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  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a dramatic session yesterday, the Turkish parliament convened to consider a motion sent by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which had requested that a large U.S. force be permitted to use Turkish soil as a staging ground for a possible campaign in Iraq. The legislature refused to authorize the motion, however, blocking the creation of a northern front in the looming war. Of the 533 deputies in session, 264 voted for the motion, 250 voted against it, and 19 abstained, bringing the motion only three votes shy of the majority required by the constitution. AKP assurances that only 30 to 40 of its delegates would object to the motion crashed to a halt over the course of the session, with 99 of the party's deputies voting nay. Although the democratic will of the Turkish parliament should be respected, the fact remains that the AKP government failed to pass its agenda through the legislature. Some analysts argue that this spells trouble for both Turkey and AKP, with others speculating that U.S.-Turkish relations are now at a historical threshold.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay, Mark Parris
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Turkey's parliament will soon vote on whether to allow U.S. forces to use Turkish soil as a staging ground for a possible war with Iraq. Since Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz's trip to Ankara in early December 2002, Turkey and the United States have engaged in a protracted dialogue about Ankara's stance toward potential U.S. military action. Why has Turkey been hesitant to support Washington's plans, and how might such vacillation affect the U.S.-Turkish strategic alliance in the future?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As war with Iraq looms closer, postwar questions are receiving increasing attention. Senior defense officials have been addressing such issues frequently, and the White House held a press briefing yesterday on "Humanitarian Reconstruction" in Iraq. One of these issues concerns individuals who have been complicit in the crimes of Saddam Husayn's regime. According to the Washington Post, the United States intends to conduct a "de-Baathification" program in Iraq similar in some ways to the "de-Nazification" program conducted in Germany in the wake of World War II. Although the details of this program are still to be worked out, the Post indicated that complicity in "human rights and weapons abuses" would be key criteria in determining which Iraqi officials would be permitted to keep their jobs.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Germany
  • Author: Yoram Yoffe
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In recent weeks, Syria has begun to alter its military tactics in Lebanon as a direct consequence of U.S. policy toward Iraq. Even without U.S. forces firing a shot against Saddam Husayn, leaders throughout the Middle East have already begun to position themselves for an eventual U.S.-led victory and the reverberations to follow.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Richard Speier
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A dispute is rapidly growing between UN inspectors and Baghdad concerning Iraq's stockpile of al-Samoud missiles. The UN is expected to order the destruction of these missiles today. According to Hans Blix, executive chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission, the fact that these missiles are capable of attaining a range 22 percent greater than that allowed under UN restrictions is a "prima facie" case for their proscription. Yet, Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz has said, "There is no serious violation," and it is unclear whether Baghdad would obey a destruction order. Understanding the significance of the al-Samoud requires a closer look at the missile's developmental history, technical capabilities, and strategic purpose.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: Ladan Boroumand
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: For many years, Western democracies have been pessimistic about the possibility of Iran becoming a secular democracy. Thus, Western policy toward Iran has long been characterized by a series of hesitant, inconsistent, and ad hoc decisions aimed at countering Iranian-sponsored terrorism, coupled with a relative lack of concern about the tyrannical nature of the Iranian regime. This unfounded pessimism is predicated on a profound misreading of the Islamic Republic as a traditional religious government rather than a revolutionary regime.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Osama el-Baz
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: U.S.-Egyptian relations always have been a critical aspect of American involvement in the Middle East. Although Washington and Cairo have disagreed on certain issues, they have nevertheless maintained a significant partnership. As regional tensions mount amid the possibility of war with Iraq and continued violence on the Israeli-Palestinian front, it is important to take a fresh look at this partnership. Recently, the Egyptian government has conveyed its concerns to the United States on two major issues: the potential for war in Iraq and Washington's role in attaining Arab-Israeli peace.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Washington, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt, Cairo
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Following Secretary of State Colin Powell's February 6 address to the United Nations Security Council, some questioned his description of the "sinister nexus between Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist network." In fact, the relationship between Baghdad and terrorism mirrors the way in which today's international terrorist groups function: not as tightly structured hierarchies, but rather as shadowy networks that, when necessary, strike ad hoc tactical alliances bridging religious and ideological schisms. Osama bin Laden's recent call on Muslims to come to Iraq's defense, even as he derided the "infidel" regime in Baghdad, is a case in point.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: Bassem Awadallah
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Jordan has always been regarded as a buffer state, wedged between turmoil to its east in Iraq and to its west in Israel and the West Bank. While those neighbors have faced turbulence in recent years, Jordan has enjoyed three years of substantial economic growth. Indeed, Jordan provides a positive example of what reform can accomplish in the Arab world.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Jordan
  • Author: Merissa Khurma
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Planning to target the English-speaking market for the first time in its history, the popular twenty-four-hour Arabic television news network al-Jazeera is working to launch a new English-language website sometime this spring. Upon its launch, the site will reach a new and diverse audience beyond the borders of the Arabic-speaking world. The Christian Science Monitor has even reported that this might be a first step toward the creation of an English-language television channel designed to broadcast controversial news programming in the United States "by satellite and cable."
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the United States looks to disarm Iraq and to defuse or defer a nuclear crisis with North Korea, another nuclear crisis -- with Iran -- looms on the horizon. U.S. policymakers could face critical decisions this year regarding Iran's nuclear program as the Bushehr reactor approaches completion, as Iran's efforts to produce fissile material progress, and, most alarming, as North Korea appears poised to become a significant producer -- and perhaps supplier -- of fissile material.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, North Korea, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson, Michael Eisenstadt, David Kay, Philip Gordon
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 27, Hans Blix, director of the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), delivered a straightforward report to the Security Council regarding Iraqi compliance with arms resolutions. Twelve years after taking up the obligation to disarm under UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 687, Baghdad still does not genuinely believe that it needs to disarm. Hence, asserting that inspections will work if given time is rather naive. Many in Europe have made this very argument, claiming that the Blix report is just the beginning of a long-term process. Yet, the mission of the inspectors under UNSCR 1441 (passed in November 2002) is to confirm that Iraq has made the decision to disarm and to verify that disarmament has in fact taken place; the Blix report shows that neither of these criteria has been met.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Shafeeq Ghabra
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Regime change in Baghdad could do more than make Iraq a positive force in the Middle East instead of a source of trouble; it could also give a strong boost to liberalizing trends throughout the Middle East. Therefore, a war to topple Saddam Husayn's regime would create both opportunities and dangers for the region.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 25, Secretary of State Colin Powell met Turkish prime minister Abdullah Gul and the chair of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), Tayyip Erdogan, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Powell's meeting -- which followed a January 19 visit to Turkey by General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a December 6 visit by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz -- was aimed at persuading Ankara to allow American troops entry into Turkey in order to prepare a northern front against Iraq. After nearly two months of negotiations, the Turkish government still appears undecided on this issue. Why are the Turks hesitant to cooperate with U.S. military plans, and how can Washington overcome Ankara's indecision? Recent developments in Turkey may help answer both of these questions.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Switzerland
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week, the Saudi government published what it described as a "Charter to Reform the Arab Stand," a document intended for endorsement at the next summit of Arab leaders, due to be held in Bahrain in March. Addressed to Arab kings and presidents, the charter calls for more internal reforms and "categorically reject[s] any illegal external aggression against any Arab state."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Reform
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Bahrain
  • Author: Max Abrahms
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This week, hundreds of U.S. soldiers will participate in Juniper Cobra, a joint exercise with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to test the interoperability of U.S. Patriot and Israeli Arrow antiballistic missile systems. Such bilateral cooperation, coupled with reports that the Bush administration is considering providing Israel an additional $4 billion in military assistance, suggests that Washington is relying mainly on carrots to discourage an Israeli military response in the event of an Iraqi attack. These moves may explain Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's recent declaration, "We never had such cooperation in everything as we have with the current administration." Yet, precisely what form would this "cooperation" take if Iraq used weapons of mass destruction against Israel or otherwise inflicted mass casualties? Would Washington attempt to shape Israel's retaliatory options as it did during Operation Desert Storm?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff, Dennis Ross, E.J. Dionne, Fred Barnes
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Dilemmas for U.S. Middle East policy will arise in the immediate post-Saddam aftermath. Foremost will be America's preoccupation with stabilizing Iraq and transforming its new government into a democracy. Vague at present is whether U.S.-led forces will focus on existing institutions (e.g., the Iraqi military) or build new ones to achieve these goals. Such decisions will affect the degree and nature of Iraq's transformation, and the new regime's composition could be significantly different if the United States were to depend on a reformed Iraqi military to promote stability. Moreover, Iraqi transformation corresponds directly to a region-wide transformation, because increased efforts to transform Iraq with a broad-based, representative government will send signals of political reform to Iraq's neighbors. U.S. policy must stand ready to assist other Middle Eastern regimes in their transition to more responsible governments that offer their people hope and the prospect for change.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Kenneth Bell
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In 1996, an off-duty police officer working as a security guard at a cigarette wholesaler in North Carolina noticed young men entering the building with grocery bags full of cash. The men would queue up in the cashier's line with 299 cartons of cigarettes each, while one of them stood at the register and paid cash as the others came through. Next, they would load the cigarettes into minivans and head toward Michigan. At the time, it was against the law to transport more than 300 cartons of cigarettes into another state unless they were marked with the tax stamp of that state. Yet, the smugglers in question took advantage of the fact that neither North Carolina nor Michigan stamped cigarettes to show tax paid. Given the large disparity between North Carolina's cigarette tax (50 cents per carton) and Michigan's ($7.50 per carton), each minivan load had the potential to generate $13,000 worth of profit; indeed, at the height of the operation, three to four minivans were running to Michigan each week.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Arabia, North Carolina
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Ansar al-Islam, an al-Qaeda affiliate active in Iraqi Kurdistan since September 2001, is a prototype of America's enemies in the "war on terror." The group serves as a testament to the global spread of al-Qaeda affiliates, achieved through exploitation of weak central authorities and a utilitarian willingness to work with seemingly differing ideologies for a common cause. Lengthy reports on Ansar have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, and Kurdish leaders have given Washington a plethora of intelligence on the group. Nevertheless, Ansar has yet to appear on official U.S. terrorism lists. Meanwhile, political complexities would make military action against the group difficult, at best. Hence, this small force of 650 fighters is a textbook example of the ongoing challenges posed by the war on terror.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, New York, Washington, Middle East, Arabia, Kurdistan
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On December 11, 2002, the Canadian government banned Hizballah, labeling it a terrorist organization. Strangely, some in Canada are having second thoughts about this measure, likely under the assumption that Hizballah is not a terrorist group but a social and political organization engaged in armed struggle against Israel. Yet, evidence of Hizballah's international activity as a terrorist group of global reach is overwhelming.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Canada, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: At least five terrorist suspects who entered the United States illegally from Canada during the Christmas holidays are now the subjects of an international manhunt. The suspects' international travel was apparently facilitated by Pakistani criminal elements engaged in the production of false documents, including forged visas and passports. The nexus between criminal and terrorist activity is not new. Indeed, international terrorism is facilitated and financed by an array of states, groups, fronts, individuals, businesses, banks, criminal enterprises, and nominally humanitarian organizations. Since the attacks of September 11, experts and decisionmakers have focused much attention on charitable and humanitarian organizations, as well as official and unofficial banking systems in the network of terrorist financing. The political economy of terrorism, however, relies just as heavily on legitimate businesses and, increasingly, criminal activity.
  • Topic: Security, Political Economy, Religion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Europe, Middle East, Taliban, Arab Countries, Syria, North America
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Jeff Cary
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 25, 2003, shortly after the initiation of the Quartet Roadmap to Israeli-Palestinian peace, President George W. Bush urged European Union (EU) leaders to take "swift, decisive action against [Palestinian] terror groups such as Hamas, to cut off their funding and support." Much of the funding received by Hamas's military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, is provided by donations to the organization's social and political activities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week, Hizballah drastically escalated its activity along Israel's northern border, ending seven months of relative calm there. Yet, the assault on Israeli positions in the Shebaa Farms area and the cross-border shelling of northern Israeli towns pale in comparison to the potential danger posed by the terrorist cells and political opposition Hizballah is now operating -- with Iranian funding and oversight -- in the northern West Bank.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Yoram Yoffe, Jason O'Connor
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: After months of restraint following the double shock of U.S. military victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, Hizballah resumed action against Israel today, firing mortal shells and missiles at the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) along the Israel-Lebanon border. Changes in the regional geopolitical environment and recent statements by the organization's leadership suggest that Hizballah may also be preparing to carry out new terror operations, while the killing of a senior Hizballah military official last weekend by a car bomb may have provided the pretext for today's attack. Washington needs to closely follow these developments and engage in preemptive diplomacy to prevent new deterioration in the Arab-Israeli conflict, at a time when there is reason for cautious optimism on the Israeli-Palestinian track.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Dennis Ross, David Makovisky
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 2, 2003, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Ambassador Ross is the director of the Institute. He served as U.S. point person on the Middle East peace process under the first Bush administration and both Clinton administrations. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute and adjunct lecturer of Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Yoram Yoffe
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Many Israelis and Palestinians once again have a sense of hope, following President George W. Bush's meeting with Arab leaders at Sharm al-Shaykh and with Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister Mahmoud Abbas (known as Abu Mazen) in Aqaba. This new hope in both societies poses an existential threat to terrorist organizations operating in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. Once Israel is no longer viewed as an enemy, there is no clear justification for the existence of such organizations. Hence, it should come as no surprise that these organizations are trying to escalate operations against Israel in an attempt to derail any peace initiatives. In the past, suicide operations undertaken by these organizations have been quite successful in achieving this objective; this should not be allowed to happen again.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Shoshanah Haberman
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In recent days, both Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasir Arafat and prime minister Mahmoud Abbas have said they expect an agreement on a Hamas ceasefire (or hudna) to be announced soon. According to Abbas, Hamas -- in Arabic, "the Islamic Resistance Movement" -- "will commit to halting terrorism, both within the green line and in the territories." As longtime Palestinian minister Saeb Erekat explained, Abbas needs a ceasefire agreement to jumpstart negotiations for Palestinian statehood. Abbas, said Erekat, "will insist on this declaration [of a ceasefire] because that's the key . . . for him to go out and tell the Palestinians, 'Look, we've got the Israeli government to recognize the Palestinian state, [so] we need two years in a peaceful, meaningful peace process.'"
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush will be holding three summits next week that will have a strong Middle East orientation. A G-8 summit will followed by a meeting with Arab leaders in Sharm al-Shaykh, Egypt, and a summit of Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Aqaba, Jordan, representing a new phase in the administration's approach to the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israel's cautious approval of the Roadmap opens a new phase in Middle East peacemaking. Although media focus will now turn to the next episode of high-level engagement by President George W. Bush -- perhaps at a Jordan- or Egypt-hosted regional summit in early June -- the real test for Washington and its Quartet colleagues comes in the implementation of the first phase of Roadmap requirements.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent talks in Damascus focused not only on Syrian sponsorship of Palestinian terrorist groups, but also on Syria's increasingly intimate ties with and support for Hizballah. Yet, Syrian support for terrorist groups of global reach does not end with Hizballah. Recently revealed intelligence on al-Qaeda activities in Europe exposed a significant al-Qaeda network in Syria.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Syrian sponsorship of terrorism topped the agenda of Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent trip to Damascus, and his visit was quickly followed by conflicting reports regarding the status of various terrorist headquarters there. The coming weeks will determine whether the Damascus offices of Hizballah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), and other terrorist groups have in fact been shut down, and, far more critically, whether their activities have been curtailed. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Syrian officials continue to describe the Damascus headquarters of these terrorist groups as "media offices." By harboring these groups, Syria is complicit in their terrorist activities, which include inciting, recruiting, training, coordinating, funding, and directing terrorists staging operations from Syria itself and from Syrian-controlled Lebanon.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With last week's formal unveiling of the Roadmap, the Arab-Israeli peace process has moved into a new phase that is its most internationalized in a quarter century. The establishment of the Roadmap's all-important "verification mechanism" -- the structure of which has largely been worked out among the Quartet's U.S., European Union (EU), Russian, and UN representatives -- will give tangible expression to this heightened level of internationalization.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Within hours of Mahmoud Abbas's (Abu Mazen) confirmation as the new Palestinian prime minister and the presentation of the Quartet's roadmap to peace, two suicide bombers struck a seaside bar next to the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, killing three civilians and wounding sixty more. As is frequently the case, authorities investigating the attack are likely to find that the bombers were fed, housed, prepared, armed, and transported to their target by terrorists drawn from the social welfare "wing" of one terrorist group or another. The most critical test facing the nascent Palestinian government is the immediate task of weeding out the logistical support networks that facilitate such attacks under the cover of charitable or humanitarian activities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Addressing the Palestinian Legislative Council Tuesday, new Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister Mahmoud Abbas outlined a bold program of domestic reform and commitment to diplomacy that balanced loyalty to Yasir Arafat with an evident desire for fundamental political change. The speech's most positive aspects were Abbas's affirmation of negotiations as the route to achieve Palestinian aspirations, his assertion of the primacy of the rule of law, and his promise that "the unauthorized possession of firearms . . . will be relentlessly addressed." He hinted at, but was not conclusive on, plans to have paramilitary groups like Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades forcibly disarmed rather than just invited to reach "an internal understanding" on their opposition to a peace strategy. Abbas's ambiguity on whether attacks against Israeli targets inside the West Bank and Gaza constitute terrorism left a serious question mark. An important aspect of his address, overlooked by most observers, was his frequent reference to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), not the PA, as the institution to which he owed first allegiance.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky, Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 28, 2003, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Ambassador Ross is director and Ziegler distinguished fellow at the Institute and former U.S. special Middle East coordinator for the peace process. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute and author of Making Peace with the PLO: The Rabin Government's Road to the Oslo Accord.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presented his new 68-member right-center government to the 120-member Knesset today. The government represents four parties with the following allocation of seats: Likud (40), Shinui (15), National Union (7), and National Religious Party (6). This marks the first Israeli government formed since 1974 that does not include any ultraorthodox participation. Below are the main areas that the government has made its policy guidelines.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As one clock ticks toward a decision on the use of force to disarm Iraq, a second clock clicks toward the formal launching of the "roadmap" for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking drafted by the Quartet (i.e., the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations). Barring some major external development — such as the death or exile of Yasir Arafat, a cataclysmic act of Palestinian terrorism, or an unexpected Israeli-Palestinian initiative — the roadmap process is likely to begin, as President George W. Bush might say, in a matter of weeks, not months.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a recorded statement released this week, Osama bin Laden called on Iraqis to carry out suicide attacks against Americans. Al-Qaeda is not the only terrorist organization to call for such attacks, however; just four days earlier, Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Ahmed Yassin published an open letter calling on Muslims to "threaten Western interests and strike them everywhere" in the event of a "a crusaders' war" against Islam in Iraq. Indeed, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee this week that "the days when we made distinctions between terrorist groups are over." Moreover, in February 2002, Tenet told Congress that if Palestinian groups "feel that U.S. actions are threatening their existence, they may begin targeting Americans directly, as Hizballah's terrorist wing already does." In fact, several Palestinian groups are increasingly inclined to target American interests.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky, Elie Rekhess
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 29, 2003, David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute, an adjunct lecturer on Middle Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, and a contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky, Elie Rekhess
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 24, 2002, Elie Rekhess and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Dr. Rekhess is a senior associate at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University and director of the center's research program on Arab politics in Israel. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute and contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Earlier this week, Israel's Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna announced that he would not look to resume a broad coalition government with the Likud Party following the country's upcoming January 28 election, a crucial decision that dropped Labor from 24 to 20 seats (according to today's Yediot Aharonot poll) and that may have sealed the election for Likud. Mitzna's decision halted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's slide of the last several weeks in the wake of a vote-buying scandal that imperiled his electoral bloc's grip on a Knesset majority.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The slide in the polls of Ariel Sharon's Likud Party over the last six weeks has been rather dramatic, transforming the character of the campaign from an expected Sharon landslide into a closer contest. In Thursday's Yediot Ahronot-Dahaf poll, Likud dropped from 40 to 28 seats in the 120-member Knesset, while Amram Mitzna's Labor Party edged up to 24 seats from 22. Sharon's losses stem directly from the swirl of Likud election corruption allegations, beginning with low-level charges of vote buying — illegal activity that may have helped catapult Sharon's son Omri onto the parliamentary list. The latest charges, denied by Sharon, surround a $1.5 million loan that the prime minister borrowed from a South African businessman friend, Cyril Kern, to pay back illegal campaign contributions in 1999. Sharon still clings to the hope that his denials will halt his party's slide downward, while Mitzna is finding new hope in the prospect that a drop in support for Likud will lead voters to take a second look at his candidacy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Did the U.S. and Russian governments both know that, when Russian commandos stormed Moscow's Dubrovka theater in October of 2002, the Chechen terrorists inside it had already agreed to release several of their hostages, including U.S. citizen Sandy Booker? Booker's fiance, Svetlana Gubareva, says that the answer is Yes. Booker and Gubareva's 13-year-old daughter, Sasha, both died in the tragedy; Gubareva was also taken hostage but survived.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The recent upheavals in the Kremlin, including the resignation of Aleksandr Voloshin as President Vladimir Putinís chief of staff, could portend major changes in the Kremlinís policies on Chechnya. Voloshin was known as a key architect of those policies and especially as a political ally of Akhmad Kadyrov, whose inauguration he attended in person last month. Conversely, the so-called ìsilovikiîó—the hard-liners of the military and secret police establishment, widely seen as the winners in the latest Kremlin faction fightó—have often been hostile to Kadyrov, whom they see as unreliable.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Many of the Chechens who have disappeared in “zachistki” security sweeps are still alive in Russian captivity, in the view of human rights activist Kheda Saratova. The head of the Vozvrashchenie (“Return”) foundation told correspondent Aleksandr Kolesnichenko of Novye izvestia that the organization has assembled more than a thousand individual case files. Vozvrashchenie was created only a month ago in Grozny, for the purpose of finding as many of the kidnapped as possible.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The purging from Chechnya's government structures of sup porters of the main opposition candidates in the recent election has apparently intensified since October 5. Marina Perevozkina of Moskovsky komsomolets reported in an October 21 article on her conversation with Salavat Gebertaev. He is the mayor of Urus-Martan, which lies southwest of Grozny, and was one of the leaders of the movement for the Urus-Martan district to secede from Dudaev's jurisdiction in 1994. Dudaev's army stormed his town four times. When Maskhadov came to power, Gebertaev was sentenced to death and for some time hid abroad; after returning he survived an assassination attempt that he believes was organized by Maskhadov's circle. “It would seem,” suggested Perevozkina, “that Moscow should be relying on precisely such people in Chechnya. But Gebertaev is a relative and friend of Malik Saidullaev [who tried to run for president against Kadyrov]. On top of that, he committed a terrible crime: He received from Saidullaev and distributed some 500 wheelchairs and 2,000 crutches. Because of this the head of the district administration told him on the day after the election: “From now on we will not work with you.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Among the few surprises to come from Chechnya's election day on October 5, so far the most interesting is the revelation that the Russian troops who took part voted overwhelmingly against Akhmad Kadyrov. A respected Moscow journalist, recently returned from Grozny, told Chechnya Weekly on October 14 that some 90 percent of the Russian troops who cast ballots chose the option (not available in American elections) of voting “against all” of the candidates. The journalist said that the servicemen must have done this under the direction of their commanders, which provides further confirmation of the deep alienation between Kadyrov and the Russian military.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell, Zaindi Choltaev
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: We left Sunzhensky district early in the morning, heading for Grozny from the west of Chechnya. After the turn to Assinovskaya, still not far from the Ingush border, we came upon engineering reconnaissance troops: Several tanks and military trucks, soldiers walking along the sides of the road. Civilian cars started to pile up behind us. Suddenly the soldiers stopped, squatted down, and aimed their machine guns and rifles at a spot in the field. So did the large caliber gun on the armed troop carrier. We heard an explosion. When the dust settled, our driver commented: “Those are just games. They put the explosives there themselves, and then they set them off.” I frequently heard similar talk. Many people in Chechnya have observed how the soldiers, in order to receive money and decorations, plant explosives and set up fake “battle situations.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Elections
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell, Brian Glyn Williams
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In 1999, U.S. presidential candidate George Bush spoke for much of the American right when he warned the Russians that they “need to resolve the dispute (with the Chechens) peaceably and not be bombing women and children and causing huge num bers of refugees to flee Chechnya.”[1] If the Russians did not stop their brutal second war against the Chechens, which had begun in the fall of 1999, Bush threatened to cut off IMF and Export-Import Bank loans to the former superpower that the Republican right, led by Senator Jesse Helms, still saw as a dangerous manifestation of the USSR.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In a remarkably under reported statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin has apparently accused lower echelon U.S. government officials of meeting with known Chechen terrorists. On September 20, a few days before flying to the United States for his summit meeting with President George W. Bush, Putin met with several U.S. television journalists. Asked about Chechnya, the Russian president gave a long answer that mostly repeated points that he and his spokesmen have made before. But toward the end of his response he said the following (as translated by Chechnya Weekly from the text placed on the official website Kremlin.ru): “The United States has now voted in the Security Council in favor of recognizing several individuals as international terrorists. The State Department has announced that it has included several figures in its list of international terrorists. But unfortunately we know that on the executive level there are continuing attempts at contacts with some people under the pretense that what's happening is only work with the opposition. Even with people who are included on the United Nations list. These people come, say that they are 'political activists' and present them- selves in all sorts of guises. But I assure you, I know about this precisely—they are maintaining connections with their allies in Afghanistan, including those who have gone there from the Northern Caucasus of Russia and who are fighting with arms in their hands against American soldiers. Such absurdities on the working level must be stopped, the sooner the better.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, North Caucasus
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Have Chechen separatist guerrillas been fighting against the United States and its allies in places such as Iraq or Afghanistan—and if so, how many have been captured or killed? The U.S. government has been strikingly passive in seeking to learn (or, at least, in publicly disclosing) the answer to that question. Chechnya Weekly began pressing for a precise, concrete answer months ago, but we have yet to get one from the White House, Pentagon, or State Department.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict, Government
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Russia, United States, Iraq, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In a surprising announcement, Khusein Dzhabrailov has with drawn his candidacy for the presidency of Chechnya. The Moscow businessman, who had managed to win such potent endorsements as those of Bislan Gantemirov and Ruslan Khasbulatov, failed to give any substantive explanation for his decision. As reported on September 2 by the Lenta.ru website, his office merely announced that he had “come to the conclusion that he can provide significantly greater service to society in his present role.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Pressure against Chechen refugees in Ingushetia has intensified further in recent days, Aleksandr Podrabinek of the newspaper Russky kurier reported on August 18. Hooligans are throwing rocks at the tents during the night, he wrote, and the tents are also being besieged at night by cars that honk their horns so that the refugees cannot sleep. The Kadyrov administration's prime minister, Anatoly Popov, who is now serving formally as “acting president” while Kadyrov pursues his own candidacy, told the news agency Interfax on August 13 that all of the tent camps for Chechen refugees in Ingushetia must be closed by October 1. That is just four days before the election.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Ingushetia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Are the Russian authorities lying about the number of casualties caused by the August 1 bombing of the military hospital in Mozdok? According to the official figures, widely disseminated in the Russian and western media, fifty occupants of the hospital complex died and eighty-two were wounded. But the Moscow daily Kommersant has received conflicting versions regarding those figures from a source connected to the criminal-investigative team on the scene. According to this source, the hospital was filled to more than its planned capacity of 150 patients. Also, several tents had been deployed on its grounds, each containing an additional eight to sixteen people. The truck bomb that destroyed the hospital was so powerful that only one wall of the building was left standing and nearby buildings were also damaged.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: About 20 percent of the Kadyrov administration's gunmen are secretly loyal to the secessionist government of President Aslan Maskhadov, a key Maskhadov representative claimed during a visit to Washington last week. Salambek Maigov, Maskhadov's emissary in Moscow, told Chechnya Weekly that former rebel guerrillas constitute the majority of Kadyrov's ostensibly “pro-Moscow” militia. Many of those not now in contact with the rebels, he insisted, “would fight for us if we were to attack Grozny again,” as in 1996.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Washington, Asia, Chechnya, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russian President Vladimir Putin's amnesty proposal, which last week received preliminary approval from the federal Duma, is intended in large part to serve the same purpose as his March constitutional referendum. That is to create the impression that peace, reconciliation and the rule of law are returning to Chechnya, with the support of all but a few separatist fanatics. But compared to the referendum, the amnesty has a key disadvantage: Most (though not all) of the key issues involve the proposed legislation's formal text, not the largely hidden process by which that text will be put into practice. Ever since the president formally presented his proposal to the Russian parliament on May 12, skeptics have subjected it to withering criticism—most of the specific points of which Putin and his circle have not even seriously tried to address.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Chechnya
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: In some few respects—indeed, fewer even than a year ago— Shamil Basaev remains a traditional Chechen rebel rather than a postmodern global terrorist. For one, he takes full, public and personal responsibility for his atrocities. That fact alone casts doubt on the Kremlin's attempts to create the impression that the Chechen separatist movement (of which Basaev in any case represents only a part) is simply an arm of al Qaeda. Another difference is that Basaev has not followed al Qaeda's recent switch to soft targets. A pair of mid-May attacks, which Basaev publicly claimed as his own on May 19, were directed against two of the most heavily defended entities in hyper-militarized Chechnya—a key regional headquarters of the Federal Security Service (FSB) secret police, and the person of the head of the republic's Moscow- appointed administration.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe, Asia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Anna Politkovskaya has indicated to a friendly human rights journalist that her newspaper has additional information about the involvement of Russia's secret services in the terrorist raid on Moscow's Dubrovka theater last October—enough information to confirm that involvement even apart from her dramatic interview with an apparent double agent. “The next chunk of information on this topic will be published later,” she said, “depending on what actions our authorities take.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Was last October's attack by Chechen terrorists on a Moscow theater actually a provocation organized by elements of the Russian security services—or at least known to them in advance, so that they could easily have prevented it? In the opinion of Novaya gazeta correspondent Anna Politkovskaya, the answer is yes, and the key figure in this shadowy operation was a Chechen serving as an agent for Russia's special services—one Khanpash Terkibaev. This mysterious figure unaccountably agreed to let Politkovskaya interview him. And although he has since denied the most sensational parts of her April 28 account of their conversation, he and the administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin have failed to provide any convincing alternative explanation.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: An overconfident and overbearing Russian delegation lost the first major international test of Moscow's Chechnya policy to occur since the March 23 constitutional referendum. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) voted unexpectedly on April 2 to recommend creation of an international tribunal to try both Russians and Chechens accused of war crimes. The lopsided vote (97-27) stood in dramatic contrast to the victory celebrated by the Russians in January, when they succeeded in blocking a challenge to the referendum led by the Parliamentary Assembly's own rapporteur on Chechnya. Their action, in effect, forced his resignation (see Chechnya Weekly, February 6).
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Add one more to the list of independent eyewitnesses who flatly deny Russian claims of a huge turnout for Chechnya's March 23 constitutional referendum. Nathalie Nougayrede of Le Monde told Radio Radicale on March 25 that she saw no long lines at polling stations in Grozny, where she spent referendum day. She said that Grozny was “practically deserted” that day: “At one or two polling stations I saw a few people, maybe four or five. Twenty or twenty-five during the whole day....Everyone I spoke to in the days leading up to the referendum said they had no intention of voting.” She added that at one particular polling station she knew that only several dozen people turned out, but “at the end of the day the chief electoral officer declared that around 3,000 people had voted there.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Moscow journalist Anna Politkovskaya has made a stunning discovery in the suburbs of Chechnya, one comparable to the 1999 scandal in which secret police of Russia's Federal Security Service (the FSB, which is the renamed. but not reformed. KGB) were caught planting explosives in a Ryazan apartment building. As she wrote in the March 24 issue of Novaya gazeta, “during the entire war in Chechnya rumors have circulated about how the federals are planting mines and organizing provocations which they then attribute to the guerrillas. But only now has it become possible to confirm these rumors with documentary evidence.”
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Moscow
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The administration of Russian President Vladimir Putin and its allies in Grozny are clearly counting on a big win in Saturday's (March 22) referendum. Putin aide Sergei Yastrzhembsky said that “the appearance of voters in Chechnya is traditionally high,” and the Russian media have been circulating forecasts that at least two-thirds of the republic's population will cast votes.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: The Russian authorities and their allies in Chechnya are actively trying to create the impression that the March 23 constitutional referendum enjoys massive popular support. Buvaisar Arsakhanov, head of the election commission for Chechnya, told the news agency Itar-Tass on March 11 that almost 10,000 refugees have already expressed their desire to vote in the referendum. Vladimir Zorin, federal minister for nationalities, told a March 10 press conference that “the residents of the Chechen Republic themselves are placing great hopes on the referendum.” For the first time in ten years, he said, they will have the possibility “to express their will for peace and normal life.” (Zorin chose to ignore the 1997 vote, recognized as free and fair by international human rights observers, in which Aslan Maskhadov was elected president of Chechnya.) The pro-Kremlin website Strana.ru quoted Akhmad Kadyrov on March 5 as estimating that 96 percent of the residents of Chechnya are ready to take part in the referendum. That figure is reminiscent of the near-unanimous “elections” of the Soviet years.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Russia's highest military award, the order of “Hero of Russia,” has been bestowed on five people for their roles in the Dubrovka Theater hostage crisis of October 2002. But a member of the federal Duma learned that only two of these medals went to soldiers who actually took part in the storming of the theater. Another two went to top leaders of the secret police, and the fifth went to the chemist responsible for releasing the gas that killed about 200 of the hostages (see Chechnya Weekly, December 17, 2002).
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Reversal on voting rights for Chechen refugees? In an apparent reversal, the head of the Moscow-appointed Chechen government told a Grozny press conference on February 25 that only voters physically present in Chechnya will be allowed to cast ballots in next month's constitutional referendum. Akhmad Kadyrov said that no polling stations would be open outside Chechnya's boundaries. He thus seemed to be indicating that tens of thousands of Chechen refugees in neighboring Ingushetia will be able to vote only if they return to war torn Chechnya. A report by the Russian news agency Novosti said that “according to Mr. Kadyrov, all wishing to vote can come to Chechnya and vote there.” If the Novosti report is accurate, it means that Kadyrov has broken his recent pledge to the visiting human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe. He had announced his support of the March referendum after Kadyrov assured him that the refugees in Ingushetia would be allowed to take part.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia, Europe
  • Author: Lawrence Uzzell
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: North Caucasus Weekly (formerly Chechnya Weekly), The Jamestown Foundation
  • Abstract: Kremlin admits constitution flawed. The Putin administration's in-house human rights advisers admit that its proposed constitution for Chechnya has serious flaws. Human-rights ombudsman Oleg Mironov told Radio Liberty on February 4 that the proposed text gives the president of the Chechen republic too much power at the expense of the legislature. Ella Pamfilova, head of the president's human rights commission, expressed concern about the power granted to the president of the Russian Federation to dismiss the president of Chechnya. Nevertheless, the two have chosen not to challenge Putin on what has become the centerpiece of his Chechnya strategy: going ahead with the constitutional referendum on March 23.
  • Topic: Security, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: Russia
  • Author: Simon Serfaty
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union (EU) have been significant institutional casualties of the war in Iraq. European heads of state and government who joined the coalition of the willing organized by President George W. Bush (with a decisive assist from Prime Minister Tony Blair) often did so in spite of significant opposition from their general public. States that gathered, vocally or passively, in the coalition of the unwilling (and even resentful) organized by President Jacques Chirac (with a decisive assist from Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder) did so at the expense of a Euro-Atlantic structure within which the states of Europe have gained unprecedented security, stability, and prosperity. As the first phase of the coalition's military action in Iraq comes to an end, the prevailing view in the United States is that the EU is a troubled and troubling union: troubled in terms of its internal divisions, and troubling in terms of the motivation that seems to underline the actions of its older members. As for NATO, the prevailing view is that it is a fading organization with a blocking minority of members who are not only unwilling but also broadly incapable and frankly irrelevant.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Felix G. Rohatyn, Jean-Paul Béchat
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On January 24, 2003, the CSIS Commission on Transatlantic Security and Industrial Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century, under the leadership of CSIS president and CEO John J. Hamre, released its final report, The Future of the Transatlantic Defense Community. Cochaired by Jean-Paul Béchat, chairman and CEO of SNECMA and president (in 2001-2002) of the European Association of Aerospace Industries (AECMA), and former U. S. ambassador to France Felix G. Rohatyn, this Commission consisted of 22 senior business leaders and former policymakers from both sides of the Atlantic. An Experts Group, directed by CSIS Europe Program director Simon Serfaty and composed of several representatives from the private and public sectors and academia, assisted the Commission in its work.
  • Topic: Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: George W. Grayson
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Mexico's southern flank constitutes a porous, crime-ridden third border of the United States. The problem is that both President Vicente Fox and Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge concentrate on the U.S.-Mexican frontier, while neglecting the Mexican-Guatemalan interface that provides an open sesame for narcotraffickers, illegal aliens, prostitutes, smugglers, and terrorists.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Andre Belelieu
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On December 12, 2001, Canada and the United States signed the Smart Border Declaration, which gave birth to the 30-point Smart Border Action Plan. This bilateral agreement instantly became the de facto framework for ensuring the world's longest undefended border remained secure, while facilitating the flow of people, goods, and services, and was a key component in the larger homeland security goal of creating a zone of confidence against terrorist activity, while causing minimal damage to the world's largest trading relationship. Two years later, the Canadian and U.S. governments can point to progress on all 30 points contained in the Action Plan. Through cooperation and an understanding that a smart border works in the interest of both countries, Canada and the United States can claim to be closer than ever to ensuring that the Canada-U.S. border remains “open to trade and closed to terrorists.”
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Sidney Weintraub
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Some significant outcomes in Mexico during the past quarter century are worth reviewing. There has been practically no growth in real per capita income since 1980. Until the presidential transition from Ernesto Zedillo to Vicente Fox, there were financial collapses either ending, starting, or during every other sexenio (six-year term) over this period. Perhaps these monotonic curses are a thing of the past, but no Mexican would “bet the farm” on this. These financial collapses were generally accompanied by economic downturns, spectacularly so in 1982 and 1994. Mexicans who came of age over the past 25 years—those now about 40 to 50—have known nothing other than repetitive currency depreciations and lack of sustained growth, and these expectations surely have been programmed indelibly into their psyches. A Mexican would have to be unthinking not to be pessimistic about the future based on recent economic management of the country, its currency, and its financial solidity.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Publication Date: 10-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The Struggle over the Referendum On September 25, the new National Electoral Commission (CNE) issued the regulations that will govern referenda for the recall of elected officials. These long-awaited norms will make it possible for a popular vote to be held on President Chávez's stewardship in office by early March (157 days from the time the opposition submits a request to the commission, as it now has done). The commission's decision—not really welcomed by the president—changes Venezuela's political landscape. Although the outcome of the campaign for a referendum remains in doubt, this action gives encouragement to the alliance of the opposition parties seeking the president's removal. Chávez will now have to consider how to adjust his own strategy to deal with this new situation.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Miguel Diaz
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: At the invitation of the White House, Argentina's newly elected president, Nestor Kirchner, will be paying a visit to President George W. Bush this Wednesday, July 23. This is the latest and most notable signal from Washington of an interest in engaging and working with the new government in Buenos Aires. The hope in Foggy Bottom is that this outreach can translate into the kind of constructive and comprehensive relationship that President Bush has established with Brazil's new president, Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, Kirchner's regional partner. Whether Kirchner has the savvy to exploit the gesture to set a tone for the bilateral relationship and establish the general parameters of a mutually rewarding policy agenda will be evident soon enough.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Twenty-two years after the Brazilian Workers' Party (PT) was established, Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva—one of the PT's founders—became Brazil's president. His election on October 27, 2002, marked the first time a candidate with a limited formal education, a background of poverty and disadvantage, and a fully elaborated leftist agenda had been elected to Brazil's highest office.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On July 6, 2003, as many as 64.7 million registered voters will be heading to the polls to cast their votes for all 500 seats in the lower house of the Mexican Congress—the Chamber of Deputies. Of all 500 seats in the Chamber of Deputies, 300 are elected via direct representation (mayoria relativa) and 200 via proportional representation (representacion proporcional).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In a solemn ceremony in Caracas, presided over by César Gavíria, secretary general of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Chávez administration and the Coordinadora Democrática signed a pre-referendum accord. In his remarks, Gavíria characterized the document as an important political step. The result of several weeks of quiet diplomacy, the agreement bridges the differences that had developed over an earlier April 21 draft. The most important provision of the document is paragraph 12, which envisages the possible invocation of article 72 of the constitution—a recall referendum—if the National Electoral Commission (CNE) decides that the conditions for such a referendum have been met.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America
  • Author: Dwight N. Mason
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: That the government was about to decide to seek negotiations on participation in the U.S. missile defense system was signaled by Bill Graham, Canadian foreign minister, in his May 15, 2003, statement in Parliament on missile defense policy.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America, North America
  • Author: William Barr
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The New York Times was by no means the lone voice in criticizing Brazil's abstentions on the Cuba-related motions before the UN Human Rights Commission. Much tougher criticism has come from a wide range of Brazilians, including a substantial segment of academics, journalists, and even politicians who have long praised Cuba's independence from the U.S. orbit and criticized the United States' economic blockade.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Brazil, Cuba, United Nations, Latin America
  • Author: Miguel Diaz, Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Argentina's national mania to experiment with new rules, procedures, and institutions never ceases to produce surprising, and sometimes stunning results. This time, the electoral process has been managed in such a bizarre way that as a result, the primary election of the Peronist Party will take place after the general election rather than before, as one would expect in a normal, more boring country.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Voter turnout for the April 27 elections was among the highest in record: about 80 percent of the total population eighteen years old and older. The number of empty ballot envelopes was less than 1 percent, and votes annulled were within the normal margins in any election. All of this indicates that the protest vote (“voto bronca”), which was so high in the 2001 congressional elections, was not a factor in this election. The large number of candidates—and the exceptionally high number of candidates with the possibility of reaching the second round presidency on May 18 in particular—may have convinced electors to cast positive votes.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Brian Latell
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The campaign against internal opposition launched last month by Fidel Castro's regime is among the most inhumane of the numerous crackdowns conducted during the more than 44 years he has ruled Cuba. Beginning in mid March, Cuban security personnel, often acting violently, rounded up more than 100 men and women associated with groups committed to peaceful democratic change on the island.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Cuba, Latin America, Caribbean
  • Author: Luis Pinto
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Since Augusto Pinochet stepped down as president in 1989, Chile has been one of the most politically, socially, and economically successful countries in the region. The country has been able to move forward because of its aggressive promotion of exports, strength of its institutions, and the trust it has built with the international community. Recently however, Chile has found itself opposing the United States, a long time champion and supporter; it was also embroiled in several domestic corruption scandals. Chile has turned to the strength of its institutions and its international credibility to get back on track.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, South America, Latin America, Chile
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: During the period under review, public discussion in Venezuela was dominated by: the prospective referendum to recall the president; the release of the defendants that fired weapons at the demostration last April 11 by an appeals court; a growing debate in the country over the lack of accomplishments (growth, infrastructure, crime and poverty) by the Chavez administration; and the festivities observing the anniversary of Chávez ́s return to office last April, which brought to Caracas prominent international figures of the radical left. The opposition now recognizes that there may be indeed a referendum -- or a general election -- and thus it will be difficult to try to defeat the president. The government, increasingly confident that it can beat the opposition, appears to be moving ahead with preparations for a recall referendum for all elected officials.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: South America, Latin America, Venezuela
  • Author: Andre Belelieu
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On April 14, Quebeckers voted for change while keeping with half a century of tradition. With 70 percent of Quebec's 5.5 million registered voters casting their ballots, the Liberal Party (PLQ) under Jean Charest ended nine years of Parti Quebecois (PQ) rule, winning 45.9 percent of the popular vote and 76 out of 125 seats in Quebec's National Assembly. The governing PQ, which won 33.2 percent of the vote and picked up 45 seats in the National Assembly, was therefore swept from power despite a fairly positive record in government, proving that no matter how competently a government rules in Quebec, it is not immune to the political reality that no party has been able to win a third consecutive term in office since the Union Nationale in 1952.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Canada, Latin America, North America
  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Observers unfamiliar with Argentine history may see in the present campaign a lack of real confrontation and choice of ideas. And they may be misled in that direction by the fact that candidates have devoted great time and effort to expose flaws in their opponents' character and background and very little to explain platforms and proposals. One should not be deceived, however, by appearances. The ideological spectrum represented by the five candidates is much wider than has been seen in any U.S. election in recent history. That statement needs, however, some historical perspective.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: William Perry
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: 100 days have now passed since Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva donned Brazil's presidential sash on January 1, 2003. Perhaps use of this traditional U.S. benchmark, even for preliminary judgments, is a bit unfair, as the Brazilian political calendar with Carnival holidays off, precludes Congress from really beginning to function until early March. Nevertheless, the past three months have been instructive in terms of gauging the problems and prospects of the new Workers' Party (PT) government.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Brazil, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Mariano Ruiz-Funes
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: A country's economic competitiveness can be analyzed on two closely interrelated levels: microeconomic com-petitiveness and competitiveness in attracting investment. The first level (microeconomic competitiveness) relates to goods and services offered in the country and refers to competition arising from goods and services that are produced in another country. That competition takes place in international markets (export competitiveness) as well as in the domestic market (with imports).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Phillip McLean
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Once again events elsewhere have driven news of Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America off the front pages— even from newspapers in the region. Lack of attention may be the least of those countries' concerns about the war. The more serious consequence is likely to be that the war will accentuate the hemisphere's already evident problems. To the degree that the war slows the growth of world trade, the region's near-term economic prospects will suffer, and global uncertainties will dim the promise of more open and dynamic markets.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Canada, South America, Latin America, Central America, Caribbean, North America
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: When looking at the ramifications of the war in Iraq on the Western Hemisphere, it is clear that the conflict will have the greatest impact on the two nations with which the United States shares borders—Mexico and Canada. From a national security standpoint, these nations' immediate proximity to the United States automatically heightens the threat to their own national security, particularly because we seem to have entered an era in which the use of weapons of mass destruction—be they nuclear, chemical, or biological—poses a viable threat. From a U.S. homeland security standpoint, the shared border transforms both of our friendly neighbors into possible platforms from which rogue elements could stage attacks or enter the United States to threaten our homeland.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Canada, Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Carlos M. Regúnaga
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The race for the Argentine presidency is now in the next to last lap. The first ballot will be cast April 27, but for the first time in history it looks as if a second ballot will be required. If it is, it will take place on May 18. At this juncture, public opinion and pundits' predictions are poles apart. But before analyzing them, it might be useful to remember the electoral system now in effect.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Argentina, South America, Latin America
  • Author: Luis Rubio
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Mexico's President Vicente Fox chose a rather awkward time to take a stand supporting a multilateralist approach in foreign policy. Even though a multilateral approach matches neatly—almost naturally—with the country's history, taking such a visible stand after the events of September 11 entailed huge risks that nobody in Fox's cabinet could ignore, even if, in retrospect, few truly understood what the actual risks were. Yet, oblivious to that fact, the government pushed ahead. Even after President George W. Bush had decided not to pursue a vote in the UN Security Council on a follow-up resolution that would have de facto authorized the use of force in Iraq, the Mexican government found it necessary to state that it would have voted “no.” The critical question is less whether this constitutes an approach to foreign policy that is new for Mexico than whether the administration truly understands the implications of its newfound ways.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Sergio Sarmiento
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: For a long time, it seemed impossible for any issue to forge an alliance between the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)—the party that ruled Mexico from 1929 to 2000—and the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). This issue, however, has clearly emerged now with the attempt to force President Vicente Fox, a member of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in order to offer special protection to Mexico's agriculture.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America
  • Author: Armand Peschard-Sverdrup, George W. Grayson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: On March 9, 2003, the citizens of Mexico state (Edomex) will elect 124 municipal government officials and 75 members of the state legislature. Although local contests, these elections have attracted national attention for several reasons. First, with 13 million inhabitants Edomex is the most populous of Mexico 31 states–with approximately 4.5 million more citizens than Mexico City. Second, Mexico state also boasts more than 8 million voters, the most of any state and 12.55 percent of the nationwide total. Third, Mexico state is a microcosm of the country–with (1) a vibrant manufacturing sector, (2) one-third of its income arising from agriculture, (3) a small indigenous population, (4) a plethora of middle-class residents who work for the government, own small businesses, or practice professions such as medicine, dentistry, accounting, and teaching, and (5) poor people who eke out a living in Chalco, Texcoco, and other sprawling slums contiguous to Mexico City. Fourth, Edomex is an arena of intense political activism, involving the country's three major parties: the once-hegemonic Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), the center-right National Action Party (PAN), and the nationalist-left Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD). In addition, the Mexican Green Ecological Party (PVEM) boasts its largest support base in the state, while several new or small parties will also compete in the upcoming election. These include the centrist Convergencia, the leftist Workers' Party (PT), the right-wing Social Alliance (PAS), the conservative Party of the Nationalist Society (PSN), the reform-oriented México Posible (MP), the Mexican Liberal Party (PLM), Citizens' Force (FC), and the Citizens' Parliament (PC). Fifth, the importance of the state means that any major Edomex politician who distinguishes himself will wind up on the short list of contenders for the presidency in 2006. Finally, the outcome of the Mexico state balloting will provide an insight into the relative strength of contending parties as they prepare for the July 6 election of 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies and six governors (Campeche, Colima, Nuevo León, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, and Sonora).
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Latin America, North America, Mexico
  • Author: Yu Bin
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In the Chinese language, the character "wen" means moderation and modesty. This happens to capture the personality and policies of China's new premier, Wen Jiabao. In his first trip to the United States as premier, Wen will try to present the image of a rising China that is liberalizing at home, is confident abroad, and willing and able to work with the world's sole superpower. The U.S. side will also have a closeup look at the man who may well administer China for the next 10 years.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa
  • Publication Date: 12-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: TAIPEI – Is President Chen Shui-bian trying to provoke a crisis with the PRC in the run up to the March 2004 presidential elections in Taiwan? Taiwan government spokesmen say no, but there is a growing perception among cross-Strait watchers that Taipei is purposefully baiting Beijing in hopes of provoking a hostile response (a la the 1996 missile “tests”) that will cause the island's public to rally around the flag (and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party) in the name of Taiwanese nationalism.
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Ralph A. Cossa
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: President Bush's recent offer to provide Pyongyang with written assurances that the U.S. does not intend to attack North Korea and the North's willingness “to consider” this offer provide the basis, however tentative and contentious, for a negotiated solution to the current nuclear stand-off on the Korean Peninsula. But even if the North really does return to the bargaining table – and this is by no means assured – a long and difficult road lies ahead in the search for common ground between the two primary antagonists in this six-party drama. The key to a successful outcome remains the willingness of the other four actors – China, Japan, Russia, and especially South Korea – to stand firmly behind Washington's central demand: that Pyongyang “fully, verifiably, and irreversibly” abandon its nuclear weapons programs.
  • Political Geography: Russia, Japan, China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: Brad Glosserman
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Tokyo – In the end, the weather just wasn't bad enough. Japan's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which has dominated politics since 1955, claimed victory in Sunday's national election as it and its coalition partners took a comfortable majority in the Diet. Prime Minister Koizumi Junichiro's celebrations have been muted, however: The LDP's failure to win an outright majority in the lower house will embolden obstructionists within his own party who oppose his reform agenda.
  • Political Geography: China, Israel, Asia
  • Author: James J. Przystup, William M. Drennan
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Fifty years ago, the United States and South Korea signed a mutual defense treaty designed to meet the "common danger" posed by North Korea to the survival of the South and to vital U.S. interests. The golden anniversary should be cause for celebration, but hold the applause. The alliance is in serious trouble, and possibly terminal decline, unless urgent steps are taken to revitalize it.
  • Political Geography: United States, China, Israel, Asia, South Korea
  • Author: Takao Toshikawa, Richard Katz
  • Publication Date: 11-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: In a series of newspaper advertisements, a few of Japan's more cosmopolitan business leaders, including Kazuo Inamori, founder of Kyocera, pointed to what's really at stake in the November 9 elections for the Lower House of Japan's Diet. "We support a nation where a change of government is possible," they wrote.
  • Political Geography: Japan, China, Israel, Asia