Syria | Wilson Center


U.S. Leadership Needed on Syrian Refugee Crisis

Sixty percent of Syria’s population are either refugees or internally displaced.  Of those thirteen million Syrians, nearly six million are refugees who fled to neighboring Middle Eastern nations—five times more than the one million in Europe and the U.S.

The Jasmine Journey: Creating Self-sufficiency for Syrian women in Jordan

In 2012, my family and I fled the war in Syria to neighboring Jordan. We did not think we would be there long. However, after over a year in Amman, I was compelled to think creatively to make a living and become financially independent.

The Islamic State After the Fall of the Caliphate

In this edition of Wilson Center NOW we are joined by Middle East Program Fellow Amy Austin Holmes who was conducting research in Northeast Syria on the day coalition forces declared the territorial defeat of the Islamic State. Amy discusses her work conducting surveys with Kurdish, Arab, and Syriac Christian members of the Syrian Democratic Forces as well as the political and economic outlook for this war-torn region of Syria.

The Contours of Global Security: Border Lines, Critical Regions

As debate rages in Washington over President Trump’s characterization of the situation at the southern U.S. border as a national security emergency, the risks and stakes in several hot-spot regions around the world are far less open to question.

Leading Wilson Center experts surveyed the state of affairs at North America’s borders and in areas experiencing acute security crises, from Venezuela to North Korea to Syria.

Selected Quotes 


Syrian Women Dream and Get Organized

Eight years have passed since the peaceful Syrian revolution started in March 2011, which quickly turned into armed conflict and civil war--and hence into a global geopolitical proxy conflict with various parties wanting a piece of the cake. I remember clearly the first calls for freedom in Damascus and how the nonviolent movement started; how women especially and the youth were then deeply involved from the revolution’s inception. Yet in times of armed conflict, the presence of women often ebbs and as the violence escalates, they become hardly visible.

Trump Is Achieving His Goal of Being the un-Obama, except on Middle East Wars

How ironic that, halfway through President Donald Trump’s term and as Trump himself has done many times, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted former president Barack Obama as weak and vacillating in his recent speech in Cairo.
Why? Because while Trump is Mars and Obama is Venus, they’re alike in one important respect: when it comes to the use of force, especially in the Middle East, both believe the United States should avoid starting new wars and try to get out of old ones. 

The U.S. in Syria: Is Staying or Leaving the Greater Risk?

On December 19, President Trump announced his intention to withdraw U.S. forces from Syria.  In this edition of Wilson Center NOW, we discuss the implications for the United States, its allies, and its enemies in the region with Aaron David Miller, Vice President for New Initiatives and Middle East Program Director.