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  • Author: Raymond Tanter
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: King Abdullah of Jordan's visit to Washington tomorrow offers the Bush administration an opportunity to clarify the relationship between regime change in Baghdad and progress in the Israel-Palestinian arena. Last Monday, the king told British prime minister Tony Blair that in light of the failure to move the peace process forward, military action against Iraq would open a Pandora's box.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Ely Karmon
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Hizballah has not yet been made a clear target of America's war on terrorism. Recently, the organization has been taking advantage of the political space granted to it by this fact in order to frustrate both the war on terrorism and any plans for a campaign against Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Just short of four years since Crown Prince Abdullah, while on a trip to Washington, met leaders of U.S. energy companies to discuss cooperation efforts, negotiations to secure $25 billion of investment for Saudi gas projects have broken down. A policy that should have cemented the energy-supply facet of Washington's sixty-year friendship with Riyadh is in tatters, alongside the diplomatic and military relationships, themselves frayed by a purported lack of Saudi cooperation since the September 11 attacks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 19 — less than a month after President George W. Bush's call for Palestinian reform and just two days after the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades' latest terrorist attack — the State Department released its latest Palestine Liberation Organization Commitments Compliance Act (PLOCCA) report. This new report is a mixture of increased truth telling (the good), old formulations (the bad), and irrelevant standards for what constitutes supporting terrorism (the ugly). In total, despite the improvement over past PLOCCA reports, the current report undercuts the Bush administration's nascent policy of pushing the peace process forward by demanding the establishment of consequences for noncompliance with peace commitments.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Helena Kane Finn
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The speech delivered by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz at the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) in Istanbul on July 14 was a detailed, comprehensive statement of U.S. policy on Turkey. In the clearest expression of U.S. policy on Turkish-Iraqi relations to date, Wolfowitz observed that "it is vital to Turkey for the people of Iraq to govern themselves democratically, with full respect for the rights of minorities, including the Turcomans, and to maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq." Yet, how will current Turkish crises affect the prospects for U.S.-Turkish cooperation on Iraq?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Following preparatory meetings on Palestinian reform between Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Cheney and European officials, the Quartet (the United States, the European Union [EU], the UN, and Russia) met this week in New York. The Quartet established an International Task Force on Palestinian Reform with seven subcommittees, which are to meet quarterly. As talks about Palestinian political reform progress, the donors intend to find an acceptable means enabling the group to begin disbursing $1.2 billion in donor funds to the Palestinians.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations, Reform
  • Political Geography: New York, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Earlier this month, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) published the Arab Human Development Report 2002, a critical look at development in the Arab world. Written by Arab scholars, it attempts to explain why Arab societies lag behind much of the rest of the world in key areas of economic, political, and social progress. The report has been hailed for the honesty of its conclusions, which assert that the Arab world has deficits in three areas: freedom, knowledge, and the participation of women in economic, professional, and political activities. Moreover, the details and methodology of the study itself offer further, perhaps unintended insights.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the most significant Bush administration pronouncement on Arab-Israeli issues since President George W. Bush's landmark June 24 speech, Secretary of State Colin Powell joined with leaders from the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), and Russia in issuing a "joint statement" on Middle East policy in New York yesterday. In characterizing the meeting of "Quartet" diplomats that produced the statement, much of today's media reportage highlighted the contrast between Secretary Powell's fealty to the president's security-first approach and the preference of the other Quartet members for pursuing security, political, and humanitarian objectives simultaneously. Yet, a close reading of the Quartet's statement shows a different trend — namely, a disquieting resurrection of pre-June 24 prescriptions for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, as well as acquiescence by U.S. participants in subtle yet meaningful backtracking in key areas of policy.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, New York, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Thomas G. McInerney
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In his June 1 West Point address, President George W. Bush announced a policy of using preemption against countries that support terrorism and can deliver weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The preeminent such case in the world is the government of Iraqi president Saddam Husayn. The United States can no longer tolerate that regime and must take action in order to succeed in its broader war on terrorism. A U.S. campaign against Iraq should have four objectives: 1) remove Saddam Husayn and his supporters from power, 2) install an Iraqi government based on democratic principles, 3) rebuild the Iraqi economy, and 4) eliminate Iraq's WMD.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 24, 2002, President George W. Bush stated, "Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership, so that a Palestinian state can be born." His speech elicited initial favorable reaction from Arab governments, which has evolved amid negative Arab media response.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Helena Kane Finn
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Simmering political problems in Turkey reached a boil following the resignation of the deputy prime minister this week, throwing into doubt both the health of the Ecevit government and Turkey's critical negotiations with the European Union (EU). The current situation, which is fluid and unpredictable, will also have ramifications for Turkey's role in U.S. efforts regarding Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Phillip Gibbons
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since 1991, the United States has averaged over 34,000 military sorties per year in support of no-fly zone operations in Iraq. One might ask, to what effect?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Over the course of a few days at the end of May, Iran conducted a missile test; Pakistan conducted three such tests; and Israel launched a reconnaissance satellite. Each of these instances serve as proof, if any were needed, that missiles are becoming an important part of the military scene in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. The question for Washington is how the growing sophistication of Middle East/Southwest Asian missiles will affect the stability of this volatile region.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Middle East, Israel, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Malik Mufti
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since October 1998, Turkey has moved from the brink of war with Syria to the brink of signing a military cooperation agreement: Syrian chief of staff Gen. Hassan al-Turkomani will pay an official visit to Turkey on June 19, the first such visit by a Syrian chief of staff. The changes that have occurred in the Turkish-Syrian relationship are illustrative of the volatility of Turkey's general Middle East policy during the last decade.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Josef Joffe, R. James Woolsey
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although the current campaign against terrorism is just unfolding, America has actually been in the middle of a new "World War" of sorts for some time. In order to understand this war, one must answer three crucial questions: 1) With whom is the United States at war? 2) Why is America at war with these particular adversaries? 3) How should the United States conduct this war, both at home and abroad?
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 22, 2002, Iranians demonstrated in the heart of Tehran, chanting antigovernment slogans. Riot police clashed with protestors on Vali Asr Avenue, the city's main thoroughfare. The protest came five days after security services sealed off the streets leading to Arak University, where student protestors had barricaded themselves. On May 1, numerous student and trade groups also protested around the country. The increasing frequency of public demonstrations is evidence of the growing discontent among Iranians over both a souring economy and President Muhammad Khatami's failure to fulfill his campaign promises.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Tehran, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As President George W. Bush completes his latest European trip — one highlighted by a symbolic Memorial Day speech in Normandy that underscored the link between America's past wars and the current war on terror — his European Union (EU) hosts have begun to implement a policy on terrorism that is fundamentally at odds with the "Bush Doctrine": namely, that those who support, fund, or abet terror are terrorists themselves.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The 2001 edition of Patterns of Global Terrorism, the U.S. government's preeminent annual accounting of international terrorism, is slated for release tomorrow, a few weeks later than its usual April unveiling. The delay is presumably the result of the sharp rise in international terror activity in 2001. The report is said to be twice the usual length, including an overview of a U.S.-proposed global framework for countering terrorism. Key to judging the report, however, will be its treatment of terrorism writ large, including the controversial issues of Palestinian terrorism and state sponsors.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ray Takeyh, Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Near the end of the Clinton administration, some analysts expressed a degree of hope that Iran's reform movement would inject some measure of pragmatism into Iranian foreign policy. That hope seems to have faded. The Bush administration has established terrorism and proliferation — two areas in which Iran has been particularly active — as top-priority issues, while the previous administration predicated its policy on certain developments within Iran. The parameters for evaluating Iranian foreign policy and U.S.-Iran relations have changed, particularly on the issue of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Charlotte Beers
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The United States is viewed with suspicion by much of the rest of the world, and its motives are consistently questioned for several reasons. This reality can be addressed through actionable goals. First, the United States is perceived as being too big, a hyper power whose global reach is threatening. Second, dialogue with the Middle East is almost nonexistent, and when it does occur, the fundamental concepts underpinning American democracy, such as the rule of law, are often misunderstood and need to be explained. Third, American studies programs, which could be used to bridge the understanding and dialogue gap, are now nonexistent at Middle Eastern universities. Finally, the United States has a very small share in the kind of debate that takes place in the new global village, where communication is nearly instantaneous and a rumor sent via email can reach half the world's population by the end of a business day. In particular, the inaccurate perception that, post-September 11, the United States is waging a war against Islam both at home and abroad has been widespread.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Within the last month, the remaining members of al-Qaeda have begun to issue new electronic pamphlets through the websites of their supporters under the name of "Qaedat al-Jihad" (base of jihad). Usage of the internet by radical Islamists is not unprecedented, but after al-Qaeda's defeat in Afghanistan, it has become a vital modus operandi. This trend has also led to the establishment of dozens of websites by radical Saudi, Egyptian, and Palestinian scholars that grant Islamic legitimacy to al-Qaeda's cause.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 29, President George W. Bush caused considerable consternation among foreign policy analysts by referring to an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address. The analysts worried that the president's castigation of Iran would embolden hardliners who routinely exploit external threats as a means of deflecting attention from their sagging political fortunes. The concern was that, in addition to hurting Iran's reform movement, the president's speech would lead to a more aggressive Iranian foreign policy, ending the modest gains toward U.S.-Iranian rapprochement that were achieved in the last years of the Clinton administration.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Thoraya Obaid
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: There is no doubt that demographics and population are linked to political stability. Although water and food resources are topics of great concern in the Middle East, there is another vital resource that deserves attention: young people. Today, growing unrest and perceptions of inequality and injustice pervade the region. Although suicide bombers currently claim the world's attention, another very serious phenomenon demands similar attention: the radicalization of Middle Eastern youths. When chronic poverty is combined with feelings of injustice or neglect and a lack of legitimate means to address problems, a path is paved for extremism.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Simon Henderson, Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: After declining at least two earlier invitations since January 2001, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is due to meet President George W. Bush for the first time this Thursday. The de facto leader of America's leading oil supplier (his elder half-brother, King Fahd, is ailing) had previously snubbed Washington's efforts, ostensibly angry over the president's reluctance to become involved in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. In addition to the current crisis, the lunchtime talks at President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, are expected to cover a complete range of issues including the involvement of Saudis in the events of September 11 and extension of the war against terrorism to Saddam Husayn.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Secretary of State Colin Powell and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon exchanged warm words regarding the U.S.-Israel relationship at a press conference on April 12, but underneath that they presented two distinct approaches to stopping the current violence in the region. Sharon emphasized that Israel is conducting a war on terror, stressing that completing the ongoing military operation is of the utmost importance. Powell was sympathetic to Israel's need to defend itself, but he emphasized finding a political answer to the conflict, one tied to a timetable for ending Israeli military operations.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Helena Kane Finn
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The day after a devastating suicide attack on the Israeli town of Netanya killed some twenty people celebrating the Passover Seder, Maria Rosa Menocal published an op-ed in the New York Times entitled "A Golden Age of Tolerance." In it, she reminded readers that "a thousand years ago on the Iberian Peninsula, an enlightened vision of Islam had created the most advanced culture in Europe. . . . [W]hat strikes us today about Al Andalus is that it was a chapter of European history during which Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived side by side, and despite intractable differences and enduring hostilities, nourished a culture of tolerance."
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: New York, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The best way to view the current situation is by recognizing that there are actually six wars going on simultaneously: 1) the Israeli-Palestinian war; 2) the war against terror; 3) the war against Saddam Husayn and the axis of evil; 4) the war within the Arab world between rulers and ruled; 5) the war among Israelis to determine Israel's future and a long-term strategy; and 6) the war for the heart and soul of the Bush administration's Middle East policy. These wars overlap, intersect, and converge, but they are not the same. One affects the other, usually in negative ways.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Amatzia Baram
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Among the many advantages of an Iraq without Saddam Husayn, the first clear one is the removal of an unacceptable threat to the Iraqi people. Saddam has shown that he is prepared to put the nation and the region as a whole at risk. At the very least, an Iraq without his regime would be much more friendly to America, and — given Iraqi oil reserves — could even lessen American dependence on Saudi oil.
  • Topic: Security, Oil, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ellen Laipson, Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the year 1000, the Middle East had a population of approximately 30 million people, and it remained around that level until 1800. Between 1800 and 1900, however, the figure grew by 75 percent, and then by another 565 percent during the twentieth century, bringing the population to 386 million, or nearly thirteen times its historically stable level. But this increase is coming to an end. In the year 2050, the population will be less than twice what it was in the year 2000, and it will stop increasing entirely by the late twenty-first century, when it will reach its maximum of approximately twice the level it was in the year 2000. In other words, the population increase over one thousand years is essentially concentrated in a 150-year period between 1875 and 2025. This anomalous period of population growth has been a time of tremendous social, political, and economic turmoil.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Paul Wolfowitz
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: "It is the great good fortune of the United States to have in Turkey a friend and ally that has stood with us through war and peace, going back to the days of the Korean War. That is where American troops got their first look at Turkish courage — a fighting spirit and self-reliance that is also legendary in the annals of history. . . .
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Tomorrow's conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna comes at a time when higher oil prices have been reflected in increased gasoline prices over the last two months. Indeed, further price hikes are possible, particularly as talk of war with Iraq has strengthened the futures market in recent days. Presently, the cartel influences rather than controls the world price of oil and, unlike in 1973, sees its role as maintaining supply. Last May, in the National Energy Review (NER), the Bush administration appeared unwilling to criticize the production policies of OPEC, which is dominated by Middle Eastern states. How has this view been affected by the events of September 11? Furthermore, how might OPEC respond as the Bush administration pursues the war on terrorism and confronts the "axis of evil," which includes two OPEC members — Iran and Iraq?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Six months after the September 2001 attacks, U.S. focus remains fixed on taking the war to the terrorists. There are a variety of roles along a spectrum of cooperation to be played by countries throughout the world, from military operations to freezing terrorists' assets and sharing intelligence.
  • Topic: Security, Intelligence, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: While publicly stressing Saudi Arabia's cooperation and shared concern regarding terrorist financing, U.S. treasury secretary Paul O'Neill held private consultations this past week in Riyadh with Saudi officials and businessmen regarding specific Saudi organizations and individuals suspected of financing terrorist activities. Promising to find clear-cut cases, O'Neill reassured his hosts that the United States is both fine-tuning the procedure of targeting charitable institutions and fast-tracking the processing of individuals and institutions already placed on terrorism lists and subject to financial blocking orders.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson, Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Neither Prime Minister Ariel Sharon nor Chairman Yasir Arafat could have foreseen a year ago what is happening today — namely, an escalating spiral of terror and reprisal. Sharon believed that by insisting on "no negotiations under fire" and increasing pressure on the Palestinians, he could stabilize the situation. By sending his son to meet with Arafat, he also sought to convey that he would indeed negotiate once the violence stopped. Arafat believed that fissures would grow within Israeli society, or that a worsening of the situation would bring international intervention that either imposed a solution or enabled him to maneuver more freely. Neither leader got what he had hoped for.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Jean-Louis Sarbib
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Even prior to September 11, the World Bank emphasized the links between economic development, hopelessness, acts of desperation, and terrorism. To be sure, there is no one-to-one connection between poverty and terrorism, but surely poverty feeds hopelessness, which then creates an enabling environment for terrorism. Living in a society with such despair, terrorists can perceive and present themselves as champions of the poor. The acts that were perpetrated on September 11 proved that building a wall around the prosperity of a particular region of the world simply does not work. The world is truly globalized and unified; events and problems know no borders.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Amy W. Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On March 6, Lorne W. Craner, assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, will testify before Congress on the State Department's just-released "2001 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" covering 195 countries. How the reports characterize human rights and influence U.S. policy in the Arab world is especially important this year. Traditionally, human rights have not figured prominently in U.S. policy toward the region. However, some U.S. officials have recently alluded to the promotion of "freedom" in the Middle East as part of the war against terrorism. Most notable were President George W. Bush's State of the Union remarks that "America will always stand firm for the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women, private property, free speech, equal justice, and religious tolerance."
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet testified before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on February 6 that Iran continues to be "the foremost state sponsor of terrorism." Citing its attempt to transfer offensive arms to the Palestinian Authority (PA) aboard the Karine-A smuggling ship, Tenet said that there has been "little sign of a reduction in Iran's support for terrorism in the past year."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 17, Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia was quoted by New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman as saying that he had drafted a speech ready for delivery before next month's Arab summit, offering the "idea" of "full normalization of relations" with Israel in exchange for "full withdrawal from all the occupied territory, in accordance with U.N. resolutions, including in Jerusalem." As Friedman's column was headlined, this was an "intriguing signal" from the Saudi heir. Is it an important one, too?
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: New York, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Helena Kane Finn
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The U.S.-Turkish military strategic relationship has been a strong one historically, based on the loyalty of Turkey — a staunch NATO ally — over the past half century. As a result of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to Washington in January, business contacts between the United States and Turkey have intensified, adding a new and very significant dimension to the relationship. Perhaps the most concrete result of the meeting between President George W. Bush and the Turkish prime minister is the State Department's creation of the Economic Partnership Commission (EPC), scheduled to hold its first meeting in Ankara on February 26-27. State Department undersecretary for economic affairs Alan Larson will lead the U.S. delegation.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Raymond Tanter
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush's reference to an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address accurately captures the ties among Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. The president also usefully highlighted the overlap between proliferation and terrorism. In the end, there are more benefits than costs in using such confrontational language.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North Korea, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 31, following President George Bush's State of the Union condemnation of the "axis of evil," National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice explained, "Iran's direct support of regional and global terrorism, and its aggressive efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, belie any good intentions it displayed in the days after the world's worst terrorist attacks in history." How accurate is this characterization?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In his January 29 State of the Union address, President George Bush criticized Iran as one of three states (the other two being Iraq and North Korea) forming an 'axis of evil' and castigated its "unelected leaders" for denying the will of the majority. Indeed, the perennial conflict between Tehran's political factions seems to have escalated, deepening the stalemate that has essentially paralyzed its governing system. The durability of the Islamic Republic has always stemmed from its flexibility and capacity to absorb change. Since the election of Muhammad Khatami in 1997, however, the popular demand for change is outstripping the system's accommodative capabilities. The youths' demands for employment and cultural freedom, the middle class's quest for representation, and the women's clamor for social emancipation are creating tensions and pressures that threaten the foundations of the Islamic Republic.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, North Korea, Arabia
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 20-21, an interfaith summit of Muslim, Christian, and Israeli Jewish leaders convened in Alexandria, Egypt, after several years of effort and planning. The meeting did not draw much attention in the Egyptian or Palestinian media — only in the Israeli media — but it deserves attention, if not for the religious dimension, then at least for the political.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Michael E. Mandelbaum, Robert Hunter, William Kristol
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Cold War, certain regions of the world (e.g., Western Europe, Northeast Asia, the Western hemisphere) are both important to the United States and, for the moment, relatively stable. Several other regions (e.g., sub-Saharan Africa, former Soviet Central Asia) are unstable but not as important. The Middle East is the only region that boasts the unhappy combination of being both important and unstable.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With its longstanding support for terrorism, both pre- and post-September 11, Syria poses a unique challenge to U.S. antiterror strategy. Unlike Iran — whose leaders orchestrate public chants of "Death to America, death to Israel" and thereby provide rhetorical context to their sponsorship of terrorism — Damascus proclaims its desire for warm ties with the United States and its commitment to a "comprehensive" peace with Israel. Specifically, Syria has benefited from its role in the Arab-Israeli peace process and its suzerainty over Lebanon. These factors have for years combined to provide Syria with a measure of protection against U.S. (and Israeli) antiterror initiatives.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the Bush administration surveys options for the next phases in the war on terrorism, scant attention has been focused on Syria — despite the fact that Dr. Bashar al-Asad's regime has been among the world's most active supporters of terrorism, even after September 11.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Hans Blix
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since September 11, there has been increased concern about terrorists using weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It is thus natural to return to the issue of Iraq, a country that has used chemical agents against Iran and its own citizens. Indeed, Iraq violated the Non-Proliferation Treaty before 1990 and, prior to the Gulf War, was estimated to be a year away from developing workable nuclear weapons.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Revelations of Iranian-Palestinian collusion to smuggle fifty tons of weapons into the hands of Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA) through the offices of Hizballah have profound strategic implications for the Middle East. For the Bush administration, responding appropriately to the Karine-A episode may have unpleasant repercussions for relations with key Arab states. However, failing to deal forthrightly with the shift in the region's tectonic plates represented by the smuggling affair is a self-defeating exercise in delusion.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Mark Parris
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Visits by Turkish prime ministers to Washington have tended in years past to be low-profile events. With imagination and boldness on the American side, the January 16 meeting between President George W. Bush and Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit has the potential to be a watershed in a relationship that will affect vital U.S. interests well into the new century.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson, Amy W. Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a brief January 3 statement, the White House announced that Egypt is receiving $959 million in accelerated economic aid, the bulk of which was evidently disbursed in the closing days of 2001. While an important sign of continued U.S. support for the Hosni Mubarak government, this sudden and massive windfall has the potential for weakening U.S. leverage in convincing Egypt to pursue additional (and much needed) economic reforms. Additionally, it is certain to be viewed in Cairo as a signal that the United States is fully satisfied with Egypt's post-September 11 contribution to the war against terrorism.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt