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  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the Palestinians seek to sort out the post-Arafat succession, ostensibly the first order of business is presidential elections. The Palestinian Authority (PA) has said it would hold presidential elections on January 9, 2005. However, making the election successful may require prior commitment to a cease fire, which in turn requires understandings among Palestinian factions accepted by Israel; this would be necessary to ensure peaceful conditions on the ground and the absence of Israeli military interruption during the election itself and the preceding campaign. According to the London-based Arab daily al-sharq al-Awsat, Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen), former Palestinian premier and newly named chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization drove home this point in two rounds of talks with Palestinian rejectionist groups over the last week. Abu Mazen is quoted as saying, "We need a safe, secure and calm internal situation, so we can hold elections. There is no possibility of holding elections while we are in a state of war and violent struggle. Elections need a secure environment that will allow for it to be done in a free and fair manner. Elections require freedom of movement and transportation to reach the ballot boxes and ensuring the participation of citizens." Indeed, there have been a variety of quotes from rejectionist leaders saying they may be willing to adhere to a unilateral ceasefire, but so far, there has been no definitive word from the main rejectionist group, Hamas. There have been a variety of reports that Hamas would agree to a ceasefire, but it seems that it will only if Israel accepts it as well. Israel may respect a truce brokered by Egypt among the Palestinian factions just as it consented to one during the summer of 2003. At the same time, it will be concerned that its acceptance not be exploited by undisciplined radicals in a way that ties Israel's hands and makes it vulnerable to attack. The last ceasefire fell apart because of differing understandings of its terms among the key protagonists. Unless that lesson is learned another truce is likely to fall apart, too. Another prerequisite for elections is that Abu Mazen needs to receive the nomination of the dominant Fatah party. Abu Mazen's nomination could easily be a formality, since so far, there is no real opposition. Yet, Fatah elections, while recognized by many as necessary, might be resisted by an Old Guard seeking to preserve its power. The issue of Fatah elections has been a dominant motif of the Young Guard. They believe that a combination of elections on all levels will have the cleansing effect of ridding the PA of old cronies of Yasser Arafat, who were beneficiaries of corruption. Moreover, it will inject new blood into a calcified system.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, London, Palestine, Czech Republic
  • Author: David Makovsky, Aaron David Miller, Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A transfer of power within the Palestinian Authority, coupled with the Israeli disengagement from Gaza, presents both challenges and opportunities for reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations. The preconditions of past peace treaties between Israel and its Arab neighbors have demonstrated the necessity for calm on the ground and strong leaders who can force their constituents to accept peace. Unfortunately, the past four years of fighting, the lack of strong leadership, and the asymmetry of power between the Israelis and Palestinians all act as bulwarks against necessary change. The situation is complicated by the need to prevent Hamas and local warlords from expanding their power. Nevertheless, from the Israeli perspective, there are some opportunities for change. The disengagement plan proves that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon understands that Israel cannot sustain the settlements, while the continued construction of the West Bank fence presents opportunities for new negotiations.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The convergence of Yasser Arafat's departure from the scene after four decades of domination and the imminent Israeli disengagement from Gaza (which will include the removal of settlements for the first time since 1967) represents a unique opportunity for Israeli-Palestinian relations. Arafat leaves behind a huge leadership void. With such prolonged centralized control over Palestinian affairs, he was everything in one man. He was the glue holding together all strata of Palestinian society—those living inside and outside the territories, Gazans and West Bankers, older and younger generations of activists, Islamists and leftists. He was the head of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Palestinian Authority, and the Fatah movement, and he personally controlled political, security, and economic decisionmaking as well as enormous funds. Many forces are likely to attempt to fill the vacuum and share in the inheritance. There are already signs of the emergence of a collective leadership composed of the veteran Fatah leadership, headed by Mahmoud Abbas (a.k.a. Abu Mazen) and Ahmad Qurei (a.k.a. Abu Ala) and supported by Fatah activists of the intermediate generation. They will divide Arafat's powers and responsibilities among themselves and seek to stabilize their rule based on the collective desire to preserve national unity. Over time, however, the internal contest over spoils and policies is likely to surface and threaten the new leadership. The imminent Israeli disengagement from Gaza, which is deeply dividing Palestinian society, will only add to the challenge.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Two major developments have occurred within the past week in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. First, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon achieved an initial victory on October 26, when the Knesset voted in favor of disengagement from GazaNa significant step that has already created both opportunities and challenges. The vote was the first of many to come on the subject of Gaza withdrawal; the next such item on the parliament's agenda will be addressed on November 3, with a preliminary reading of a bill regarding compensation for Gaza settlers. Second, Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat's sudden hospitalization in Paris has raised new questions about Palestinian succession.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Ten years on, the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan has weathered a number of storms, including the passing away of King Hussein, four years of Israeli-Palestinian armed struggle, and war in Iraq. Despite considerable domestic anti-peace pressure on the Jordanian regime (nurtured by Islamist elements) and strained Israeli-Jordanian political relations, the two countries have developed impressive security and economic relations. The economic field in particular offers a ray of hope for the future, exemplifying how things could and should be done to enhance peace.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Efraim Halevy, Fayiz Tarawneh
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Jordan's ultimate strategic objective is peace in the Middle East. While the Jordan-Israel treaty remains seminal in importance for the Middle East and beyond, the continued bloodshed in the region sobers the anniversary celebration. The Jordan-Israel treaty reflected the courage and vision of King Hussein and Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. Reaching agreement on this treaty was not always an easy process. The initial talks between the two countries in September 1993 resulted in a stalemate. The second round of talks in April 1994 was more successful, but when the United States was invited to serve as a guarantor, Washington balked at the idea of a Jordan-Israel treaty. Nevertheless, throughout the negotiations, Hussein and Rabin both demonstrated farsighted leadership and deep convictions about the absolute necessity of peace. They understood that they had to view each other as partners, not adversaries, and deal with each other directly. There is a place for third-party mediation and negotiation, but only when all other options have been exhausted and talks are at a standstill. The Jordan-Israel treaty and the Oslo negotiations are good examples of the efficacy of direct communication in peace talks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In late October 2004, the Israeli parliament will debate Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan for "disengagement" from Gaza and the northern West Bank. This plan was born of Israel's experience over the course of the four-year-old Palestinian intifada. Understanding the rationale for disengagement requires a review of the lessons that Israel has learned from this conflict.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On October 4, 2004, Commissioner-General of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) Peter Hansen unapologetically admitted to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that the UN employs members of Hamas. "Oh, I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll," Hansen stated, "and I don't see that as a crime." The fact that Palestinian terrorist groups have increasingly used civilian cover to facilitate their activities remains undisputed (notwithstanding the recent spat between Israel and the UN over drone reconnaissance pictures depicting what Israeli officials claimed were Hamas operatives transporting Qassam missiles in a UN ambulance, but which now appear to have been merely stretchers). In several documented cases, Palestinian terrorists have exploited employment with UN and other agencies to support their groups' activities.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Herzog
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Palestinian intifada against Israel, this week entering its fifth year, has wreaked havoc on both Israelis and Palestinians. In Palestinian quarters, it has provoked considerable soul-searching about the wisdom of resorting to terrorism as a tool in the confrontation with Israel. Yasser Arafat remains the Palestinians' paramount political leader, though his standing is diminished at home and abroad. Israel managed to considerably reduce the level and volume of terror against it, but also decided to disengage from Gaza.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 10, 2004, Madeleine Albright and Dennis Ross addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. As secretary of state, Albright was the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government. Currently, she is chairman of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and founder and principal of the Albright Group. Ambassador Ross, counselor and Ziegler distinguished fellow at The Washington Institute, is author of The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2004). From 1989 to 2000, he served as the chief U.S. envoy to the Middle East. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Despite being rebuffed again by the Likud Party two weeks ago, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon has been undeterred in pursuing disengagement. In publicly broadcast remarks, he informed his fractious parliamentary faction that he was planning to accelerate the timing of his plan for withdrawal from Gaza and four West Bank settlements by holding a cabinet vote not in March 2005, as had been expected, but on October 24 of this year. The actual removal of settlements would follow once the measure passed the Knesset. Having just returned from Israel and the West Bank, I came away with a distinct set of impressions regarding Sharon's motivations, the political levers he believes he has at his disposal in dealing with opponents inside and outside Likud, and the coalition configurations that he is weighing as he pursues his strategy to make disengagement a reality.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week, federal authorities in Chicago indicted three senior Hamas members—two of whom were arrested in the United States, while the third remains at large in Syria—on charges of racketeering and (in the case of one defendant) providing material support to terrorists. The indictment marks a watershed in the prosecution of terrorists raising funds and plotting attacks from the United States. It also raises reason for concern: might Hamas now target Western interests?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Syria, Chicago
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Julie Sawyer
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In 1995, Jewish extremist Yigal Amir caught Israeli society off guard when he assassinated Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in an effort to derail the Labor government's pursuit of a peace accord with the Palestinian Authority (PA). Today, Israeli society is coming to terms with a similarly acute Jewish extremist threat to the life of a prime minister; this time, however, the target is the Likud Party's hawkish Ariel Sharon. Although the prospect of right-wing Jewish elements targeting a right-wing politician may surprise some, Jewish extremist violence has actually been on the rise over the past several years.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei (a.k.a. Abu Ala) rescinding his recent resignation without gaining any meaningful control over disparate security forces, PA Chairman Yasir Arafat can claim to have won the latest round in the power struggle taking place inside the West Bank and Gaza. Arafat's success is partly attributable to his ability to use a variety of methods to outmaneuver his opponents, as he has done in the past. In addition to intimidating foes and mollifying allies, Arafat has skillfully used his iconic status as a symbol of Palestinian nationalism to retain unquestioned political preeminence. Yet, the more Palestinians are able to distinguish between Arafat the symbol and Arafat the leader, the harder it will be for him to divert criticism.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Zohar Palti
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: One of the most serious implications of four years of incessant violence and terrorism is the fragmentation of Palestinian society. Notwithstanding the debate over the impact of the Israeli presence in the territories, Palestinian quality of life cannot improve without radical reform in the structure of the Palestinian Authority (PA), its leadership, and its methods of governance. Indeed, PA Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei cited chaos as the reason for his recent resignation (which he subsequently rescinded). Similarly, on July 21, PA minister in charge of municipal governance Saeb Erekat, stated, "If we can't restore public order and law . . . this will bring the greatest damage to the Palestinian people and their cause. . . . It's the whole social fabric that is collapsing now." According to a June 2004 poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Centre, 88.6 percent of Palestinians believe that their government is corrupt, with most respondents stating that this corruption is widespread.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasir Arafat is facing a serious challenge to his authority, perhaps the most serious since he arrived in the territories from Tunis a decade ago this month. Yesterday, the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) voted by a 43-4 margin to accept the resignation of Prime Minister Ahmed Qurei (a.k.a. Abu Ala), who earlier this week warned he would quit due to the lack of reform in the PA and the lack of authority granted him to halt chaos in the West Bank and Gaza. In doing so, the PLC called for the formation of a new reform-oriented government, a move that could actually serve to strengthen Qurei's position in a power struggle with Arafat. The resignation marks the second time in ten months that a Palestinian prime minister has resigned due to complaints about lack of authority.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Dennis Ross, Wendy Sherman
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: There is no doubt that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is absolutely determined to carry out disengagement despite the political problems within his own party. The demographic issue of ensuring a long-term Jewish democratic majority in Israel and the associated political pressure has fueled his determination to proceed with disengagement.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: David Makovsky, Ben Thein
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague is expected to issue an advisory opinion this Friday, July 9, on the international legality of Israel's security fence. Although advisory opinions are often sought from the ICJ before an international body has made up its mind on an issue, the United Nations (UN) General Assembly referred the matter to the ICJ after it had already condemned the Israeli move. Given the UN General Assembly vote on December 8, 2003, by a ninety-to-eight margin with seventy-four abstentions, a comparable number of states were expected to offer briefs to the ICJ. However, this was not the case.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Zohar Palti
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The International Court of Justice is expected to rule this Friday, July 9, on the legality of Israel's security fence. The Palestinians strongly oppose the security fence, claiming that the fence negatively affects them. Israel is now seeking to address their concerns through a variety of means relating to the route of the fence and to the creation of a humanitarian office to minimize the impact of the fence on the Palestinians. At the same time, it is indisputable that the fence is succeeding in its main objective of minimizing the risk of infiltration to Israel by suicide bombers in the northern West Bank. The entire fence is expected to be completed by the end of next year.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Zohar Palti
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: When the IDF withdrew from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Hizballah realized that it had to change direction somewhat, primarily because it had lost its avowed justification (and any hint of international legitimacy) for carrying out attacks from Lebanon. Accordingly, Shaykh Hassan Nasrallah, the group's secretary-general, instantly changed his rhetoric, focusing less on Lebanon and more on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. In one speech, for example, he told Palestinians that it took Hizballah eighteen years to force Israel out of Lebanon, and that they could accomplish the same feat in even less time through armed struggle and suicide bombings.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Zalman Shoval
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 6, the Israeli government approved a plan for unilateral separation by a 14 to 7 vote. The plan includes complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip (with the exception of the so-called "Philadelphi Corridor" on the Egypt-Gaza border) and from certain West Bank settlements. It is scheduled to be implemented beginning in March 2005 and should be completed by the end of that year.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 6, 2004, the Israeli cabinet authorized (by a 14-7 margin) preparations for a possible Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The authorization called for a final decision to be made about the Gaza settlements by March 2005. In the meantime, Israeli national security advisor Maj. Gen. Giora Eiland is heading a ministerial panel to discuss different aspects of withdrawal. The cabinet vote has triggered changes in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's government. On the eve of the vote, Sharon fired two ministers from the National Union Party (NU) for opposing the plan. That move led the staunchly pro-settler NU to withdraw entirely from Sharon's government, decreasing his coalition's 68-seat Knesset majority by 7 seats. Following the cabinet vote, a minister and a deputy minister from the pro-settler National Religious Party (NRP) resigned, and both have stated that they would individually leave Sharon's coalition as well. If they do so, Sharon would for the first time preside over a minority coalition of 59 in the 120-member Knesset.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Yosef (Tommy) Lapid
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 17, 2004, Israeli justice minister Yosef (Tommy) Lapid addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Mr. Lapid became head of the Shinui Party in 2000. Under his leadership, Shinui has rapidly grown in popularity and is now the third-largest faction in the 120-member Knesset and the second-largest in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's coalition. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks. Recent polls show that 70 to 80 percent of Israelis support Sharon's Gaza withdrawal initiative. Therefore, they are unlikely to accept the Likud Party referendum of May 2, 2004, rejecting this initiative. At the same time, Israel cannot afford to allow a post-withdrawal vacuum to emerge in the territories, which the Iranians could potentially fill (Tehran supports Hizballah, which in turn supplies Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad [PIJ]). Therefore, the withdrawal initiative must be altered somewhat from its original concept. Such a change would allow Sharon to say that he is accepting the ruling of his party while nevertheless moving forward with disengagement. His Gaza plan may turn out to be a three-stage process that is acceptable to Shinui. In any case, if an alternative formula is not proposed soon, Shinui will be forced to reconsider its participation in the government. We cannot sit idly and hope that Washington holds out on Israel's behalf against the interventionist tendencies—or so-called "goodwill"—of the Quartet. Shinui's formula for conflict management differs from that of both Sharon and the Israeli left, coming as it does from the center of the Israeli political spectrum. Shinui is well aware of the Roadmap's stipulation that measures must be taken against terrorism. Although Israel should indeed resume the reciprocal processes outlined in the Roadmap, it must also recognize that Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister Abu Ala cannot dismantle Hamas and PIJ under the current circumstances without causing a civil war. Yasir Arafat does not want to make peace. Hence, Abu Ala must unite the PA's sixteen security organizations under one entity, which he should then head rather than allowing these forces to remain under Arafat's leadership. In the past, Shinui opposed talking to Abu Ala until he put a stop to terrorism, but the party has changed its stance for the time being. When Likud rejected Sharon's initiative, Shinui realized that the right was attempting to create a stalemate. Shinui cannot subscribe to any such policy. If these delay tactics continue, international parties may attempt to enter the arena both politically and physically. Israelis must therefore take the initiative to speak with Abu Ala based on the acknowledgment that he is unable to wage a comprehensive fight against terrorist organizations. If Likud does manage to move forward with disengagement in the near term, however, Shinui will rethink its policy toward Abu Ala.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Pemra Hazbay
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Following Israel's recent raid in Rafah, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned Israel's actions as "state terrorism" while Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul hinted that strains had emerged in the Turkish-Israeli relationship. In general, Turkey's governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) has lately adopted an alarmingly critical attitude toward Israel. Will Turkey seek to alter its ties with Israel? From an economic point of view, such a development would seem highly unlikely; Turkey ranks thirteenth on Israel's list of trading partners, while Israel ranks ninth among Turkey's trading partners. Yet, the question remains: do the deep economic ties between Turkey and Israel (which also share close political and military relations) provide a reason for optimism that economic initiatives can help improve political relations elsewhere in the region?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Ben Thein
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Amid anticipation that Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon will soon get his Gaza withdrawal plan back on track, it is important to examine the only other instance of Israeli settlement evacuation—namely, Israel's withdrawal from Sinai in the wake of the 1979 peace treaty with Egypt. How was evacuation handled at that time? Where did the settlers go? What were their options? Moreover, in light of the Sinai withdrawal, what role, if any, might the international community play in a Gaza withdrawal? What legal factors will the Israeli government face in its efforts to move settlers from their homes?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Nabil Amr
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 13, 2004, Nabil Amr addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Mr. Amr, an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, served in previous Palestinian Authority cabinets as minister of information and minister for parliamentary affairs. A former member of the Palestinian delegation to peace talks with Israel, he is currently a visiting fellow at the Institute. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Norway, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Giora Eiland
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 7, 2004, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Giora Eiland of the Israel Defense Forces addressed The Washington Institute's Nineteenth Annual Soref Symposium. General Eiland is Israel's national security advisor. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Responding to Monday's assassination of Hamas founder Shaykh Ahmed Yassin, Palestinian prime minister Ahmed Qurei stated, "Yassin is known for his moderation, and he was controlling the Hamas" from being more radical. Though frequently called the group's "moderate" leader, Yassin has been directly implicated in authorizing, directing, funding, and providing foot soldiers for Hamas terrorist operations. In August 2003 concrete evidence of such activity led the United States to list Yassin and five other Hamas leaders as Specially Designated Global Terrorists. In so doing, the U.S. government froze the assets of these leaders and banned U.S. nationals from engaging in transactions with them.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Jeff Cary
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Has the radical Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas adopted a new, more moderate view on peace with Israel? In recent months, elite news organizations -- from the Economist to National Public Radio -- have highlighted interviews by Hamas leaders such as founder Shaykh Ahmed Yassin suggesting a willingness on the part of the organization to negotiate a "long-term truce" with Israel. On December 1, 2003, Yassin declared that Hamas was "ready to reach or to go with this enemy [Israel] into a long-term . . . truce. But the enemy . . . must pull out from all the Palestinian territories and . . . remove all shapes and kinds of occupation."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Anna Robinowitz
  • Publication Date: 03-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Among the two million Muslims participating in this year's Hajj in Mecca were a relatively small number of Palestinians and Israeli Arabs. While the vast majority of these pilgrims devoted all of their time in Mecca to religious purposes, others participated in meetings with terrorist operatives as well. Indeed, Hamas, Hizballah, and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have all attempted to recruit future terrorists -- particularly from the coveted Israeli Arab pool -- during the Hajj and lesser pilgrimages to Mecca (or 'umrah). For example, over the past two-and-a-half years, Israeli security forces have arrested two Hizballah terrorists recruited during the Hajj and seven other terrorists recruited while making 'umrah. The fact that terrorist groups of any sort are operating at the Hajj has dangerous implications for the United States. Indeed, it would be naive to assume that al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations targeting U.S. interests are not using Mecca as a convenient and secure location for their own meetings, recruitment, and fundraising.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Mecca
  • Author: Matan Vilnai
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 11, 2004, Maj. Gen. (ret.) Matan Vilnai addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. General Vilnai is former deputy chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). From 1989 to 1994, he served as head of the IDF Southern Command, with responsibility for deploying Israeli forces out of Gaza in accordance with the 1994 Gaza-Jericho accord. As a leading member of the Labor Party, he has also served as a senior cabinet minister and member of the Knesset since 1999. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Gaza, Arab Countries
  • Author: Shimon Peres
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 23, 2004, Shimon Peres addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Current chairman of Israel's Labor Party, Mr. Peres previously served as that country's prime minister, foreign minister, and defense minister, as well as in numerous other positions during a career that has spanned six decades. For his contributions to Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, he received the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize along with the late Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Zohar Palti
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: For much of the upcoming presidential election season, the United States will no doubt be preoccupied with domestic affairs on the one hand, and the postwar transition in Iraq on the other. Although Washington undoubtedly hopes for a quiet year in the Middle East, reality might bring less desirable results. In the Arab-Israeli arena, the most significant threat to regional stability (beyond Palestinian terrorism) is the Syria-Hizballah-Iran triangle. Hizballah and Syria appear to be reverting to their traditional pattern of ratcheting up terrorist activity whenever they feel they are being ignored. Unless an effort of some sort is made to halt such escalation, Israel's northern front will become the site of a broader conflict in which neither Israel nor the United States wants to become enmeshed at the moment.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Less than a year ago, Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon rejected the idea of a unilateral pullback from Gaza, telling Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna that isolated settlements such as Netzarim were equal to Tel Aviv in his eyes. Last week, however, Sharon -- a leading architect of Israel's settlement movement -- declared his intention to authorize plans for a unilateral evacuation of at least seventeen of the twenty Israeli settlements in Gaza. Although some remain unsure whether the prime minister will follow through on this pledge, skepticism regarding Sharon's intentions should be balanced by other considerations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Gaza, Arab Countries
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A U.S. government team is in Ankara today for talks with members of the Turkish military and intelligence services regarding the future of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an organization on the State Department's Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) list. On September 2, 2003, the PKK, whose past attacks have cost Turkey 35,000 lives, renounced a unilateral ceasefire it had declared in February 2000. This is a dangerous development for three reasons. First, PKK violence could throw Turkey back into the political maelstrom of the 1990s, and it is in Washington's best interests to help preserve democratic Turkey's stability. Second, if the PKK attacks Turkey from U.S.-controlled northern Iraq, where it has an estimated 4,000-5,000 terrorists, this could put Washington and Ankara at loggerheads. Third, Turkey considers joint action against the PKK a sine qua non for U.S.-Turkish cooperation in Iraq; it is unlikely that Ankara will send troops to Iraq unless the PKK issue is tackled. Given all of these reasons, the threat that the PKK poses to U.S. national interests is now at such a level that the organization is a legitimate target in the war on terror. Therefore, it is time to take action against the PKK.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Richard Speier
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: When Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon visits India on September 9-11, he is likely to explore the possible sale of Israeli Arrow antiballistic missiles to New Delhi. The United States, which has provided funds and technology for the Arrow since 1986, has a veto right over sales to third parties. U.S. approval of a sale to India would offer both advantages and disadvantages.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, India, Israel, New Delhi, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose report about Iran leaked out yesterday, will soon have to decide whether to declare Iran noncompliant with its obligations under the Treaty on the Nonproliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). What the world does about Iran's nuclear program will largely determine the future of efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Jeffrey White, Michael Schmidmayr
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Riots last week in Baghdad and Basra raised questions about Shi'i opposition to the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA). While the Shi'i community has been relatively quiet compared to the Sunni population, elements of the Shi'i have adopted a consistent position against the CPA, occupation forces, and the appointed Governing Council. If they deem it necessary, those opposed to occupation have the means and motives to move to armed resistance, which would pose a substantial threat to the coalition.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ayca Ariyoruk
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A Turkish delegation is expected to be in Israel within the next few weeks, perhaps as early as August 20, to sign an agreement committing Israel to buy 50 million cubic meters (mcm) of water annually from Turkey for the next twenty years. Once the operational details -- price, timeline, and transportation methods -- are worked out, Turkish water will flow to Israel via purpose-built supertankers.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On August 8, 2003, the seventh European Union (EU) reform package went into effect in Turkey, significantly curbing the role of the military in politics. This legislation, passed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government on August 4, follows six previous packages adopted since February 2002. Collectively, these reform measures have vastly liberalized the country's political system, facilitating Kurdish broadcasting and education, abolishing the death penalty, and subjecting Turkish courts to the European Court of Human Rights. Turkey now has laws guaranteeing freedom of speech, and the military is no longer the kingmaker in Ankara. As a result, AKP -- a self-styled "conservative democratic" party with an identifiable "Islamist pedigree" -- anticipates that Turkey will pass muster when Brussels reviews its candidacy for EU membership in June 2004. Ankara hopes that the EU will establish an accession calendar, opening the way for Turkey's eventual entry into the union, perhaps within the next decade. These developments are crucial to Turkey's future. Which path will the country take now that the military is stripped of its role as a decisionmaking body? Will the EU open its doors to Turkey?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: If Iraq is to rebuild its infrastructure and restore its economy at the pace forecast by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), it will need to bridge a major near-term financing gap by increasing capital inflows from outside the country and simultaneously improving its ability to absorb aid and investment. Oil revenues projected by the CPA budget through 2004 are overly optimistic, and Iraq's capacity to meet the levels of expenditure outlined in the budget are questionable. Without multilateral funding and much improved security and investment environments, Iraqi economic recovery is likely to develop at a slower pace than anticipated.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: David Hodges
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since President George W. Bush declared an end to "major combat operations" in Iraq on May 1, coalition forces have repositioned themselves to deal with the emerging resistance in Iraq. Although many attacks on the coalition have taken place in Baghdad, 90 percent are occurring in the so-called "Sunni triangle," located north and northwest of the capital, according to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A surprising summit meeting yesterday in Ankara involving members of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, the Turkish General Staff, the Turkish Foreign Ministry, and the Turkish National Intelligence Organization produced an agreement "in principle" to send Turkish "peacekeeping soldiers" to Iraq. From one perspective, if Turkish troops were deployed to Iraq, it could end the period of "strategic pause" between Washington and Ankara in place since March 1, when the Turkish parliament refused to open up a northern front for U.S. troops invading Iraq. There are still political obstacles to Turkish troop deployment -- such as a divided AKP and a fairly reluctant parliament. Moreover, Turkish law requires that parliament authorize sending troops abroad except in the case of international legislation (such as a UN resolution), or a call for help justifying such a deployment, and the Turkish parliament is in recess until October 1. But even before the AKP government determines its position on this issue, a major hurdle will have to be overcome: if American and Turkish troops are to work together in Iraq, they will first have to build mutual confidence, which -- once formidable -- seems to have quickly eroded over the past months. How can this be accomplished?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Yesterday's meeting in the White House between U.S. president George W. Bush and Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal reflects both Saudi official anger at the reports of the kingdom's apparent complicity in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and its continuing ability to gain short-notice access to the very top of the U.S. administration. But reports of the meeting suggest a new and public toughness by President Bush toward the Saudi leadership -- a significant break in the closeness between two political dynasties, the Bushes and the al-Saud.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Abdullah Gul
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 25, 2003, Turkish deputy prime minister and foreign minister Abdullah Gul addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Dr. Gul was Turkey's prime minister between November 2002 and March 2003, and he served as minister of state and government spokesman in the Welfare Party government of 1997. The following is a rapporteur's summary of Dr. Gul's remarks and the question-and-answer session that followed.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Abdullah Abdullah
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 14, 2003, Afghan foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Before serving as foreign minister, Dr. Abdullah was heavily involved in discussions on Afghanistan's future government. Previously, he was chief spokesman and deputy foreign minister of the Northern Alliance. Born to a Pashtun father and Tajik mother, he is also a trained medical doctor, serving at the Sayyed Jamaluddin-i-Afghani Eye Hospital for Afghan refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Avi Jorisch
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Executives at some leading U.S. financial, corporate, and journalistic institutions, such as JP Morgan Chase, Wachovia, American Express Centurion Bank, Associated Press Television News (APTN), Telestar5, and Interland, should be aware that their organizations are unwitting accomplices in the terrorist activities of Hizballah, recently labeled "the A team" of terrorism by Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 9, 2003, Dennis Ross, The Washington Institute's director/Ziegler distinguished fellow, provided testimony before the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the "9-11 Commission"), an independent, bipartisan commission chartered to prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The introduction from Ambassador Ross's remarks follows.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Recently, the bitterness between Ankara and Washington over Turkey's failure to extend full support to the Iraq campaign culminated in a much-feared quagmire. On July 4, U.S. Army forces detained eleven Turkish special operations troops in Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq, possibly based on Iraqi Kurdish intelligence that they were planning to harm Kurdish officials in Kirkuk. Fortunately, no shots were fired and no one was hurt in the incident. Still, the fact remains that U.S. troops arrested soldiers from Turkey, a NATO ally viewed as one of America's staunchest friends until late 2002. Moreover, the Turks were allegedly conspiring against Kurds, America's best friends in Iraq. How to interpret this unpleasant episode? What can be done to prevent similar incidents in the future? Most important, can the United States and Turkey move forward in northern Iraq?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: According to a June 23, 2003, coalition administration announcement, recruitment for the new Iraqi army is to begin shortly. This is a potentially momentous step with major long-term implications for the future of the state. It will not be easy to create a new army to support a democratic Iraq, and certain difficulties will have to be addressed from the very beginning of the process. Success or failure in establishing the basis for an Iraqi military with strong values as well as capabilities will have a significant impact on the future stability of Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: July 9 is the fourth anniversary of the student-sparked mass protests that erupted in Iran in 1999. New protests this July could test Washington no less than Tehran. Will the U.S. government side openly and publicly with the freedom-minded students against not only the unelected hardliners, but also the ineffectual elected leadership of President Muhammad Khatami?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The normally sleepy shaykhdom of Ras al-Khaimah, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was wracked by gunfire and street protests over the weekend after the aged and frail ruler, Shaykh Saqr bin Mohammed al-Qassimi, switched the title of crown prince from one of his seven sons to another. Sword-waving supporters of the deposed son, Shaykh Khalid, forced members of the emiri guard to retreat behind the high walls of the ruler's palace. A semblance of order was restored only after Abu Dhabi, the lead emirate of the UAE, sent armored vehicles to Ras al-Khaimah. Shaykh Khalid still contests the change, but troops have prevented supporters from reaching his palace. Although he is an outspoken critic of the United States, his removal flies in the face of certain U.S. policy objectives.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Doug Jehl, Khaled Abu Toameh
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 2, 2003, Doug Jehl and Khaled Abu Toameh addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Mr. Jehl, currently with the New York Times' Washington bureau, served as the Times' Cairo bureau chief from 1995 to 2000 and, prior to that, as a White House correspondent for the paper. Mr. Abu Toameh is the West Bank and Gaza correspondent of the Jerusalem Post; previously, he served as a special correspondent for U.S. News and World Report, a senior writer for the Jerusalem Report, and a correspondent for Al Fajr. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: New York, Washington, Middle East, Gaza, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt, David Albright
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 4, 2003, David Albright and Michael Eisenstadt addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Mr. Albright is president of the Institute for Science and International Security and has also served as an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) weapons inspector in Iraq. Michael Eisenstadt is a senior fellow at The Washington Institute specializing in military and security affairs. His publications include Iranian Military Power: Capabilities and Intentions (The Washington Institute, 1996) and "Living with a Nuclear Iran?" (Survival, Autumn 1999).
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the early morning hours of June 11, according to Reuters, 3,000 demonstrators near Tehran University shouted, "Political prisoners must be freed!" This incident comes shortly after the issuance of two letters sharply attacking the present system -- one signed by more than one-third of the Majlis and one by 196 prominent clerics and intellectuals. Are these signs that the Islamic Republic is in trouble?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Jeffrey White, Michael Schmidmayr
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Almost from the beginning of the occupation of Iraq, coalition forces have faced "resistance" -- armed action against coalition forces, equipment, or facilities. Resistance is to be distinguished from violence by Iraqis against other Iraqis and from "opposition" -- that is, anticoalition statements, demonstrations, or the organization of political activity -- which appears to be more characteristic of the Shi'i.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: At yesterday's Sharm al-Shaykh summit, President George W. Bush persisted in his post-September 11 campaign to transform the Middle Eastern landscape, an effort that includes not only promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace but transforming intra-Arab politics as well. A close reading of the carefully crafted statements by Bush and his Egyptian host, President Hosni Mubarak, offers a revealing look into where U.S. and Arab leaders agree, disagree, and choose to remain ambiguous on critical issues facing the region.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: William A. Samii, Nasser Hadian
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 21, 2003, A. William Samii and Nasser Hadian addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Dr. Samii is an analyst at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, where he prepares the Iran Report. Dr. Hadian is a professor of political science at Tehran University and a visiting scholar at the Middle East Institute of Columbia University. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Colombia, Arabia
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This PolicyWatch is the third in a three-part series. Part I, by Michael Eisenstadt, examined the political and military challenges of preventing an Iranian nuclear breakout; Part II, by Michael Knights, examined the operational challenges of preemptive action.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This PolicyWatch is the second in a three-part series. Part I (PolicyWatch No. 760, "The Challenges of U.S. Preventive Action," by Michael Eisenstadt) examined the political and military challenges of preventing an Iranian nuclear breakout; Part III, by Jeffrey White, will examine potential Iranian responses to preemption.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This PolicyWatch is the first in a three-part series. Future PolicyWatches by Michael Knights and Jeffrey White will examine the operational challenges of prevention, and potential Iranian responses.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Simon Henderson, Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The recent bombings in Riyadh and Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah's remarks condemning them have raised expectations that U.S.-Saudi counterterrorism cooperation will improve so that such tragedies can be averted in the future. What internal dynamic will guide the Saudis' handling of this crisis? What sort of counterterrorism cooperation are they likely to provide in the aftermath of the bombings?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Successfully shaping Iraqi public perceptions is vitally important, particularly since other well-known means of influencing the public -- creating stability and reestablishing water, power, and other public welfare services -- are taking longer than expected. Yet, the coalition has arguably been slower to shape the Iraqi media environment than either indigenous political actors or Iranian state-sponsored media networks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Nazgol Ashouri
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The difficulties facing Iranians who want to express their opinions freely in print are legion. In an atmosphere where journalists and pollsters are often detained without trial, it is easy to assume that pollsters do not ask important questions and that respondents do not give serious answers. Yet, some very interesting polls are in fact conducted in Iran.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Hazem Saghie
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 8, 2003, Hazem Saghie addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Mr. Saghie has been the editor of the weekly supplement of the London-based daily al-Hayat for the past fifteen years and served fourteen years in Beirut for the Lebanon daily al-Safir. He is currently a visiting fellow at the Institute and editor of The Predicament of the Individual in the Middle East (Saqi Books, 2000). The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, London, Lebanon, Beirut, Czech Republic
  • Author: Yoram Yoffe
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In almost all of his speeches, Hizballah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah has spoken about the pride that his organization brought to Arabs by forcing Israel to withdraw from Lebanon in May 2000. Now, however, the coalition forces have trampled on this pride: the Iraqi regime collapsed, and Baghdad fell without offering much resistance. Speaking on April 24, Nasrallah warned that "the most dangerous challenge now facing Arabs is the sense of hopelessness and stupor that has followed in the wake of Iraqi occupation." Indeed, on a variety of fronts, Hizballah is suddenly facing a new regional landscape that is inimical to its interests.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Baghdad, Arabia, Lebanon
  • Author: Avi Jorisch
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Secretary of State Colin Powell prepares to visit Syria and Lebanon on May 3, his agenda will most likely address the war on terrorism. The most active support for terrorism from both Damascus and Beirut is for Hizballah. To understand what the group's aims and ambitions are, few sources are better than al-Manar, Hizballah's Lebanese television station. The channel broadcasts messages calling for death to America and suicide bombings against American forces in Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East, Arabia, Lebanon, Syria, Beirut
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Today, the State Department releases the 2002 edition of Patterns of Global Terrorism, its congressionally mandated annual accounting of international terrorism. The report chronicles a year marked by both devastating terrorist attacks and remarkable progress targeting al-Qaeda in the war on terror. However, against the backdrop of the increasingly successful international campaign to prevent such attacks by targeting terrorist groups, what stands out is the lack of a similar effort in 2002 to target state sponsors -- a problem that continues today.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The end of Saddam Husayn's regime offers several key benefits with regard to U.S. interests. World oil supplies will increase as Iraq -- which has not been a major oil exporter since the beginning of the 1980-1988 war with Iran -- raises its oil production capacity to its full potential, which may amount to 5-6 million barrels per day. Cheap oil will boost the global economy, reduce Arab control of the oil market, and allow the United States to become less dependent on Saudi Arabia and better positioned to demand reforms from Middle Eastern regimes. In addition, postwar Iraq will no longer pose a weapons-of-mass-destruction threat to the region. The end of Saddam's regime will also reduce Russian and French influence in the region.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Whatever the long-term prospects for a stable and democratic Iraq, the potential exists for the development of resistance to that goal. This potential is rooted in both historical factors (e.g., Iraq's political culture; Iraqi distrust of the United States; enduring images of colonialism) and immediate circumstances (e.g., the collapse of Saddam Husayn's regime and the attendant destruction of governing systems and infrastructure; the legacy of regime crimes). Indeed, the latter circumstances have created precursors for resistance to coalition forces, the transitional government, and the eventual Iraqi government.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This Thursday, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) -- the oil producers' cartel of which Iraq is a founding member -- meets in Vienna to discuss production cuts intended to maintain the current, relatively high price of oil. The United States is not expected to send a representative for Iraq, although one or more among the plethora of political groups in the liberated country may send a would-be representative, unlikely to be seated. While ignoring the meeting, Washington still needs to make clear how it will reconstruct the Iraqi oil industry and utilize the nation's huge oil reserves, second in size only to those of Saudi Arabia.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia, Vienna
  • Author: William Perry, Newt Gingrich, R. James Woolsey, Lawrence Eagleburger, Alexander Haig, Robert Kerrey, Fred Thompson
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush declared that Iraq would be disarmed -- peacefully if possible, through force if necessary. While resort to arms was surely not the preferred option, Saddam Husayn's determination to preserve his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) ensured that the United States and its allies would be left with no choice but to act militarily. The path to war has not been precipitous. If the United States is now to avoid the age-old fear of winning the war but losing the peace, the administration's postwar priorities must reflect an understanding of the challenges it faces and the choices it must make.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although military operations have passed the "tipping point" in Iraq, U.S. Central Command spokesmen continue to stress that their primary focus remains the completion of high-intensity operations against remaining pockets of resistance. Moreover, in contrast to previous statements that advocated allowing looting to burn itself out, recent statements suggest that the coalition will quickly reconstitute the Iraqi police force, actively preventing looting and imposing curfews on its own in the meantime. These are positive steps because accomplishing the mission -- that is, neutralizing or apprehending leadership elements, uncovering weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and facilitating the humanitarian and economic recovery of Iraq -- depends on closer engagement with the civilian population and robust policing activity. The coalition cannot afford to choose between fighting the high-intensity war or engaging in low-intensity civil affairs; both endeavors must be undertaken simultaneously, which will be a strain on both the limited numbers of coalition forces and relations with Iraqi civilians.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In light of the recent dramatic events in Baghdad, U.S. policymakers are eyeing the next phase of the war. U.S. forces will almost certainly encounter increased guerrilla fighting. Saddam Husayn's vice president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, recently stated that more than 6,000 Arab volunteer fighters are now in Iraq. With increasing numbers of such volunteers vowing to fight, could Iraq become the epicenter for the next global jihad?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: Graham E. Fuller, Daniel Pipes
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 3, 2003, Daniel Pipes and Graham Fuller addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Mr. Pipes is director of the Middle East Forum and an adjunct scholar of the Institute. His most recent book is Militant Islam Reaches America (W.W. Norton, 2002). Mr. Fuller is former vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council at the Central Intelligence Agency and senior political scientist at RAND. His latest book is The Future of Political Islam (Palgrave, 2003). The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Avi Jorisch, Roger Cressey
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 4, 2003, Matthew Levitt, Roger Cressey, and Avi Jorisch addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Mr. Levitt is the Institute's senior fellow in terrorism studies and author of its 2002 monograph Targeting Terror: U.S. Policy toward Middle Eastern State Sponsors and Terrorist Organizations, Post-September 11. Mr. Cressey is president of Good Harbor Consulting and former director of transnational threats at the National Security Council. Mr. Jorisch is a Soref fellow at the Institute, where he is writing a monograph on Hizballah and its television station, al-Manar. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: "Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end" -- like Shakespeare's quintessential villain Richard III, Saddam Husayn is being toppled by a combination of forces he called into existence through his own evil actions. Unlike Richard, Saddam's final act will lack heroic qualities. Clearly, the regime's disintegration is accelerating; all that is left is for the final act to be played out.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ray Takeyh, Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Iran is facing its most acute crisis since the 1979 revolution. Over the past six years, political institutions have played a key role in opening the path to reform. Yet, the success of President Muhammad Khatami's efforts to involve the Iranian people in electoral processes and political institutions has led to a conservative backlash. A coalition of hardliners has been successfully implementing a strategy for retaining power, namely, fostering popular apathy by controlling public discourse, imprisoning reformers, and negating the deliberations of elected institutions. This strategy reached its apex during local and council elections in February in which only 30 percent of eligible voters went to the polls.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Tehran, Arabia
  • Author: Hafez al-Mirazi, Jonathan Schanzer, Mouafac Harb
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: War remains a horrifying event and al-Jazeera will cover it realistically. Images carried by the network are graphic, but do not discriminate in showing American and Iraqi casualties. Similarly, al-Jazeera has covered both the unprecedented airpower brought to bear by the allied forces and the Iraqi government's own version of "shock and awe" in airing videotapes of American prisoners of war; failure to do so would challenge the station's credibility.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Yoram Yoffe
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Amidst the war in Iraq, the Lebanese group Hizballah has decided not to open up what could have been a "second front" by attacking Israel. This decision should not be mistaken for passivity, however. With the world paying scant attention, Hizballah is seeking to shape Arab public opinion against the United States. It is important to understand the underlying forces that drive Hizballah's campaign against the United States so as to better comprehend the organization's stakes in the Iraq war and its aftermath.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Ansar al-Islam, an al-Qaeda affiliate in northern Iraq, was rocked by U.S. missile and air strikes over the weekend, concluding an eight-day campaign against the organization. The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) stated that, with help from more than 100 U.S. Special Forces operatives, they have "completely overrun" Ansar's stronghold. The PUK reportedly killed twenty-four Ansar fighters on Monday alone. Yet, the group may not have been defeated completely. Although its enclave was literally flattened, Ansar al-Islam is threatening new attacks, and will likely live to fight another day.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, Middle East, Arabia, Kurdistan
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt, Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the coalition prepares for the decisive phase of the war against Saddam Husayn's regime, it is crucial that combat operations set the conditions for achieving U.S. war aims and -- just as important -- winning the peace afterward. The principal war aims are: 1) eliminating Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD); 2) achieving regime change; and 3) setting the conditions for the emergence of a stable, broad-based post-Saddam government. Moreover, prospects for winning the peace will be greatly enhanced if the coalition moves quickly to improve postwar living conditions for the largest possible number of Iraqis; to establish a modicum of stability in the country; and to create conditions wherein coalition forces are viewed not as occupiers, but as partners for building a new Iraq. How should the coalition fight the war in order to achieve these objectives?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 04-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This week, speaking at the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell, after mentioning the war in Iraq, declared, "no challenge, no opportunity, is more important, more pressing, than the quest to put an end to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians." Such wording is similar to sentiments expressed in recent weeks by British prime minister Tony Blair. However, there are indications that Washington's view about Israeli-Palestinian issues sharply differs from that of London.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Europe, Middle East, Israel, London, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With Saudi Arabian, Turkish, and Jordanian host-nation restrictions limiting coalition ground and air operations, the United States has begun to develop a range of Iraqi airfields as forward operating bases for combat aircraft. This is ironic considering that successive U.S. governments spent billions of dollars to develop an unparalleled basing environment to support U.S. power projection in the Gulf. Recent decisions by Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- key U.S. allies -- have arguably prevented Washington from waging a shorter and less costly war in terms of both blood and treasure. Yet, the United States has benefited greatly from its policy of diversifying basing assets in the smaller Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, recognizing that Kuwait, Qatar, and Oman are dependable allies and that Iraq may one day replace Saudi Arabia as a key airbase provider.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Saddam Husayn's regime is under relentless attack, and its days are numbered. Exactly when or how the end will come is unclear but not in doubt. After a week of major combat, it is reasonable to assess the progress of this war: accomplishments by both sides, surprising -- and not so surprising -- elements, emerging patterns or trends, and battlefield implications.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With the northern front in Iraq being officially launched today, coalition forces may soon move toward the city of Kirkuk, which they began bombing on March 21. Kirkuk, claimed by Kurds as the prospective capital of a Kurdish region in postwar Iraq, is the bastion of the Turkmens, a Turkish-speaking community that shares close historical, social, and cultural ties with the Anatolian Turks in neighboring Turkey. Their fortunes will be closely scrutinized in Turkey during and after Operation Iraqi Freedom. If Turks feel that the Turkmen community is being discriminated against or threatened, they could force Ankara to take action, perhaps undermining what remains of U.S.-Turkish cooperation in Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ilter Turkmen, Emre Gonensay
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On March 17, 2003, Ambassador Ilter Turkmen and Emre Gonensay addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Ambassador Turkmen has served as the Turkish minister of foreign affairs (1980-1983), as the undersecretary-general of the United Nations, and as the commissioner-general of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Professor Gonensay served as the Turkish minister of foreign affairs in 1996.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Over the past two days, U.S. forces have battled elements of the four Republican Guard (RG) divisions that form the outer ring of Baghdad's defenses, initiating what may be the decisive phase of the coalition's invasion of Iraq. The possibility of urban combat in Baghdad is a daunting one, entailing risks not only for coalition forces, but for the Iraqi regime as well. Although the battle for Baghdad is likely to be the decisive phase of the current campaign, it is unlikely to be the final stage of this conflict. Rather, it will mark the transition to a new phase of what is likely to become a protracted struggle, one that could last as long as U.S. troops remain in Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Mark Parris
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As demonstrated by President George W. Bush's request to Congress yesterday to provide Turkey with $1 billion in aid -- money that can be leveraged into $8 billion in loan guarantees -- Turkey will remain a key country for Washington. But the Iraq war is a watershed in U.S.-Turkish relations, and the partnership will inevitably involve a new agenda based on postwar realities.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Iraqi forces have been countering the U.S.-led Operation Iraqi Freedom with a form of "outside-in" strategy, defending their country from the periphery to the center. Although the coalition is winning every significant engagement and has penetrated to the heart of the country, Saddam Husayn's regime is not giving ground easily, and the costs of bringing it down will rise. The regime is demonstrating once again that it is a dynamic opponent, capable of understanding what it faces and coming up with surprises.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Coalition ground forces entered Iraq on the first day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, in contrast to Operation Desert Storm in 1991, when the ground assault followed forty-three days of air strikes involving an average of 2,500 sorties per day. This difference was due in large part to the fact that much of the work of preparing the battlefield had been completed well before the current operation began. Specifically, coalition air forces have long engaged in large-scale activities in Iraq's no-fly and no-augmentation zones, flying as many as 1,000 sorties per day -- substantially more than the 700 sorties flown during the first day of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: An apparently spontaneous protest stopped traffic in Cairo's Tahrir Square Thursday. Protesting the allied attack on Iraq, some of the participants turned violent, overturning police blockades. In Damascus, riot police fired tear gas on hundreds of protesters who threw rocks and tried to rush the U.S. embassy. Several smaller demonstrations were also reported in Lebanon, Jordan, and the Gaza Strip. Today, more protests occurred in Cairo, Jerusalem, Beirut, Damascus, Amman, and Manama. In Yemen, a shootout was reported between police and antiwar protesters marching on the U.S. embassy in Sanaa. These incidents support the idea of a dangerous "Arab street," reflecting a disaffected Arab public incensed at U.S. policy. What is the impact of Arab antiwar opinion on regional stability?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt, Judith Yaphe, Eric Mathewson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: It is day one of the Iraqi war. The Iraqi nation is in chaos. In the mosques, fatwas (religious decrees) are issued against the invading Westerners. The Kurds revolt. At home, antiwar protesters are demonstrating in the streets: is the objective of this war regional stability, political change, or oil?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: There has been much speculation that under certain circumstances -- either just before a war or in the early stages of a coalition operation -- some elements of the Iraqi military would move against Saddam Husayn and his regime. A coup against Saddam would in fact be a highly complex event with uncertain benefits for the coalition. Whether or not such an action were to begin before or after the onset of war, specific requirements would have to be met and serious obstacles overcome in order to achieve a successful end result. The history of failed coups against Saddam suggests just how uncertain the prospects would be for such a result.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: According to a classified report drafted by the State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) and leaked to the Los Angeles Times on March 14, overthrowing Saddam Husayn will not lead to a wave of successful democratic revolutions against Middle Eastern autocracies. Numerous press accounts describe the report -- titled "Iraq, the Middle East, and Change: No Dominoes" -- as "pouring scorn" on Bush administration policy. In fact, the INR report meshes with administration policy, which is to seek political liberalization of existing regimes first, avoiding the radicalism of "overnight democracy" schemes.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Using new operational concepts in concert with rapidly maturing strike technologies, the U.S. military will attempt to seamlessly dovetail the destructive process of warfare with the reconstructive effort of nation building in any future air operations against Iraq. Lessons learned from air campaigns conducted in Iraq during the 1990s have laid the foundation for a more finessed approach to infrastructure targeting.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week the Bush administration decided to reject the recommendation of an independent federal agency to designate Saudi Arabia as a "country of particular concern" under the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act. The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom had heard evidence that the Saudi religious police raided the homes of foreign workers who practiced Christianity and held them in squalid, overcrowded prisons. Washington's dilemma lies in dealing with such evidence without upsetting Riyadh at a time when the United States is trying to secure optimal Saudi cooperation on military action against Iraq. The administration's reluctance is at odds with President George W. Bush's National Security Strategy announced in September 2002, which defined "a single, sustainable model for national success [in the world]: freedom, democracy, and free enterprise." It also obscures an opportunity to bolster emerging trends in Saudi Arabia that hint at potential political change.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Norman Cigar
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: During Operation Desert Storm, U.S. forces captured several million Iraqi military documents. Among these was one titled "The Operational Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction; Volume 2; Part 2; Foundations for the Use of Nuclear Weapons in War." The manual was published in July 1988 by the Ministry of Defense and bears the approving signature of then-chief of staff Lt. Gen. Nizar al-Khazraji. As such, it represents official Iraqi thinking on the topic, providing the most detailed description of how Baghdad might use nuclear weapons if it were to acquire them. The existence of the manual indicates that the Iraqi military was thinking ahead to a time when Iraq would have nuclear weapons, and that it was preparing to integrate such weapons into its arsenal and its overall military doctrine
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Gordon Rudd, Gerald Thompson
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: It is unclear clear whether the Turkish parliament will re-vote or approve the deployment of U.S. troops in Turkey in preparation for an attack on Iraq. Turkish military cooperation -- or its absence -- may either facilitate or, respectively, complicate an American military operation. Even if the Turkish parliament were to approve the move, potential fault lines could challenge a Turkish-American partnership in the event of war. In this environment, Operations Provide Comfort (OPC) I and II of the early 1990s -- when Turkey, the United States, and other NATO allies collaborated closely in northern Iraq to establish a safe haven for Kurds -- may prove instructive.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 28, 2003, elections were held across Iran for positions on city and village councils, local political bodies that were revived in 1999. Whereas the 1999 council elections resulted in impressive gains by reformers, last Friday's electoral results demonstrated the resurgence of the right wing. Capitalizing on low voter turnout and mass alienation from the political process, the conservatives swept elections in nearly all major Iranian cities. Indeed, the elections marked the lowest turnout in twenty-four years and the first time that the reform movement has been defeated at the polls since its emergence in the mid-1990s. Beyond the issue of largely symbolic local councils, the elections reflect the changing dynamics of Iran's political landscape.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries