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  • Author: Shadi Hamid, Peter Mandaville
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It has been all too common to criticize the Obama administration for a lack of strategic vision in responding to the Arab uprisings. While such criticism may be valid, it is time to move beyond critique and articulate not just a bold vision, but one that policymakers can realistically implement within very real economic and political constraints. During the remainder of its second term, the Obama administration has an opportunity to rethink some of the flawed assumptions that guided its Middle East policy before the Arab Spring—and still guide it today. Chief among these is the idea that the United States can afford to continue turning a blind eye to the internal politics of Arab countries so long as local regimes look out for a narrow set of regional security interests. With so much policy bandwidth focused on putting out fires, the United States has neglected the important task of thinking about its longer term engagement in the region. Crisis management is the most immediate concern for policymakers, but it's not necessarily the most important.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Libya, Syria, Egypt
  • Author: Esther D. Brimmer
  • Publication Date: 09-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Will aspiring liberal democracies help maintain the current liberal international order? This current order rests on promoting and maintaining five pillars: peace and security; the market economy, especially international trade and investment; human rights and humanitarian action; sustainable development; and global spaces. Each of these areas is large and complex, and the emergence of new powers is likely to alter that system but not destabilize it.
  • Topic: International Trade and Finance
  • Political Geography: Africa, Middle East, Brazil, Caribbean
  • 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: Andrew Shearer, Michael J. Green
  • Publication Date: 03-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the past few years, the Indian Ocean has emerged as a major center of geostrategic interest. The Pentagon's 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) set the tone by calling for a more “integrated approach to the region across military and civilian organizations” and asking the rest of the U.S. government for an assessment of “U.S. national interests, objectives and force posture implications,” which the National Security Council is now undertaking in preparation for the next National Security Strategy report, expected in 2012. Key U.S. allies have also elevated the Indian Ocean in their strategic planning documents. Australia's 2009 Defence White Paper, for example, noted that “over the period to 2030, the Indian Ocean will join the Pacific Ocean in terms of its centrality to our maritime strategy and defence planning.” Japan's 2011 National Defense Policy Guidelines stipulated that “Japan will enhance cooperation with India and other countries that share common interests in ensuring the security of maritime navigation from Africa and the Middle East to East Asia.”
  • Topic: International Security
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, India, East Asia, Australia
  • 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: Harsh V. Pant
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the last few years, India's policy toward the Middle East has often been viewed through the prism of Indian—Iranian relations. The international community, and the West in particular, has been obsessed with New Delhi's ties to Tehran, which are actually largely underdeveloped, while missing India's much more substantive simultaneous engagement with Arab Gulf states and Israel. India's relationship with the Middle East as a region is dramatically different than a generation ago. From 1947—1986, as at least one academic has argued, India was too ideological toward the region, paying insufficient attention to Indian national interests, particularly in its subdued ties with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Israel.1 Today, however, India is developing its new Middle Eastern strategy around these three states, with New Delhi recently taking special care to nurture all these relationships and pursue its substantial regional interests.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, India, New Delhi, Arabia
  • Author: William J. Lynn, III
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: As disaster struck Japan and revolution swept the Middle East, Americans once again watched events unfold in real time, through a network of satellites in space that have revolutionized the dissemination of information and changed how we live. For decades, we have taken this network, and the operational environment of space which supports it, for granted. But quietly, almost imperceptibly, revolutions of a less visible kind have been unfolding above us in space itself. Over the Middle East, censorship imposed by autocratic states has for the first time extended into the upper reaches of the atmosphere. The satellite-based telecommunications services of Thuraya—a regional satellite phone provider—have been disrupted, and the satellite broadcasts of Al Jazeera, the Voice of America, and the BBC rendered unintelligible. Libya and Iran are the primary offenders, but even less technologically developed countries such as Ethiopia have employed jamming technologies for political purposes.
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East
  • Author: Juan C. Zarate, David A. Gordon
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the summer of 2005, Ayman al-Zawahiri, then-Osama bin Laden's Egyptian deputy, began a direct debate with the United States about the nature of reform of the Middle East. With an assault rifle in the background, al-Qaeda's number two argued that reform must be based on Shari'a and was impossible so long as “our countries are occupied by the Crusader forces” and “our governments are controlled by the American embassies.” The only alternative was “fighting for the sake of God.” Zawahiri concluded that “demonstrations and speaking out in the streets” would not be sufficient.
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Egypt
  • Author: Mina Al-Oraibi, Gerard Russell
  • Publication Date: 06-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: “We are in an information war...and we are losing” declared U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, describing U.S. efforts to counter extremists and engage Arab publics during this year's unprecedented and historic change in the Middle East. She is right. In the decade since 9/11, thousands of American lives and more than a trillion dollars have been spent on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, while millions of dollars have been spent on public diplomacy programs aimed at the Arab world. In 2009, President Barack Obama delivered a landmark speech in Cairo designed to seek “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” Two years on, according to the latest polling data in Egypt, unfavorable views of the United States outnumber favorable ones by nearly four to one. With some exceptions, the United States likewise remains unpopular in most majority-Muslim countries from Morocco to Pakistan. Why? And what can be done about it?
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Ray Takeyh, Kenneth M. Pollack
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: It is natural for monumental events to drown out all other issues, and what has transpired in the Middle East these past months has been nothing short of stunning. The region's dramatic, wonderful, dangerous upheaval has fixed the attention of the world. As such, it is easy to have missed the recent developments both in Iran as well as between Iran and the international community. Although far less dramatic and far less hopeful they have the potential to be no less meaningful for the Middle East and the United States.
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East
  • Author: Jon B. Alterman
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Judging by the popular press, in January 2011 Twitter and Facebook went from being simply engaging social diversions to become engines of political change that upended decades of Arab authoritarianism. It is tempting to be swept away by this narrative, which suggests that social media prompted hundreds of thousands, and then millions, of Tunisians and Egyptians to pour into the streets and peacefully demand change. Brittle authoritarian regimes had little choice but to comply, and in this way, social media irrevocably changed the future of the Middle East. Following the logic to its conclusion, it would suggest that the Middle East is on the brink of a period of democratic consolidation, as the ideals and tools of revolutionaries lead the region forward into a period of anti-sectarianism, liberalism, and hope.
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Dalia Dassa Kaye, Frederic M. Wehrey
  • Publication Date: 07-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: One of the most significant effects of the Iraq war is Iran's seemingly unprecedented influence and freedom of action in regional affairs, presenting new strategic challenges for the United States and its regional allies. Although Middle Eastern governments and the United States are in general agreement about diagnosing Tehran's activism as the war's most alarming consequence, they disagree on how to respond. The conventional U.S. view suggests that a new Arab consensus has been prompted to neutralize and counter Tehran's rising influence across the region in Gaza, the Gulf, Iraq, and Lebanon. Parallels to Cold War containment are clear. Indeed, whether consciously or unwittingly, U.S. policy has been replicating features of the Cold War model by trying to build a ''moderate'' Sunni Arab front to bolster U.S. efforts to counter Iranian influence. Despite signals that the Obama administration intends to expand U.S. engagement with Iran, the foundations of containment are deeply rooted and engender bipartisan backing from Congress. Even if the Obama administration desires to shift U.S. policy toward Iran, containment policies will be difficult to overturn quickly; if engagement with Iran fails, reliance on containment will only increase.
  • Topic: Cold War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Tehran, Arabia, Gaza, Lebanon