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  • Author: Raymond Tanter
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush's reference to an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address accurately captures the ties among Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. The president also usefully highlighted the overlap between proliferation and terrorism. In the end, there are more benefits than costs in using such confrontational language.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North Korea, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 31, following President George Bush's State of the Union condemnation of the "axis of evil," National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice explained, "Iran's direct support of regional and global terrorism, and its aggressive efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, belie any good intentions it displayed in the days after the world's worst terrorist attacks in history." How accurate is this characterization?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In his January 29 State of the Union address, President George Bush criticized Iran as one of three states (the other two being Iraq and North Korea) forming an 'axis of evil' and castigated its "unelected leaders" for denying the will of the majority. Indeed, the perennial conflict between Tehran's political factions seems to have escalated, deepening the stalemate that has essentially paralyzed its governing system. The durability of the Islamic Republic has always stemmed from its flexibility and capacity to absorb change. Since the election of Muhammad Khatami in 1997, however, the popular demand for change is outstripping the system's accommodative capabilities. The youths' demands for employment and cultural freedom, the middle class's quest for representation, and the women's clamor for social emancipation are creating tensions and pressures that threaten the foundations of the Islamic Republic.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, North Korea, Arabia
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 20-21, an interfaith summit of Muslim, Christian, and Israeli Jewish leaders convened in Alexandria, Egypt, after several years of effort and planning. The meeting did not draw much attention in the Egyptian or Palestinian media — only in the Israeli media — but it deserves attention, if not for the religious dimension, then at least for the political.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Michael E. Mandelbaum, Robert Hunter, William Kristol
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Cold War, certain regions of the world (e.g., Western Europe, Northeast Asia, the Western hemisphere) are both important to the United States and, for the moment, relatively stable. Several other regions (e.g., sub-Saharan Africa, former Soviet Central Asia) are unstable but not as important. The Middle East is the only region that boasts the unhappy combination of being both important and unstable.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With its longstanding support for terrorism, both pre- and post-September 11, Syria poses a unique challenge to U.S. antiterror strategy. Unlike Iran — whose leaders orchestrate public chants of "Death to America, death to Israel" and thereby provide rhetorical context to their sponsorship of terrorism — Damascus proclaims its desire for warm ties with the United States and its commitment to a "comprehensive" peace with Israel. Specifically, Syria has benefited from its role in the Arab-Israeli peace process and its suzerainty over Lebanon. These factors have for years combined to provide Syria with a measure of protection against U.S. (and Israeli) antiterror initiatives.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the Bush administration surveys options for the next phases in the war on terrorism, scant attention has been focused on Syria — despite the fact that Dr. Bashar al-Asad's regime has been among the world's most active supporters of terrorism, even after September 11.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Hans Blix
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since September 11, there has been increased concern about terrorists using weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It is thus natural to return to the issue of Iraq, a country that has used chemical agents against Iran and its own citizens. Indeed, Iraq violated the Non-Proliferation Treaty before 1990 and, prior to the Gulf War, was estimated to be a year away from developing workable nuclear weapons.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Revelations of Iranian-Palestinian collusion to smuggle fifty tons of weapons into the hands of Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA) through the offices of Hizballah have profound strategic implications for the Middle East. For the Bush administration, responding appropriately to the Karine-A episode may have unpleasant repercussions for relations with key Arab states. However, failing to deal forthrightly with the shift in the region's tectonic plates represented by the smuggling affair is a self-defeating exercise in delusion.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Mark Parris
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Visits by Turkish prime ministers to Washington have tended in years past to be low-profile events. With imagination and boldness on the American side, the January 16 meeting between President George W. Bush and Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit has the potential to be a watershed in a relationship that will affect vital U.S. interests well into the new century.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Middle East, Arabia