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  • Author: Christopher Boucek
  • Publication Date: 07-2010
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is not the biggest problem -- or even the biggest security challenge -- facing the Yemeni government, the United States and much of the international community still place it above other issues. Successful counterterrorism is directly linked to state stability. If Yemen becomes a failed state within the next few decades, U.S. counterterrorism objectives would be decisively undermined. The challenge for U.S. policy is finding a way to bolster the struggle against AQAP without exacerbating other aspects of Yemen's overlapping security, economic, and political crises.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Yemen, Arab Countries
  • Author: Hassan Barari
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In early September, three senior leaders of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood (MB) resigned from the organization's executive bureau after it voted to dissolve the MB political department -- one of the few remaining components of the organization controlled by moderates. The resignations were a protest against not only the executive bureau's decision, but also the MB's increasingly close affiliation with Hamas. Today, the Jordanian MB is facing an unprecedented internal crisis, pitting the traditional moderate East Bank leadership -- Jordanians who are not originally Palestinian -- against the powerful pro-Hamas Palestinian-led element. Lately, these divisions have been aggravated by Hamas political bureau head Khaled Mashal's apparent efforts to exploit the shifting balance of power within the MB to further his own organization's agenda in Amman. Ironically, Jordanian authorities -- who have long prided themselves on managing the Islamist issue -- have done little to stem the tide.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Islam, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israeli authorities on September 27 announced the arrest of an Israeli-Arab Hamas activist who played central militant, political, and financing roles for the group in coordination with what Israeli authorities described as a “Hamas command in Saudi Arabia.” The arrest is just the latest evidence that support for Hamas in particular and Islamic extremism in general continues to emanate from within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
  • Topic: Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Michael Jacobson
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Today, President George W. Bush will sign the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 (IRTPA), which represents the most dramatic and fundamental changes to the U.S. intelligence community since 1947, when the CIA was created. While public and media attention has been focused on the establishment of a director of national intelligence and a National Counterterrorism Center, other equally important aspects of IRTPA have received far less attention. Perhaps of greatest significance, IRTPA will improve the FBI and Justice Department's ability to combat international terrorism in a variety of ways.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush will enter his second term leading a country that is at war on five fronts at once. Four are clear: in Iraq and Afghanistan, against al-Qaeda and its global affiliates, and within the homeland. The fifth front, however, is the poor stepsister to the other four. It is being fought with an arsenal of outmoded and dysfunctional weaponry, a set of confused and self-defeating battlefield tactics, and no clear strategy for victory. Such is the status of the U.S. effort to fight the "battle of ideas" -- the ideological war to prevent Islamists and their sympathizers from capturing the social, cultural, economic, and political high ground in Muslim societies around the world.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Measures being taken by Saudi Arabia to stop terrorist financing have been welcomed by top U.S. officials. But the main test for the new rules announced on December 3 will be in Saudi Arabia itself, where zakat (giving to Islamic charities) is a religious duty and where measures that please Washington are increasingly regarded as objectionable. As often happens in the kingdom, the theory behind the new rules may well differ from how they are actually implemented.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The annual conference of the Saudi World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) concludes today in Riyadh. Although it claims to be a charitable organization espousing moderate Islam, WAMY is actually one of many such organizations that, while closely linked to the Saudi government and royal family (e.g., WAMY's president is Sheikh Saleh al-Sheikh, the Saudi minister of Islamic affairs), also have documented links to international terrorism. Others include the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, the Muslim World League, and the Benevolence International Foundation.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On Thursday, October 24, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a new terrorist threat alert (this time warning of attacks on transportation systems), highlighting once more why attention has been focused on al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups since September 11, 2001. A year on, however, other Middle Eastern terrorist groups and state sponsors of terrorism still receive inconsistent attention despite a sharp rise in their activity. In fact, militant Islamist groups from al-Qaeda to Hamas interact and support one another in an international matrix of logistical, financial, and sometimes operational terrorist activity. Inattention to any one part of the web of militant Islamist terror undermines the effectiveness of measures taken against other parts of that web.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since September 2001, Yemen has worked hard to shed its image as a hotbed of Islamist terrorism. That image, however, was reinforced when London's al-Sharq al-Awsat Arabic daily reported that the Islamic Army of Aden (IAA, or Aden-Abyan Islamic Army), an al-Qaeda affiliate, claimed responsibility for an explosion that crippled a French tanker on October 6 in the Yemeni harbor of Mina' al-Dabba. Moreover, a recent letter allegedly written by Osama bin Laden praises the "bold heroic jihad operations . . . against the crusader's oil tanker." The attack, which killed one crewman, underscores Yemen's importance as an area of concern in the U.S. government's "war on terror."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, London, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With its longstanding support for terrorism, Syria poses an exceptional challenge to U.S. antiterror policy. On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush declared that "from this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." This declaration implicitly offered state sponsors a virtual amnesty for previous actions if they would cease sponsoring terror, an offer that Syria has thus far rejected. In June 2002, the president directly called on Syria to "choose the right side in the war on terror by closing terrorist camps and expelling terrorist organizations."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Like that of its predecessor, the Bush administration's policy toward Iraq appears to focus on the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the hands of Saddam Husayn's regime. Some suggest that U.S. policy should emphasize the resumption of inspections, suspended since 1998. However, there are strong reasons to doubt that inspections would reduce the threat of Iraqi WMD.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Psyops and propaganda activities that aim to diminish Saddam in the eyes of his supporters, exacerbate existing strains between his inner circle and the military, stir up popular discontent, and embolden opponents of the regime are a crucial component of any policy that seeks regime change in Baghdad. Such efforts could keep Saddam on the defensive and create an atmosphere of crisis and tension, forcing the regime to divert assets to deal with internal security, and leaving fewer resources available for clandestine technology procurement or trouble-making elsewhere. Such efforts could transform the psychological environment in the country, creating an atmosphere in which a coup or uprising might occur.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Before September 11, U.S. policymakers would have been hard-pressed to justify significant military action against Iraq without a major provocation. The events of September 11 and the subsequent anthrax incidents, however, have highlighted the dangers of "business as usual" in an age of sophisticated terrorism and weapons proliferation, and the potentially high costs of ignoring the likes of Saddam Hussein; that is true whether or not Iraq was associated with these events. The risks of perpetuating a faltering containment policy, and the imperative of regime change in Iraq have never been clearer.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Akbar Ahmed, Emmanuel Sivan
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On December 6, 2001, Akbar Ahmed and Emmanuel Sivan addressed the Washington Institute's Policy Forum. Professor Ahmed holds the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at the American University's School of International Service and has most recently authored Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World. Professor Sivan is professor of Islamic history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has written the book Radical Islam. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Amy Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: To win the war against terrorism, the U.S. government must pursue with equal vigor both the short-term imperative to root out terrorist groups, including their international support networks, and the longer-term objective of advancing a positive vision for the Arab world, one that offers an alternative to the destructive ideology of the terrorists. Both efforts are essential; focusing on the former at the expense of the latter will almost surely prove self-defeating.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since September 11, the Bush administration has issued seven different lists of terrorist groups, including terrorist organizations, front companies, and individuals. In its effort to prosecute the war on terrorism, the administration has articulated the goal of eradicating Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda terrorist network and its Taliban hosts rather clearly. However, the goals of the broader war on terrorism, beyond Al Qaeda and the Taliban, remain ill defined. An examination of the administration's various terrorist lists underlines the developing nature of its strategic vision for dealing with international terrorism beyond Al Qaeda. The lists are a telling component of the administration's emerging policy regarding its war on terrorism writ large.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In Washington, the debate over Iraq is shifting from the simple question of whether it should be targeted in phase II of the antiterror war, to how we should deal with a country that continually refuses to fulfill its UN obligations and surrender weapons of mass destruction (WMD). From the latter viewpoint, options for Iraqi policy are not confined to the extremes of either complete inactivity or dispatching 500,000 troops for a ground campaign. There are numerous approaches that the Bush administration can take if it is determined to increase pressure on Saddam Husayn's regime. President Bush spoke on Monday about the importance of resuming UN-mandated arms-control inspections in Iraq, and the Security Council has been considering this week whether to revitalize sanctions on Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Josef Joffe
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On November 6, 2001, Josef Joffe addressed the Institute's Special Policy Forum about the many faces of European politics and policy in the context of September 11. Dr. Joffe, a special visiting fellow of The Washington Institute, is publisher-editor of the German weekly Die Zeit, and a contributing editor of Time (International). A frequent commentator on U.S., British, and German radio and television, his essays and reviews have appeared in such publications as Foreign Affairs, the National Interest, New York Review of Books, Times Literary Supplement, Commentary, New York Times Magazine, New Republic, and the Weekly Standard. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On October 30, Iranian parliamentarian Elaheh Kula'i appeared before the Majlis and warned that a reluctance to implement UN resolutions regarding terrorism could result in "consequences" for the Islamic republic. Kula'i was specifically referring to UN Security Council Resolution (UNSC) 1373, which outlines the financial and legal measures that UN member-states must take against terrorists such as Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. That an Iranian official would express such anxiety over a UN resolution highlights its potential as a tool for assembling "all necessary means," force if need be, to pressure terror-supporting states.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Avi Jorisch
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, will begin on November 16. Some in the United States and abroad have suggested that a moratorium in military operations would be appropriate. Others see no reason to stop. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has stated that "history is replete with instances where Muslims have fought Muslims and Muslims have fought non-Muslims throughout all of the various holy days, including Ramadan." What, then, is the Muslim sentiment regarding fighting during Ramadan? Is there historical precedent or religious requirement for the cessation of hostilities?
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Avi Jorisch
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Ramadan, the holiest month of the Islamic calendar, will begin on November 16. Some in the United States and abroad have suggested that a moratorium in military operations would be appropriate. Others see no reason to stop. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has stated that "history is replete with instances where Muslims have fought Muslims and Muslims have fought non-Muslims throughout all of the various holy days, including Ramadan." What, then, is the Muslim sentiment regarding fighting during Ramadan? Is there historical precedent or religious requirement for the cessation of hostilities?
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The appearance of senior U.S. officials on the Qatari-based al-Jazeera satellite news channel is the first sign that Washington is taking seriously the need for enhanced "public diplomacy" as a vital component in the war against terrorism. In this arena, however, urgency needs to be tempered with realism. Rushing to enhance public diplomacy efforts without a clear understanding of objectives, constraints, sequence, and the different means at the government's disposal risks not only a dispersal of effort and wasted resources but, in the worst case, actually ceding important ground in the "hearts-and-minds" campaign. In devising public diplomacy toward the Middle East, the key to success will be to marry the principles of "make haste, slowly" and "do no harm."
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Over the last week, Iran has seen the most extensive rioting since the 1979 revolution. On Sunday, October 21, official accounts showed that public buildings, including thirty-two nationalized bank branches, were attacked in fifty-four Tehran neighborhoods. Rioting also occurred in cities across the country, with at least 180 arrested in Isfahan alone. Riots continued Monday night, resulting in a thousand arrests over the two nights. Financial Times estimated that over 100,000 participated in the Tehran rioting on Thursday night.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Kramer
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Two decades ago, a generation of Middle East scholars in America revolted against their teachers — the founders of Middle Eastern studies in America. They did so in a bid to revitalize funding and job opportunities in the field. The banner they waived was that of Edward Said's 1978 Orientalism, in which he argued that Europeans and Americans were afflicted by bias when analyzing trends in the region. In effect, that left Middle Easterners as the only scholars who could claim to study the region objectively. Said's followers then proceeded to take over the field of Middle Eastern studies in America. But now, the revolutionaries have become the establishment, and it is time for the younger generation of Middle East scholars to effect a revolution against their own teachers..
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Shaykh Yousef al-Qaradawi, head of the Sunni studies department at Qatar University and a well-known Islamic scholar, was the first in the Arab Sunni world to Islamically legitimate the suicide operations of Hamas (1995). But he was also among the first Islamic scholars to condemn the September 11 attack on the United States. In mid-October, he joined four other scholars in sanctioning the participation of American Muslim military personnel in the attack on Afghanistan, as long as they were not involved in fighting and only in administrative and logistics activities. This report was viewed by American Muslims as a ruling, but the statement has not appeared on his official website (www.qaradawi.net) alongside his other rulings, articles, and interviews. Do his post-September 11 statements indicate a change in view?
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Barham Salih
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Ten years after the Gulf War, much of Iraqi Kurdistan is free from Baghdad's control and is busy trying to build a civil society in a very difficult region. Out of the ashes of tyranny, the Iraqi Kurds have built something tangible: a free, liberal society by Middle Eastern standards, if not by higher standards. Basic human rights are assured: for example, in Sulaymania there are some fifty-five newspapers, many of which are very critical of the government and the PUK. And much has been done to develop the local economy through governmental and tax reforms, and the UN Oil-for-Food program.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, North America
  • Author: Richard Williams
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Bright Star 01/02, the largest multinational exercise in the world, began in Egypt the same day U.S. strikes against Afghanistan commenced. With world and regional attention focused on the war against terrorism, relatively little media notice has been taken of Bright Star. Despite its massive size, the exercise was "expected to be a low-key affair" by the Middle East Newsline. A review of the Egyptian press since October 4 reveals no mention of it, and the Department of Defense (DoD) released only a single, brief announcement on October 3. The U.S. Central Command's (CENTCOM) Bright Star web page is bare.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries, Egypt
  • Author: Joshua Teitelbaum
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's visit to the Middle East and Central Asia last week — in an attempt to shore up the coalition against anti-American terrorism — brought him to Saudi Arabia as well. The Saudi government has neither openly acknowledged how they will allow the United States to use the space-age technology Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) that opened in June at Prince Sultan Air Base, near al-Kharj, southeast of Riyadh; nor has it said what landing or refueling rights will be granted. Amid conflicting statements by anonymous officials, the Saudi paper al-'Ukaz quoted Minister of Defense Sultan bin 'Abd al-'Aziz: "We do not accept the presence in our country of a single soldier at war with Muslims or Arabs." History is not encouraging here — the Saudi royal family did not allow the United States to use its air bases during 1998's Operation Desert Fox against Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Amy Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: October 12 marks the first anniversary of the terrorist attack on the American warship USS Cole, an attack that killed seventeen sailors while the ship was refueling in Aden harbor, Yemen. A year later, although United States and many Yemeni officials are certain that Osama bin Laden was behind the incident, the file remains open. Reflecting the continuing evolution of policy in the wake of September 11, the United States now describes Yemen as a "partner" in the fight against terror, whereas the State Department's 2000 "Patterns of Global Terrorism" report stated that the Yemeni government "did little to discourage the terrorist presence in Yemen."
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Government, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Mohammed Eshaq, Julie Sirrs
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The current situation in the region creates an opportunity for Afghanistan and the United Front. The United Front is the only force present in Afghanistan and ready to move against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. If there is cooperation between the forces of the United States and the United Front, the job of eliminating Al Qaeda's infrastructure and removing the Taliban from power will be easier than if the two act separately. Yet, the leadership of the United Front is aware of the misconception in Washington that there are certain factions of the Taliban that could be dealt with and convinced to join forces against bin Laden. Any involvement by the United States should be done in a way to bring further unity, cohesion, and support to an already existing coalition of forces opposing the Taliban under the banner of the United Front.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With attention focused on the bombings against Afghanistan, the most radical change in U.S. policy toward any other Muslim state since September 11 has been the accelerated rapprochement between the United States and Sudan, a country that hosted Osama bin Laden between 1991 and 1996. The quickly warming relations between Washington and Khartoum raise the question of "what price coalition?"
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the world has focused on the U.S. effort against Osama bin Laden in the aftermath of September 11, friction has been building between the United States and Israel. The growing feeling in Israel has been that U.S. coalition-building with the Arabs against terrorism has involved tradeoffs which come at Israel's expense and thus compromises Israeli security concerns. The tension peaked at the end of last week when Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon made intemperate remarks, implying a potential comparison between President George W. Bush and Neville Chamberlains Munich capitulation to the Nazis. The White House immediately termed such comments "unacceptable" — Sharon quickly apologized, calling it a misunderstanding.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the United States pursues its military operations, the Organization of the Islamic Conference's (OIC) foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in the Qatari capital of Doha on Wednesday. Among the important issues that are likely to be mooted are the antiterrorism coalition and the scope of its activities; the future of Afghanistan; and a working definition of terrorism. The OIC has before it an important opportunity to ally the Muslim world with the prevailing international consensus against using religion as a rationale for mass violence.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Avi Jorisch
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: After a three-week hiatus following the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Tuesday saw renewed car bombings in Israel. Yet, it is not only Israel that faces a threat from radical Islamist suicide terrorists, but also many Arab states. Given this fact, it is all the more striking that many mainstream Muslim religious leaders are still unwilling to condemn suicide bombings in general, irrespective of the cause that the bombers espouse.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The internal Bush administration debate over the "broad coalition/narrow target versus narrow coalition/broad target" in the war against terrorism will be put to a test Monday, when the United Nations General Assembly is scheduled to vote in secret ballot on the nomination of Syria as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. Despite being a charter member of the U.S. government list of state sponsors of terrorism, Syria's candidacy has not yet elicited U.S. opposition.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Tamil Nadu
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This week's visit to New York and Washington by the ruler of the Persian Gulf state of Qatar is a public display of the type of relationship the United States would prefer to have with its allies in the region post-September 11: friendly, concerned, and openly cooperative. It will be contrasted by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's visit to Qatar's much larger neighbor and frequent rival, Saudi Arabia, where the ruling family is reluctant to make military facilities available for operations against Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Rubin, Michael Eisenstadt, David Isbey
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 21, Michael Rubin, a visiting fellow at The Washington Institute who traveled to Afghanistan and Pakistan in 1997 and 2000; David Isbey, specialist correspondent for Jane's Intelligence Review and director of the Committee for a Free Afghanistan; and Michael Eisenstadt, senior fellow at The Washington Institute specializing in military affairs, addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: At a meeting over the weekend in the Saudi port city of Jeddah, foreign ministers of the conservative Arab states of the Persian Gulf pledged "total cooperation" for international efforts to bring those responsible for the terror attacks in New York and Washington to justice. But the nuances in attitudes of the group — the oil states of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Oman — suggest that the United States faces huge difficulties in achieving, publicly at least, anything more than partial cooperation.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Kuwait, Arab Countries
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In his September 21st speech to Congress, President George W. Bush mentioned two terrorist groups in addition to Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaedah: the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Both groups are fighting the regimes of their homelands but serve the interests of global Jihad as well.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Uzbekistan, Arab Countries, Egypt
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: British foreign secretary Jack Straw arrives in Tehran today to "build alliances with every country that we can." In fact, Iran is the acid test of U.S. resolve to fulfill the goal set by President George Bush in his speech to Congress, namely, "From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." While Iran could be a useful ally vis-a-vis Afghanistan, there is no sign that Iran has any intention of stopping its support for terrorism. The objective of U.S. policy should be finding a way to take advantage of Iran's anti-Taliban sentiment while still pressing ahead with efforts to terminate Iran's own support for international terrorism.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The visit to Washington this week by Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al Faisal is an early test of Saudi Arabia's ability and willingness to work with U.S. authorities in meeting the threat of terrorism led by Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden. Although the United States is the kingdom's strongest ally and has historically helped make it the world's largest oil exporter, the recent past does not augur well.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 13, 2001, Dennis Ross, counselor and distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute, delivered a presentation at a special briefing on the September 11 terrorist attacks. The following is an adaptation of Ambassador Ross's remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 13, 2001, Robert Satloff, executive director of The Washington Institute, and Dennis Ross, counselor and distinguished fellow at the Institute, held a special briefing on the September 11 terrorist attacks. The following is a rapporteur's summary of Dr. Satloff's remarks; the report of Ambassador Ross's remarks will be distributed tomorrow.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Given the scope of last week's terrorist attacks and the shadowy nature of the perpetrators, the White House has pledged that U.S. retaliation will be qualitatively different from the past — targeting states as well as organizations, crafting a wide international coalition, employing an array of military, political, and cultural means, and persisting over a long period of time. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld acknowledged that the U.S. response would be "political, economic, diplomatic, and military," while the president unequivocally declared that the objective of the United States "is to rid the world of evil." Deciding how to achieve these goals, however, raises several quandaries.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Three days after the horrific attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, investigators are concentrating on al-Qaida, the terrorist network of Saudi financier Osama bin Laden. But as President Bush warned, focusing on the perpetrators must not detract from focusing on those that make his operation possible.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Taliban, Arab Countries
  • Author: Amy Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a glimmer of hope for Egyptian-American democracy advocate Saad ed-Din Ibrahim and five of his colleagues — sentenced to prison in May — Egypt's Court of Cassation last week set an October 17 hearing for a petition to suspend their sentences while the verdict is under appeal. This news, along with the arrival in Cairo of a new U.S. ambassador, should give the United States the opportunity to pursue the Ibrahim case more vigorously, despite the tension this may add to U.S.-Egyptian relations at a time of regional conflict.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries, Egypt, Cairo
  • Author: Irwin Cotler
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On August 7, 2001, Irwin Cotler, member of the Canadian parliament and co-chair of the Joint House-Senate Parliamentary Human Rights Group, addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Human Rights, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A nuclear breakout by Iraq or Iran could have a number of direct and indirect effects on the region: First, a nuclear breakout by either will cause the United States to be much more careful in its dealings with that state, particularly when it comes to considering military action. America's military freedom-of-action will be greatly constrained. Second, an Iraqi breakout would almost certainly cause Iran to further accelerate its own nuclear efforts and might spur Tehran to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, which it increasingly sees as a liability. Third, the emergence of a nuclear Iraq and/or Iran could cause the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to seek an independent deterrent capability — including chemical weapons. (The large petrochemical industries of the Gulf could provide many of the precursor chemicals needed for such an effort.) Saudi Arabia might even seek to buy nuclear weapons from Pakistan.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Iraq, America, Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As U.S. policymakers review options for national missile defense and ways to reshape the military to meet future threats, nuclear proliferation — particularly in the Middle East — looms large as one of the most critical future challenges facing the United States. In the coming years, it is conceivable, if not likely, that the United States will have to respond to a nuclear breakout by Iraq and/or Iran. Such a development could have a dramatic impact on the strategic environment of the Middle East by altering the regional balance of power and encouraging further proliferation in the region and beyond. A nuclear breakout by either of these countries would also undermine international proliferation norms, put U.S. forces in the region at risk, pose a direct threat to U.S. friends and allies, and greatly constrain America's military freedom of action in the region. The likelihood of such a development — or at least its potential impact — will, however, be influenced by steps the United States takes now to deal with such an eventuality. And Washington is more likely to successfully manage the consequences of a nuclear breakout by Iraq or Iran if its response is not improvised, but based on prior planning.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: August 5 is an auspicious day for Iran, as it marks the inauguration of Mohammed Khatami's second four-year term as president of that country. It is also the day that the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act (ILSA) would have expired, had its renewal not received an overwhelming vote last week by 96-2 in the Senate and 409-6 in the House. Khatami's cabinet choices, which he is expected to announce at his inaugural, will indicate much about where Iran is heading. Similarly, how the Bush administration administers a renewed ILSA will indicate much about the direction of U.S.-Iran policy.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Libya, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Colson
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: At the end of August, the United Nations is set to convene a "World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance" (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa. But with less than one month to go, preparations for the conference are in shambles. Draft texts under consideration are replete with language equating Zionism with racism. Efforts to address anti-Semitism and the Holocaust have been perverted beyond recognition. Governments and nongovernmental organizations are demanding apologies and recognition of the right to reparations and compensation for slavery, the slave trade, colonialism, and other historical wrongs. These problems have prompted the Bush administration to warn that it may boycott the entire event.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, South Africa, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: August 2, 2001 marks eleven years since Saddam Husayn invaded Kuwait. Given Washington's unsuccessful effort to win UN Security Council approval for a reformed sanctions regime, the Bush administration must now reconsider the options for Iraq policy.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Kuwait, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This week, Jordan's King Abdullah took two major decisions that will have significant implications for the kingdom's complicated and often troubled relations with its Palestinian and Islamist communities. Last Sunday, Abdullah approved a new election law; two days later, he issued a decree indefinitely postponing parliamentary elections. Taken together, these moves appear designed to bolster the stability of the kingdom, though it is still too early to assess whether the regime wins or loses from these parliamentary gambits.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism, Law
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries, Jordan
  • Author: Ibrahim Karawan
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 10, 2001, Professor Ibrahim Karawan, director of the Middle East Center at the University of Utah and Ira Weiner Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks. The record of prediction about Islamism as a political force has been unimpressive. The failure is due to inadequacies in conceptualizing what is known, more than any shortage of raw data.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Islam, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ruth Wedgwood
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 25, the fifth anniversary of the Khobar Towers bombing, Dr. Ruth Wedgwood, professor of international law at the Yale Law School and Edward B. Burling Professor of International Law and Diplomacy at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (2001-2002), addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of her remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 27, 2001, Michael Rubin, a Washington Institute visiting scholar and Carnegie Council fellow, addressed the Washington Institute's Policy Forum. Dr. Rubin has just returned from nine months in northern Iraq, where he taught in the region's three universities. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks. Iraq remains at the forefront of U.S. and international attention. Many contentious issues — such as sanctions, weapons of mass destruction, and the future political disposition of the country — remain unresolved. In analyzing the source of Iraq's problems, it is useful to compare those portions of Iraq under the control of Saddam Hussein to the three northern governorates (Dahuk, Irbil, Sulaymaniyyah), which are controlled by the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), and the Islamic Unity Movement of Kurdistan — especially as all parts of Iraq fall under the same set of UN sanctions. The population in the north is approximately 3.5 million, many of whom are Kurdish, Turkoman, or Assyrian, and almost 1 million of whom are displaced persons expelled from Saddam's portion of Iraq. By refusing to grant visas to many journalists, Saddam's government consistently seeks to deny press coverage to northern Iraq. Those who do visit Baghdad-controlled Iraq are restricted to guided tours with Iraqi government minders and are prevented from traveling into the Kurdish-controlled north. Foreigners visiting the north, however, are able to move around freely without prearrangement.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On Friday in Europe, Secretary of State Colin Powell is set to meet Crown Prince Abdullah, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. Washington's relationship with the world's largest oil exporter has become strained for reasons more complicated than Crown Prince Abdullah's recent reluctance to meet President Bush at the White House, allegedly because of perceived U.S. bias toward Israel and against the Palestinians. Saudi diplomacy suffers a credibility problem because contradictory statements by top Saudi officials often leave diplomats guessing as to what is the real Saudi position.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Europe, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 5, 2001, Michael Rubin, a Washington Institute visiting scholar who was in 2000/2001 a visiting professor at the three universities in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, addressed the Institute's Policy Forum luncheon. This event marked the publication of Dr. Rubin's new study, Into the Shadows: Radical Vigilantes in Khatami's Iran (Policy Paper no. 56, The Washington Institute). The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Tomorrow, Mohammed Khatami is sure to be re-elected president of Iran. But that is not likely to make much difference to Iranians, as Khatami has no coherent program for any of Iran's three pressing problems: economic revitalization, political liberalization, and reduction of security threats. Even though Khatami has shown disinterest in improving relations with the United States, Washington should try once again, while not expecting much-if any-response.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Geneive Abdo
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In May, Geneive Abdo, a research scholar at the Middle East Institute of the Columbia University School of International Affairs, addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. The following is a rapporteur's summary of her remarks. To see her remarks in their entirety, The election of Muhammad Khatami as president of Iran four years ago has given rise to a perception that he is a maverick, a rare political leader in Iranian history who advocates values important to the Western world: political pluralism, freedom of expression, and human rights for all, including religious minorities. However, Khatami's unwillingness to confront the establishment became clear early in his presidency. After students staged five days of protest in July 1999 — the first true test of Khatami's courage — the president took a different turn. He decided at critical moments to side with the establishment, no matter how much he might alienate his own supporters.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This week, the United States and United Kingdom are circulating a draft resolution in the UN Security Council proposing a package of new measures intended to "re-energize" sanctions against Iraq. They hope to bring the resolution to a vote before the next six-month phase of the "oil for food" program begins on June 4. This revamped sanctions regime will lift restrictions on civilian trade, while retaining both international control over Iraq's oil income through the UN escrow account, and a ban on the import of arms and dual-use items critical to the production of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, United Kingdom, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Bush administration this week launched initiatives on two fronts of U.S. concern about the Middle East: Secretary of State Colin Powell's proposals to end Arab–Israeli violence and Vice President Dick Cheney's national energy policy. While the energy policy report concentrates on domestic issues, it necessarily discusses the Middle East. Its prescriptions about the Middle East, however, are vague. At worst, Washington appears unwilling to criticize the price-influencing production policies of the members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cartel, dominated by Middle Eastern countries.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: American policymakers face a number of decision points concerning U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran in the coming weeks. The UN Security Council has to act by June 4 to renew the oil-for-food program, providing the United States with an opportunity to secure approval for the "re-energized" sanctions regime that Secretary of State Colin Powell floated in March. Iran's policy direction will become clearer after its June 8 presidential elections, and that could influence the U.S. decision whether to renew the Iran-Libya Sanctions Act that expires August 5. Meanwhile, U.S. officials are reportedly considering whether to indict senior Iranians for the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Iran, Arab Countries
  • Author: Brenda Shaffer
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In April, Brenda Shaffer, research director of Harvard University's Caspian Studies Program and visiting fellow at The Washington Institute in 2000, addressed The Washington Institute to mark the publication of her Policy Paper, Partners in Need: The Strategic Relationship of Russia and Iran. The following is a rapporteur's summary of her remarks. Russia and Iran see themselves as strategic partners, and therefore their relations are based on an overall security conception. It would be a misperception to assume that because Washington and Moscow share concerns about Islamist radicalism that Russia would necessarily decide to cooperate with the United States on Iran. It would also be a misperception to think that Russia wants to sell arms to Iran solely in order to make money and that the United States can induce Russia not to make these sales by offering a better economic deal.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Today's decision by Iranian president Mohammad Khatami to run for re-election was more important than the actual election on June 8, which he is sure to win. But neither matters nearly as much as the crucial question for Iran's future — namely, will hardliners let the formal government rule or will they continue their crackdown through the revolutionary institutions they control? The answer will be key for U.S. policy options towards Iran.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Yossi Baidatz
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Tomorrow, Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri begins his visit to Washington, his first since the September 2000 elections that saw his return to the office he held from October 1992 to December 1998. His ears are ringing with voices of two interwoven debates at home — namely, debates about the deterioration of the security situation along the Lebanese–Israeli border and about the continued Syrian presence in Lebanon. Hariri, a seasoned businessman who is well aware of the delicacy of the situation and of his limitations as the head of a government with restricted powers, does not see this visit as a mere courtesy call, but as a milestone. To assure his own political survival, he needs to extricate Lebanon from its severe economic crisis and avoid entanglement in war. For the new American administration that is still formulating its Middle Eastern policy, this visit could be an opportunity to prevent a conflagration in Lebanon and to begin a new long-term policy towards Lebanon and Syria.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Mark Parris
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Turkey is important . . . The new administration, based on what it has said and done since January, understands this." "One reason [for Turkey's importance], of course, is its location and the issues that come with that geography-big issues; issues that have literally made or broken past administrations' foreign policies: Russia; the Caucasus and Central Asia; Iran; Iraq; post-Asad Syria; Israel and the Arab world; Cyprus and the Aegean; the Balkans; the European Security and Defense Initiative (ESDI); drugs, thugs, and terror. I would submit that no administration can achieve its objectives on any of these issues unless the Turks are on the same page.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Arms Control and Proliferation, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Turkey, Caucasus, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries, Syria, Cyprus
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 21, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Abd al-Aziz bin Abdallah Aal al-Shaykh, said that Islam forbids suicide terrorist attacks. This has raised a storm of criticism from supporters of the Palestinian intifada against Israel. However, the mufti may have been thinking more about Osama bin Ladin than recent Palestinian actions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 30, the Department of State issued its comprehensive annual report Patterns of Global Terrorism, describing incidents and trends in international terrorism in the year 2000. This year's report covers the first three months of accelerated Palestinian-Israeli violence. It is also marks the first time the Bush administration State Department has been compelled to publicly comment on the nature of Lebanese Hizballah attacks against Israel in the post-withdrawal era.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries