Posted on October 21, 2015

Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q), in conjunction with the Brookings Doha Center, will be hosting Dr. Daniel Byman for an on-campus public lecture titled: “Five Bad Policy Options for Syria” on October 25 at 6:00pm, where the Professor in the Security Studies Program at the University’s main campus in Washington D.C. will share his perspectives on the challenging options facing U.S. engagement in the crisis in Syria.

The Syrian conflict has led to over 250,000 deaths and millions of refugees, with no signs that the situation will improve anytime soon. On the contrary, the conflict has now spread to Iraq with increasing violence in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, and other countries in the region, including the unprecedented waves of refugees now reaching European shores.

Security expert will discuss Five 2 [].jpg"It is clear that different parties’ Syria policies have failed to stop the conflict turning in a humanitarian catastrophy built on a full-fledged civil war - a war which, moreover, has seen Sykes-Picot boundaries erased and various actors pursuing proxy wars. Now more than ever, the insights of scholars combining deep knowledge of regional affairs and security dynamics with a grasp of real-world policy making, are essential - both to those trying to understand this depressing landscape and those trying to formulate a more effective policy. Prof. Byman brings just such a combination to the table," said GU-Q's Dean, Dr. Gerd Nonneman.

Dr. Byman will share his expertise as the Director of Research and as a senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, including a prolific writing and research career on a range of topics related to terrorism, international security, and the Middle East, to the public lecture.

"U.S. policy toward the Syrian conflict has failed to resolve or limit the fighting, and the Islamic State is growing stronger. I hope to offer rough outlines of alternative policies so we can understand options going into a new U.S. administration," he remarked. His presentation will explore policy alternatives, including: avoiding entanglement in Syria, focusing exclusively on degrading the Islamic State, working through local allies, containing the violence, and considering direct intervention. “All of these options are flawed,” he explained, “but the United States will have to choose among them or combinations of them as it revises its Syria policy.”

Dr. Byman is the lead faculty member for Georgetown’s “Terrorism and Counterterrorism” Massive Open Online Course, with 20,000 students enrolled. His publications have appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Affairs, International Security, and numerous other scholarly, policy, and popular journals.