anything. i don't know if you can call that a victory in that sense. as long as you don't deal with these things, a lot of people say what's our interest in rebuilding syria? it's not about rebuilding syria. it's about recognizing that in 2014 the u.s. government made a decision to go to syria and fight isis. that mission is not completed. that decision only lead to death -- destruction and devastation. that devastation has to be addressed before we say our job is done. i think the best way forward is to use that force that the u.s. created in eastern syria and enable it to become more representative of the local dynamics and more in tune with
the local grievances. i am supportive of that force. i think they have a chance to , to rebuild syria, to reclaim these communities and build legitimacy. i think they are already seen by the locals as a better option an assad regime,an the jihadists, and even turkey. , think the best way forward and i disagree with that kind of hanover. there had -- hand over. there has to be a hand over exit strategy. what the u.s. has to be focused not a run -- iran -- rolling
back iran. the real policy is to enable these forces that have taken one third of syria and make sure that when they agree on a settlement with the syrian state , meaning with damascus, that there has to be a settlement where they are able to protect their areas from the jihadists and assad or the regime. so the regime does not come back. they are a decentralized form of government in these areas. i think that applies also to turkey in the north and idlib in the northeast. they should not be handed over to the assad regime but integrated back into syria through this decentralization form of government. >> thank you. that opens us up for the last question i will ask the panel. one of the biggest challenges we identified when we wrote the report, when we went to the analysis is what we like to call the assad dilemma.
how does united states approach the reality that assad and his regime have consolidated their control of most of western syria? that there seems to be a built-in international consensus that the united states and the world will have to engage in one shape or another with the regime? and that fundamentally the past policy of not engaging with the regime has failed? look at it was you have the current policy, which is to change the regime's behavior. fundamentally this is a change from what secretary tillerson said in january of 2018 when he made regime change one of the pillars of u.s. policy in syria. the current team has tried to open up a runway for russia to engage with the united states to achieve goals. how do you bring syria back under one government? i wanted to ask you, when you
, theat the assad dilemma question of do we continue to change the regime's behavior, do we try to engage with the regime or allow others to engage with the regime, or at the end of the day we cannot stabilize ?yria unless assad goes it's about time we leaned into that, like president seemed to do this past april when he ordered secretary of defense mattis to kill them all. how do you approach the assad dilemma? >> first of all, this is a very difficult question. did ad how your report good job of laying out the six policy options. , whichcond policy option was basically what the current administration is focusing on, investing in stabilizing areas ur orbit, ider o
think that's a relatively -- i think it's one of the most feasible things we can continue doing. adding to that a maximum pressure campaign. i know the current administration is slowly working towards that but has not fully gotten there. i think that's an important thing to tack on to that all see option. its impact -- policy option. it's impossible to promote the -- to go back entry the assad regime -- and treat the assad regime as though the past eight years did not happen. it absolutely won't even meet the interests that all three of us have laid out, in terms of having a stable region, extremism the rise of , preventing potentially another uprising from happening. i wanted to start off by giving
you an overview. if we were to leave everything, if we were to free syria today, what it would look like if we were to walk or and leave it as is. i wrote this in a piece that i published recently. the gdp has shock but for fits /5 of what it was in 2010. the little rock has depreciated -- the lira has appreciated by 459 -- depreciated by 459%. the damage is estimated to be 400 billion. we are talking about homes people cannot return to. serious business community had largely -- all of the current construction efforts we have seen, these
lavish, disney world type buildings and high-rises and entertainment projects, you have a bedroom that costs half $1 million, something completely out of reach for the average syrian, let alone the refugee the russian government and syrian government are trying to convince us they will take back. decreee the legislative 63 that's meant to seize any property for anyone the regime considers a terrorist. there's obviously no due process , no proper hearing or anything for when they are seizing these properties. the policies of the government have largely returned to that that was on the 1980's. the people of the regime is bringing back -- that we saw in the 1980's. the people that the regime is been the samehave people who executed the repressive policies. very little has changed in terms
of their approach and techniques with the syrian people, even after eight years of bloodshed and one million people almost dead. the only difference in this situation and this is the part that's very critical is that syria has lost much of its sovereignty. you have iran and russia who are actively pressuring the regime into going into different directions that benefit them, obviously, and not the. syrian people the detention file that we discuss often is an ongoing file. we are not just talking about the 100,000 or so that the regime had previously arrested. people are constantly being arrested and the detained -- being detained. the administrator of one of the
most vocal pro-regime facebook pages criticized the regime. they assume he's dead. there is refugees -- there is a refugee who was just a money exchanger. within two days he was detained and went missing. really -- and even the refugees that have come in, hads say people that humanitarian reasons, did not participate actively in any protest against the regime, they are not allowed to go back to their home. they are not being allowed to go there. they have to get the names ve tted by every single security branch in syria and only then they can go back.
and so looking did at this -- looking at this, even the oil crisis, a lot of that is largely due to production. we are down to 5% of the previous production in 2011. i think previously from 2010-2011 the average was or hundred thousand barrels of oil 400,000 barrels of oil per day. the oil crisis that's happening, lack of or inability or refusal to provide the assad regime with oil over the last six months. we saw that heavily publicized last week. people under the regime, like i said, the tactics of the 1980's
have gone back to sapir repression -- a severe repression of society. we have seen one small instance of protest and that was largely because it was under russian en thel and it was wh regime was trying to put up a new statute while not spending any money to feed, clothes, or provide medical aid to these people, but instead to put up a --tue you saw some protests statute. you saw some protests. we have not seen any other similar protests in other parts of syria. regime has had a chilling effect on people. i cofounded a humanitarian organization that worked largely in idlib. in areas where the eye ngos are
operating the regime is really flexing its muscles, dictating to the united nations who it can and cannot hire, who it can and cannot procure from, and which areas it can provide humanitarian aid for. of course, these are the areas largely sympathetic to the regime. if we return are known relationships with the sod -- our normal relationships with assad, this is the picture we would see. there is no indication he would distribute humanitarian aid evenly or relax the harsh laws and regulations and fear tactics he has on the people. , you know, i said that in my piece i had said that to remove sanctions, the first thing you need to do was
for --ce to leave fight to who you fight for. it's essentially the regime committing suicide. this is something russia acquiesced to. that the government and any opposition to agree in any formal negotiations on a political transition, a transition away from assad that leads to credible, inclusive governance. it asks for immediate seizure on any attacks against civilians and requires and demands compliance with international humanitarian law's. these are all things the regime is not doing and would adamantly refuse to do. voluntary return of refugees it most likely does not even have an interest in doing. i cannot see in good faith the regime doing this unless its own
to commit suicide -- unless it's willing to commit suicide. have talked to some experts who say that there are some scenarios where if the russians were to pull their cover, their military cover, because they are on the ground helping the regime sort of direct the military fight, that if russia were to step away from the assad regime, this may put the regime under fire, in terms of it would not just be enough to have iranian support. it would not be enough for the region to say we are willing to take on the kurdish opposition. this might be one scenario, but i am not a russian expert. i don't want to talk about the likelihood of that. this might be one scenario. right? one is elections, 2021 elections. the french are trying to push it up to 2020.
the russians are pushing for this because they are pretty confident that there is no other character that can compete against assad. if you look at potential voters outside of the assad regime, you might have 11.5 million if you include the refugees, the kurdish of areas -- kurdish held areas. it still would likely be under the number in regime held areas that would be forced to vote for assad. if there was international backing of a potential character to run against assad that could have the support of both kurds and opposition leaders, this might be one scenario. once again, i have not seen any such figure, but i don't want to eliminate the possibility of syrians reaching that kind of opposition.
this syrians have not been able to develop that kind of opposition for a host of reasons. if we are looking for international backing for a character, insurance some of these concerns people have for ensuring some -- of these concerns people have for the minorities. if assad were to leave unwillingly for some reason, you asked me this a couple of days ago. what would happen the next day? my understanding from the folks i have talked to is that the russians and iranians would scramble to put someone that would ensure their interests that they can agree upon.
you have a very interesting family there. that's what people say who would likely come next if that were to be the scenario. i will stop there. thank you. >> thank you very much for a very copper hands of answer. i think that's -- comprehensive answer. to ask the regime to change its behavior is to ask the regime to commit suicide. we have time for if you questions with this -- a few questions with responses from the panel. we would like to take a moment to thank our partner who is in the audience today. he and his organization is one of the best organizations working on the ground in syria. they have corroborated -- collaborated closely with us on the report.
thank you for joining us. we have time for a short round of questions. we will take them all together with short responses from the panel. we will start up front. >> do i need a microphone? on?t thank you. very interesting. i probably have heard two different perspectives. one, isis is defeated in syria view,aq, which is also my and the underlying problem is political. the people who live in those areas were isis controls need their problems addressed. they need to see that the political authority somehow represents them and addresses their needs. is that a reasonable way to put it? the underlying problem and the way to address it is political?
the second point i would like to suggest and maybe this center might do something about this later on. the idea isis is never defeated. it has not been defeated now because there was a video. americans have been at this thing fighting islamic extreme some for 19 years. every president since then has at one time or another proclaimed victory only to have this reemerge. is it possible that we don't understand it? for centuries of exotic history there have been times -- islamic history, there have been times when -- is a figurehead for brutal individuals ruling the area. is it possible that is the case? now >> thank you. three questions in the back. >> i was wondering if you could
speak to the iranian influence, insofar as -- i mean, there was an article in the "wall street tornal" about forcing people convert to shia in exchange for security, food, etc. i was wondering if you could speak to how prevalent that phenomenon is. with iran facing financial constraints, do you think iran will back out of syria? how might that plate to that i met that plate to the dynamic -- dynamics?e >> i'm from the turkish embassy. about -- locals feel
thank you. >> i think that's it for questions. we will have a short break after this. who wants to take questions first? >> very quickly on the first question on isis. , i'mad of the situation not going to speak to the global insurgency of isis, but there's political drivers. in general, it's political in grievances, sense of injustice aat would give rise to resurgence. what form that takes i certainly cannot predict. politicalabout representation and grievances being at the heart of this and why this is a really hard policy challenge for the next year, five years, 10 years specific to syria i think is a real challenge. it sounds like should the assad regime retake syria, we
don't have hope that those grievances would be addressed. on the iranian influence question, i have not seen further reports beyond the article you mentioned, which i have seen. the big take away is that iran is playing a long, soft power game, as well as a hard target. i think we some -- hard power game. i think we sometimes focus on the hard power. if we are truly serious about pushing back iranian influence, i think we need to look at how they are exerting powers in all these more subtle but quite effective ways. >> i will sum up my answer by that peopleerstand
-- outside the u.s. i think there is convergence between u.s. interests and one needs to be done in the right way -- what needs to be done in the right way in syria. before you could talk to idealists and say this is a pure democracy. help it, change the dictator to make the region less volatile. than before. that would be. a compelling argument. for the cynics who don't believe in this and don't see the u.s. role as -- or the u.s. as having that role in the world. i think that argument changed in 2014 into another argument, which is syria is another problem -- a problem. it's a festering war. if you don't deal with it right away, you will have problems in the long-term. to resolve that problem, in order to deal with it, the only right way is to do it the right way for the people.
the interests of the locals have somehow converged with the u.s. interests in the region in order to prevent extremism on even other issues, not just extremism. empower these voices opposed to the regime, but not in a political sense. the majority of the country needs to be -- in a different way than before. i would just say that. >> i was just going to touch on a ron question -- iran question. iran has brought 80,000-hundred -100,000 from0,000 iraq, lebanon, afghanistan, and
has placed them in different areas of syria. it's pretty much an iranian controlled city now. they are playing the long run. even if they have to pull some of the backing for the syrian government, they are living the groundwork for them to come back , even if it's 10-15 years because they are committed to that territory that they need. when the treaty was written on the democratic and federalism and it began to be implemented, he did it with an i on -- easternnorth syria -- northeastern series diverse communities -- syria's diverse communities. in many ways, that theory will be the guiding governance theory
that has unfolded. i would like to thank everyone for joining this discussion and bank the panelists for their very culbreath -- thank the panelists for their very comprehensive answers. we will do a five and a break -- five minute break. [applause] >> success. all right. >> why don't we get started here for our second panel. this panel i think is going to focus on our second report, slow and steady, improving u.s.-arab cooperation to counter regular