In December, President Trump ordered the withdrawal of all US forces in Syria, believed to number around 2,000. His announcement, which came after a phone call with Turkish President Erdogan, has been criticized on a number of fronts. On January 10, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered an address at the American University in Cairo, which aimed to reassure regional partners that a withdrawal from Syria does not mean that American power is leaving the Middle East. The first salon of the semester will focus on what Trumps shifting Middle East policy has meant for the region. Every Friday in the semester, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies hosts an informal weekly guided discussion of current events in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), open to all and free of charge.