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  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: While publicly stressing Saudi Arabia's cooperation and shared concern regarding terrorist financing, U.S. treasury secretary Paul O'Neill held private consultations this past week in Riyadh with Saudi officials and businessmen regarding specific Saudi organizations and individuals suspected of financing terrorist activities. Promising to find clear-cut cases, O'Neill reassured his hosts that the United States is both fine-tuning the procedure of targeting charitable institutions and fast-tracking the processing of individuals and institutions already placed on terrorism lists and subject to financial blocking orders.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson, Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Neither Prime Minister Ariel Sharon nor Chairman Yasir Arafat could have foreseen a year ago what is happening today — namely, an escalating spiral of terror and reprisal. Sharon believed that by insisting on "no negotiations under fire" and increasing pressure on the Palestinians, he could stabilize the situation. By sending his son to meet with Arafat, he also sought to convey that he would indeed negotiate once the violence stopped. Arafat believed that fissures would grow within Israeli society, or that a worsening of the situation would bring international intervention that either imposed a solution or enabled him to maneuver more freely. Neither leader got what he had hoped for.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Jean-Louis Sarbib
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Even prior to September 11, the World Bank emphasized the links between economic development, hopelessness, acts of desperation, and terrorism. To be sure, there is no one-to-one connection between poverty and terrorism, but surely poverty feeds hopelessness, which then creates an enabling environment for terrorism. Living in a society with such despair, terrorists can perceive and present themselves as champions of the poor. The acts that were perpetrated on September 11 proved that building a wall around the prosperity of a particular region of the world simply does not work. The world is truly globalized and unified; events and problems know no borders.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Amy W. Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On March 6, Lorne W. Craner, assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, will testify before Congress on the State Department's just-released "2001 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" covering 195 countries. How the reports characterize human rights and influence U.S. policy in the Arab world is especially important this year. Traditionally, human rights have not figured prominently in U.S. policy toward the region. However, some U.S. officials have recently alluded to the promotion of "freedom" in the Middle East as part of the war against terrorism. Most notable were President George W. Bush's State of the Union remarks that "America will always stand firm for the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women, private property, free speech, equal justice, and religious tolerance."
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet testified before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on February 6 that Iran continues to be "the foremost state sponsor of terrorism." Citing its attempt to transfer offensive arms to the Palestinian Authority (PA) aboard the Karine-A smuggling ship, Tenet said that there has been "little sign of a reduction in Iran's support for terrorism in the past year."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 17, Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia was quoted by New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman as saying that he had drafted a speech ready for delivery before next month's Arab summit, offering the "idea" of "full normalization of relations" with Israel in exchange for "full withdrawal from all the occupied territory, in accordance with U.N. resolutions, including in Jerusalem." As Friedman's column was headlined, this was an "intriguing signal" from the Saudi heir. Is it an important one, too?
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: New York, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Helena Kane Finn
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The U.S.-Turkish military strategic relationship has been a strong one historically, based on the loyalty of Turkey — a staunch NATO ally — over the past half century. As a result of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to Washington in January, business contacts between the United States and Turkey have intensified, adding a new and very significant dimension to the relationship. Perhaps the most concrete result of the meeting between President George W. Bush and the Turkish prime minister is the State Department's creation of the Economic Partnership Commission (EPC), scheduled to hold its first meeting in Ankara on February 26-27. State Department undersecretary for economic affairs Alan Larson will lead the U.S. delegation.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Raymond Tanter
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush's reference to an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address accurately captures the ties among Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. The president also usefully highlighted the overlap between proliferation and terrorism. In the end, there are more benefits than costs in using such confrontational language.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North Korea, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 31, following President George Bush's State of the Union condemnation of the "axis of evil," National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice explained, "Iran's direct support of regional and global terrorism, and its aggressive efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, belie any good intentions it displayed in the days after the world's worst terrorist attacks in history." How accurate is this characterization?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In his January 29 State of the Union address, President George Bush criticized Iran as one of three states (the other two being Iraq and North Korea) forming an 'axis of evil' and castigated its "unelected leaders" for denying the will of the majority. Indeed, the perennial conflict between Tehran's political factions seems to have escalated, deepening the stalemate that has essentially paralyzed its governing system. The durability of the Islamic Republic has always stemmed from its flexibility and capacity to absorb change. Since the election of Muhammad Khatami in 1997, however, the popular demand for change is outstripping the system's accommodative capabilities. The youths' demands for employment and cultural freedom, the middle class's quest for representation, and the women's clamor for social emancipation are creating tensions and pressures that threaten the foundations of the Islamic Republic.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, North Korea, Arabia