Though many of the protest movements associated with the Arab Spring appeared to be largely secular in nature, Islamist parties have been winning elections across the region, causing unease and uncertainty both domestically and abroad. U.S. policymakers and analysts have been divided thus far in their responses to this turn of events. How should the U.S. deal with the new regimes that bear a distinctly Islamist character? What will be the state of U.S. alliances in the new Middle East and North Africa and how will they affect our core interests in the region? It is critical for Washington to understand the individual groups that are gaining power in the Middle East and North Africa and to define its interests and goals in dealing with these new power holders. These questions will be addressed in FPRI’s Panel Discussion, which will bring together recognized policy and academic expertise to examine these challenges and their implications for U.S. foreign policy.
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Michael S. Doran - Michael Doran serves on FPRI's Board of Advisors and is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC, specializing in Middle East security issues.
Samuel Helfont - Samuel Helfont is a Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Research Institute’s Program on the Middle East, and an Assistant Professor of Strategy and Policy at the Naval War College's program at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA.