The attack on the American mission in Benghazi once again highlighted the dangers the United States faces in a tumultuous region. The post-revolutionary government is too weak to impose its authority throughout the country as anti-Western movements proliferate and exploit the security vacuum to build their infrastructure. In Egypt, a young and inexperienced democratically elected government is trying to navigate between society's desire to distance itself from Washington and the economic needs that have forced Cairo to historically seek a superpower benefactor. At the same time, jihadists have established a presence in the remote Sinai peninsula. And in Syria, a popular revolution has degenerated into a civil war exploited by foreign extremists that has regional ramifications as Iran, Israel and Hezballah jockey to preserve their clout and prevent their adversaries from profiting from the turmoil.
Please join the New America Foundation’s National Security Studies Program for a conversation with Barak Barfi as he discusses his recent visits to Egypt and Syria, where he traveled to the province of Aleppo and met with rebel leaders, as well as the six months he spent in Libya during the 2011 revolution.