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Update on Egypt, Syria and the role of the U.S. in international conflicts

Russian president Vladimir Putin and President Obama share a tense moment at the G20 Summit
Russian president Vladimir Putin and President Obama share a tense moment at the G20 Summit

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A season of unrest remains in the Middle East, leaving the United States to question its level of involvement in the region.

There was evidence of this at the G20 meeting in Mexico; a frosty exchange between Russia's president, Vladimir Putin and President Obama caught on camera.

The former Cold War nations are at odds over Russia's support of the Syrian leader, Bashar al-Assad, while the country slides into civil war. Over the weekend, the United Nations suspended mission patrols in Syria due to the escalating violence.

Meanwhile in Egypt, there are renewed calls for protest, following a military decree that weakens the role of the presidency. This, after the country’s first democratic elections since the ousting of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

What is the United States' role in overseas disputes? How does U.S. involvement in areas such as Syria and Egypt help or hinder the democratic process? Should countries such as Syria be left to devise their own solutions?


Borzou Daragahi, Middle East and North Africa correspondent for the Financial Times based in Cairo

Hussein Ibish, Senior Fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine & Executive Director of the Hala Foundation for Arab-American Leadership

Danielle Pletka, Vice President, Foreign and Defense Policy Studies,
American Enterprise Institute

Steven A. Cook, author of “The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square” (Oxford University Press). Cook is the Hasib J. Sabbagh Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is also author of “Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria and Turkey”