The Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) hosted a day-long conference on "Dictators and Dissidents: Should the West choose sides?"
The focus of this year's event was the Middle East, highlighting the struggles facing the newly emerging democracies that grew out of the tumultuous Arab Spring. Iran and the ongoing Israel-Palestine stalemate are also the topics of a series of panel discussions and speeches by congressional leaders and foreign policy analysts.
Speakers included: Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), incoming chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA).
Senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) held a converstion with FDD President Clifford May.
David S. Cohen, Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (U.S. Treasury), delivered the keynote address. Cohen is also one of the three recipients of this year's George Schultz Award.
Panel discussions held throughout the day included: "Islamists and Elections: Where Do They Lead?"; " Iran’s Human Rights Record"; "What's next for Syria?"; and "The Arab Spring: Nonproliferation Risks and Opportunities."
FDD, a non-partisan national security institution, was founded by former U.S. officials and supporters shortly after the September 11 terror attacks.