National Press Club

Washington's Shifting Syria Policy: Implications for U.S.-Turkey Relations

Washington's Shifting Syria Policy: Implications for U.S.-Turkey Relations

April 23, 2018 11:00 AM

Location: Holeman Lounge

Please join THO on April 23 for a discussion on the implications of Washington's Syria policy for U.S.-Turkey relations, featuring insights from distinguished experts from academic, government, and military backgrounds.

As the Syrian civil war enters its eighth year, political dynamics are beginning to shift. On April 4, a tripartite summit to further discussions on the resolution of the conflict was held in Ankara between Turkey, Russia, and Iran – critical countries that once had deeply conflicting priorities in Syria. Notably absent from this high-level diplomacy is the U.S., whose priority in Syria remains fixated on defeating ISIS. On the same day that the presidents of Turkey, Russia, and Iran were meeting in Ankara, President Trump stated his intention to withdraw U.S. troops after the defeat of ISIS, raising questions and concerns about Washington's long-term role in Syria. The Syrian civil war has heavily strained U.S.-Turkey relations, with Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch in Afrin against the YPG being the most recent example of the troubling rift between the NATO allies. The impact of the shift in Washington’s Syria policy and post-ISIS long-term role will determine the next phase of the relations between the U.S. and Turkey.

Mariam Jalabi – Representative of the Syrian National Coalition's office at the United Nations
Bradley A. Blakeman – Former White House Senior Staff under President George W. Bush; Fox News Commentator
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Peter B. Zwack – Former U.S. Senior Defense Official and Attache to the Russian Federation from 2012-2014; Senior Research Fellow, Center for Strategic Research at the Institute for National Strategic Studies
Dr. Mesut Hakki Casin – Academic, Ozyegin University, Air Force and Turkish Military Academies; Former Turkish Air Force Officer

Dr. Sahar Khan – Research Fellow, CATO Institute

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David Hutchins