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  • Author: Daniel Byman
  • Publication Date: 03-2015
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The latest war in Gaza—from the beginning of July to the end of August 2014—is over, but both Israelis and Palestinians believe it will not be the last one. Israelis believe they must deter Hamas from conducting additional attacks and keep it weak should a conflict occur. This is an approach that more pro-Western Palestinian leaders and Arab states like Saudi Arabia, fearing the political threat Hamas poses, often quietly applaud. For their part, Hamas leaders remain hostile to Israel and feel politically trapped by the extensive blockade of Gaza—and all the while, Gaza lies in ruins. The combination is explosive. Israeli security analyst Yossi Alpher put it succinctly: “It is increasingly clear that the Gaza war that ended in August will soon produce…another Gaza war.” The Economist also gloomily predicted that “war will probably begin all over again, sooner or later.”
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Ehud Eiran, Martin B. Malin
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Thucydides' ancient logic still governs: uncertainty (over Iran's nuclear intentions) and the fear this inspires (in Israel) increases the risk of another war (in the Middle East). Even if Israel's response to the Iranian nuclear program does not lead the region into a war, Israel's fears will be crucial in shaping Middle Eastern politics and will help to determine the stability of the region in the years ahead.
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Dov Waxman
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Of all the foreign relationships of the United States, perhaps none is as closely watched and incessantly scrutinized as its relationship with Israel. Like a couple in counseling, U.S.—Israeli relations are the subject of endless analysis. Both supporters and critics are forever on the lookout for the slightest signs of tension or unease, with the former anguishing over them, and the latter celebrating. While there was little to pay attention to during the years of the Bush administration, given its tight and largely uncritical embrace of Israel, the tenure of the Obama administration has provided ample opportunities for U.S.—Israel watchers to speculate on the troubles between Washington and Benjamin Netanyahu's government. By now, the nature of this debate is entirely predictable_on one side are those who decry President Obama's alleged failure to resolutely support Israel,and on the other are those who defend the president's pro-Israeli record.
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Israel
  • Author: Ephraim Inbar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Despite all the optimism accompanying the uprisings of 2011, the Arab Middle East remains a stagnant region in deep socio—political crisis with little chance for positive change anytime soon. The current regimes may stay in power or get replaced by new dictatorships, moderate or radical. Either way, in the near future, weak states will continue to grapple with domestic problems and the direction of their foreign policies. For good reason, this situation has Israeli leaders worried about the implications for their country's national security. The changing regional balance of power favors Turkey and Iran, both of whom encourage radical elements in the region, not Israel, while the seeming decline in U.S. clout has negatively affected both the Arab—Israeli peace process and Israel's deterrent power.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman, Haim Malka
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The security architecture that the United States helped establish after the Cold War in the Eastern Mediterranean is crumbling. That architecture emphasized two triangular partnerships: U.S.—Turkey—Israel and U.S.—Egypt— Israel. Each had its origin in the Cold War and gained new emphasis afterwards as a cornerstone of U.S. efforts to promote Middle Eastern stability. Yet the evolution of internal politics in Turkey over the last decade, combined with more recent shifts in Egypt, have brought to the fore civilian politicians who are openly critical of such partnerships and who have sidelined the partnerships' military proponents. The demise of these two triangles has profound implications for Israeli security, as well as for the U.S. military and diplomatic role in the Eastern Mediterranean. The changing geometry of U.S. relationships in the Eastern Mediterranean is part of a set of broader trends that make it more difficult for the United States to shape outcomes and set agendas in the region. This change in particular is likely to force the United States to emphasize bilateral relationships and ad hoc direct action in the future, placing a greater demand on ongoing U.S. management than has been the case in the past.
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Egypt
  • Author: Ömer Taşpınar
  • Publication Date: 07-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For most of the 20th century, Turkey chose not to get involved in Middle Eastern affairs. During the past decade, however, in a remarkable departure from this Kemalist tradition (based on the ideology of the republic's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatu¨rk), Ankara has become a very active and important player in the region. Under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government since 2002, Turkey has established closer ties with Syria, Iran, and Iraq, assumed a leadership position in the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), attended Arab League conferences, and contributed to UN forces in Lebanon. It has also mediated in the Syrian—Israeli conflict as well as the nuclear standoff with Iran. Ankara's diplomatic engagements with Iran and Hamas have led to differences with the United States and Israel, leaving many wondering if Turkey has been turning away from itsWestern orientation or if it was just a long overdue shift East to complete Turkey's full circle of relations.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Middle East, Israel, United Nations, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Sheldon W. Simon
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In mid-May, long-simmering political tension in Thailand between the Bangkok elite establishment and urban lower classes as well as those in northern Thailand who feel ignored by the center erupted in the worst political violence in decades. Tentative US efforts to mediate were rejected by the Thai government, though the opposition appeared to welcome a US role. A tense calm has been restored, but the prospect for renewed violence is palpable. While the Indonesian government expressed understanding for President Obama's second postponement of a visit to his childhood home because of the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, opposition Muslim politicians claimed the real reason for the postponement was the Israeli attack on a Turkish flotilla running Israel's Gaza blockade. A number of Muslim leaders stated that Obama wished to avoid encountering Indonesian ire for his country's pro-Israeli stand. The election of Benigno Aquino III as the Philippines' 15th president was greeted by international observers as a generally fair and transparent process. The president-elect has stated he plans to review the country's Visiting Forces Agreement with the US to modify its pro-US bias. Washington continues to criticize Burma's preparations for elections scheduled for October as marginalizing the political opposition. The US is also concerned that Burma may be clandestinely importing materials from North Korea for a nascent nuclear weapons program.
  • Political Geography: United States, Indonesia, Israel, North Korea, Philippines, Burma, Mexico, Thailand, Southeast Asia, Bangkok
  • Author: Barbara Slavin
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Founded in the aftermath of the Holocaust amid violent rejection from its neighbors, Israel has long insisted on extraordinary freedom of action to defend its existence as a Jewish majority state. But external pressures are rising, creating a diplomatic crisis that may constrain Israel's tendency to use massive military force against adversaries. Increasingly, questions are being raised even by those sympathetic to Israel about whether its military conduct and unresolved conflict with the Palestinians are impinging on the U.S. ability to fight wars in two Muslim nations and to counter anti-U.S. sentiment in the wider Muslim and developing world. There is also an emerging debate about the wisdom and feasibility of Israel refusing to acknowledge its arsenal of nuclear weapons, while demanding that other countries in the Middle East foreswear them.
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Israel, Germany
  • Author: Jonathan Marcus
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Israeli voters went to the polls in February 2009 for the fifth time in a decade. The campaign was overshadowed by the December 2008 Israeli offensive into the Gaza Strip: air operations beginning just two days after Christmas and Israeli ground operations following during the early days of the New Year. Israeli troops pulled out of the Gaza Strip some three weeks later but sporadic Palestinian rocket fire continued even after the election during the ensuing weeks of coalition formation. Inevitably an election which might have focused on the future path toward peace, or perhaps the onset of the economic crisis, was dominated by traditional concerns about security. The outcome enabled both the centrist Kadima party leader and outgoing foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, and the standard bearer of the right, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu, to claim victory. Kadima won the most seats in the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, while the political right as a whole emerged with the best chance of forming the next governing coalition.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Israel
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Comparative Connections
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In contrast to the hectic third quarter of the Beijing Olympics and South Ossetia, the last quarter of 2008 was calmer for Russia and China. Their bilateral relations, nonetheless, seemed to become more substantive. The 13th annual Prime Ministerial Meeting in Moscow in late October and the 13th session of the Russian-Chinese Intergovernmental Commission on Military-Technical Cooperation in Moscow in early December provided some fresh impetus for the impasse in two important areas of bilateral relations: the long-awaited oil pipeline to China and military relations. Separately, the quarter also witnessed the final, albeit low-key, ceremony for settling the last territorial issue when Russia officially transferred to China control of one and a half islands of the disputed territory near Khabarovsk. However, the world around Russia and China was in turmoil not only because of the financial tsunami that was leaving no nation behind, but also because of regional crises between India and Pakistan as well as Israel and Palestine, and the stagnation in the Korea denuclearization process.
  • Topic: International Relations, Government
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Russia, United States, China, India, Israel, Beijing, Palestine, South Ossetia