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  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: If the United States and the "coalition of the willing" go to war, the result will be a comprehensive defeat of the Iraqi regime and its military and security forces. What is not so clear is how smoothly the military campaign will proceed. Many commentators seem to assume that any serious problems would emerge only after the war was over. Yet, could the Iraqis mount enough defense to cause problems during the war itself? How might they defend themselves, and why might they have some success?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Yitzhak Nakash
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The prospect of American military action in Iraq has raised concerns that dismantling the Ba'ath regime will weaken the state and spur the defection of its Shi'i majority under the influence of Iran. Yet, much of the pessimism surrounding this assessment obscures the historical role that the Shi'i community has played in supporting the Iraqi state, not to mention the vital interest it has in preserving the country's territorial integrity. If war in Iraq leads to a more representative government that is willing to address Shi'i political aspirations, the likely result would be stability and the establishment of a more moderate religious leadership quite different from that seen in Iran.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ely Karmon
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 20, 2003, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the indictment of eight leading members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The indictment provides a wealth of detail about the close connection between PIJ and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 03-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a dramatic session yesterday, the Turkish parliament convened to consider a motion sent by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, which had requested that a large U.S. force be permitted to use Turkish soil as a staging ground for a possible campaign in Iraq. The legislature refused to authorize the motion, however, blocking the creation of a northern front in the looming war. Of the 533 deputies in session, 264 voted for the motion, 250 voted against it, and 19 abstained, bringing the motion only three votes shy of the majority required by the constitution. AKP assurances that only 30 to 40 of its delegates would object to the motion crashed to a halt over the course of the session, with 99 of the party's deputies voting nay. Although the democratic will of the Turkish parliament should be respected, the fact remains that the AKP government failed to pass its agenda through the legislature. Some analysts argue that this spells trouble for both Turkey and AKP, with others speculating that U.S.-Turkish relations are now at a historical threshold.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay, Mark Parris
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Turkey's parliament will soon vote on whether to allow U.S. forces to use Turkish soil as a staging ground for a possible war with Iraq. Since Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz's trip to Ankara in early December 2002, Turkey and the United States have engaged in a protracted dialogue about Ankara's stance toward potential U.S. military action. Why has Turkey been hesitant to support Washington's plans, and how might such vacillation affect the U.S.-Turkish strategic alliance in the future?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As war with Iraq looms closer, postwar questions are receiving increasing attention. Senior defense officials have been addressing such issues frequently, and the White House held a press briefing yesterday on "Humanitarian Reconstruction" in Iraq. One of these issues concerns individuals who have been complicit in the crimes of Saddam Husayn's regime. According to the Washington Post, the United States intends to conduct a "de-Baathification" program in Iraq similar in some ways to the "de-Nazification" program conducted in Germany in the wake of World War II. Although the details of this program are still to be worked out, the Post indicated that complicity in "human rights and weapons abuses" would be key criteria in determining which Iraqi officials would be permitted to keep their jobs.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Germany
  • Author: Yoram Yoffe
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In recent weeks, Syria has begun to alter its military tactics in Lebanon as a direct consequence of U.S. policy toward Iraq. Even without U.S. forces firing a shot against Saddam Husayn, leaders throughout the Middle East have already begun to position themselves for an eventual U.S.-led victory and the reverberations to follow.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: Richard Speier
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A dispute is rapidly growing between UN inspectors and Baghdad concerning Iraq's stockpile of al-Samoud missiles. The UN is expected to order the destruction of these missiles today. According to Hans Blix, executive chairman of the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission, the fact that these missiles are capable of attaining a range 22 percent greater than that allowed under UN restrictions is a "prima facie" case for their proscription. Yet, Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz has said, "There is no serious violation," and it is unclear whether Baghdad would obey a destruction order. Understanding the significance of the al-Samoud requires a closer look at the missile's developmental history, technical capabilities, and strategic purpose.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: Ladan Boroumand
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: For many years, Western democracies have been pessimistic about the possibility of Iran becoming a secular democracy. Thus, Western policy toward Iran has long been characterized by a series of hesitant, inconsistent, and ad hoc decisions aimed at countering Iranian-sponsored terrorism, coupled with a relative lack of concern about the tyrannical nature of the Iranian regime. This unfounded pessimism is predicated on a profound misreading of the Islamic Republic as a traditional religious government rather than a revolutionary regime.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Osama el-Baz
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: U.S.-Egyptian relations always have been a critical aspect of American involvement in the Middle East. Although Washington and Cairo have disagreed on certain issues, they have nevertheless maintained a significant partnership. As regional tensions mount amid the possibility of war with Iraq and continued violence on the Israeli-Palestinian front, it is important to take a fresh look at this partnership. Recently, the Egyptian government has conveyed its concerns to the United States on two major issues: the potential for war in Iraq and Washington's role in attaining Arab-Israeli peace.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Washington, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt, Cairo
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Following Secretary of State Colin Powell's February 6 address to the United Nations Security Council, some questioned his description of the "sinister nexus between Iraq and the al-Qaeda terrorist network." In fact, the relationship between Baghdad and terrorism mirrors the way in which today's international terrorist groups function: not as tightly structured hierarchies, but rather as shadowy networks that, when necessary, strike ad hoc tactical alliances bridging religious and ideological schisms. Osama bin Laden's recent call on Muslims to come to Iraq's defense, even as he derided the "infidel" regime in Baghdad, is a case in point.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: Bassem Awadallah
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Jordan has always been regarded as a buffer state, wedged between turmoil to its east in Iraq and to its west in Israel and the West Bank. While those neighbors have faced turbulence in recent years, Jordan has enjoyed three years of substantial economic growth. Indeed, Jordan provides a positive example of what reform can accomplish in the Arab world.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Jordan
  • Author: Merissa Khurma
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Planning to target the English-speaking market for the first time in its history, the popular twenty-four-hour Arabic television news network al-Jazeera is working to launch a new English-language website sometime this spring. Upon its launch, the site will reach a new and diverse audience beyond the borders of the Arabic-speaking world. The Christian Science Monitor has even reported that this might be a first step toward the creation of an English-language television channel designed to broadcast controversial news programming in the United States "by satellite and cable."
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the United States looks to disarm Iraq and to defuse or defer a nuclear crisis with North Korea, another nuclear crisis -- with Iran -- looms on the horizon. U.S. policymakers could face critical decisions this year regarding Iran's nuclear program as the Bushehr reactor approaches completion, as Iran's efforts to produce fissile material progress, and, most alarming, as North Korea appears poised to become a significant producer -- and perhaps supplier -- of fissile material.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, North Korea, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson, Michael Eisenstadt, David Kay, Philip Gordon
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 27, Hans Blix, director of the UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC), delivered a straightforward report to the Security Council regarding Iraqi compliance with arms resolutions. Twelve years after taking up the obligation to disarm under UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 687, Baghdad still does not genuinely believe that it needs to disarm. Hence, asserting that inspections will work if given time is rather naive. Many in Europe have made this very argument, claiming that the Blix report is just the beginning of a long-term process. Yet, the mission of the inspectors under UNSCR 1441 (passed in November 2002) is to confirm that Iraq has made the decision to disarm and to verify that disarmament has in fact taken place; the Blix report shows that neither of these criteria has been met.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Shafeeq Ghabra
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Regime change in Baghdad could do more than make Iraq a positive force in the Middle East instead of a source of trouble; it could also give a strong boost to liberalizing trends throughout the Middle East. Therefore, a war to topple Saddam Husayn's regime would create both opportunities and dangers for the region.
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 25, Secretary of State Colin Powell met Turkish prime minister Abdullah Gul and the chair of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP), Tayyip Erdogan, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Powell's meeting -- which followed a January 19 visit to Turkey by General Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a December 6 visit by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz -- was aimed at persuading Ankara to allow American troops entry into Turkey in order to prepare a northern front against Iraq. After nearly two months of negotiations, the Turkish government still appears undecided on this issue. Why are the Turks hesitant to cooperate with U.S. military plans, and how can Washington overcome Ankara's indecision? Recent developments in Turkey may help answer both of these questions.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Switzerland
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week, the Saudi government published what it described as a "Charter to Reform the Arab Stand," a document intended for endorsement at the next summit of Arab leaders, due to be held in Bahrain in March. Addressed to Arab kings and presidents, the charter calls for more internal reforms and "categorically reject[s] any illegal external aggression against any Arab state."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Reform
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Bahrain
  • Author: Max Abrahms
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This week, hundreds of U.S. soldiers will participate in Juniper Cobra, a joint exercise with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to test the interoperability of U.S. Patriot and Israeli Arrow antiballistic missile systems. Such bilateral cooperation, coupled with reports that the Bush administration is considering providing Israel an additional $4 billion in military assistance, suggests that Washington is relying mainly on carrots to discourage an Israeli military response in the event of an Iraqi attack. These moves may explain Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's recent declaration, "We never had such cooperation in everything as we have with the current administration." Yet, precisely what form would this "cooperation" take if Iraq used weapons of mass destruction against Israel or otherwise inflicted mass casualties? Would Washington attempt to shape Israel's retaliatory options as it did during Operation Desert Storm?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff, Dennis Ross, E.J. Dionne, Fred Barnes
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Dilemmas for U.S. Middle East policy will arise in the immediate post-Saddam aftermath. Foremost will be America's preoccupation with stabilizing Iraq and transforming its new government into a democracy. Vague at present is whether U.S.-led forces will focus on existing institutions (e.g., the Iraqi military) or build new ones to achieve these goals. Such decisions will affect the degree and nature of Iraq's transformation, and the new regime's composition could be significantly different if the United States were to depend on a reformed Iraqi military to promote stability. Moreover, Iraqi transformation corresponds directly to a region-wide transformation, because increased efforts to transform Iraq with a broad-based, representative government will send signals of political reform to Iraq's neighbors. U.S. policy must stand ready to assist other Middle Eastern regimes in their transition to more responsible governments that offer their people hope and the prospect for change.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Kenneth Bell
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In 1996, an off-duty police officer working as a security guard at a cigarette wholesaler in North Carolina noticed young men entering the building with grocery bags full of cash. The men would queue up in the cashier's line with 299 cartons of cigarettes each, while one of them stood at the register and paid cash as the others came through. Next, they would load the cigarettes into minivans and head toward Michigan. At the time, it was against the law to transport more than 300 cartons of cigarettes into another state unless they were marked with the tax stamp of that state. Yet, the smugglers in question took advantage of the fact that neither North Carolina nor Michigan stamped cigarettes to show tax paid. Given the large disparity between North Carolina's cigarette tax (50 cents per carton) and Michigan's ($7.50 per carton), each minivan load had the potential to generate $13,000 worth of profit; indeed, at the height of the operation, three to four minivans were running to Michigan each week.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Arabia, North Carolina
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Ansar al-Islam, an al-Qaeda affiliate active in Iraqi Kurdistan since September 2001, is a prototype of America's enemies in the "war on terror." The group serves as a testament to the global spread of al-Qaeda affiliates, achieved through exploitation of weak central authorities and a utilitarian willingness to work with seemingly differing ideologies for a common cause. Lengthy reports on Ansar have appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times, and Kurdish leaders have given Washington a plethora of intelligence on the group. Nevertheless, Ansar has yet to appear on official U.S. terrorism lists. Meanwhile, political complexities would make military action against the group difficult, at best. Hence, this small force of 650 fighters is a textbook example of the ongoing challenges posed by the war on terror.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, New York, Washington, Middle East, Arabia, Kurdistan
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On December 11, 2002, the Canadian government banned Hizballah, labeling it a terrorist organization. Strangely, some in Canada are having second thoughts about this measure, likely under the assumption that Hizballah is not a terrorist group but a social and political organization engaged in armed struggle against Israel. Yet, evidence of Hizballah's international activity as a terrorist group of global reach is overwhelming.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Canada, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: At least five terrorist suspects who entered the United States illegally from Canada during the Christmas holidays are now the subjects of an international manhunt. The suspects' international travel was apparently facilitated by Pakistani criminal elements engaged in the production of false documents, including forged visas and passports. The nexus between criminal and terrorist activity is not new. Indeed, international terrorism is facilitated and financed by an array of states, groups, fronts, individuals, businesses, banks, criminal enterprises, and nominally humanitarian organizations. Since the attacks of September 11, experts and decisionmakers have focused much attention on charitable and humanitarian organizations, as well as official and unofficial banking systems in the network of terrorist financing. The political economy of terrorism, however, relies just as heavily on legitimate businesses and, increasingly, criminal activity.
  • Topic: Security, Political Economy, Religion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Africa, United States, Europe, Middle East, Taliban, Arab Countries, Syria, North America
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Jeff Cary
  • Publication Date: 09-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 25, 2003, shortly after the initiation of the Quartet Roadmap to Israeli-Palestinian peace, President George W. Bush urged European Union (EU) leaders to take "swift, decisive action against [Palestinian] terror groups such as Hamas, to cut off their funding and support." Much of the funding received by Hamas's military wing, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, is provided by donations to the organization's social and political activities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week, Hizballah drastically escalated its activity along Israel's northern border, ending seven months of relative calm there. Yet, the assault on Israeli positions in the Shebaa Farms area and the cross-border shelling of northern Israeli towns pale in comparison to the potential danger posed by the terrorist cells and political opposition Hizballah is now operating -- with Iranian funding and oversight -- in the northern West Bank.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Yoram Yoffe, Jason O'Connor
  • Publication Date: 08-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: After months of restraint following the double shock of U.S. military victories in Afghanistan and Iraq, Hizballah resumed action against Israel today, firing mortal shells and missiles at the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) along the Israel-Lebanon border. Changes in the regional geopolitical environment and recent statements by the organization's leadership suggest that Hizballah may also be preparing to carry out new terror operations, while the killing of a senior Hizballah military official last weekend by a car bomb may have provided the pretext for today's attack. Washington needs to closely follow these developments and engage in preemptive diplomacy to prevent new deterioration in the Arab-Israeli conflict, at a time when there is reason for cautious optimism on the Israeli-Palestinian track.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Dennis Ross, David Makovisky
  • Publication Date: 07-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 2, 2003, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Ambassador Ross is the director of the Institute. He served as U.S. point person on the Middle East peace process under the first Bush administration and both Clinton administrations. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute and adjunct lecturer of Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University's Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Yoram Yoffe
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Many Israelis and Palestinians once again have a sense of hope, following President George W. Bush's meeting with Arab leaders at Sharm al-Shaykh and with Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister Mahmoud Abbas (known as Abu Mazen) in Aqaba. This new hope in both societies poses an existential threat to terrorist organizations operating in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. Once Israel is no longer viewed as an enemy, there is no clear justification for the existence of such organizations. Hence, it should come as no surprise that these organizations are trying to escalate operations against Israel in an attempt to derail any peace initiatives. In the past, suicide operations undertaken by these organizations have been quite successful in achieving this objective; this should not be allowed to happen again.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Shoshanah Haberman
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In recent days, both Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasir Arafat and prime minister Mahmoud Abbas have said they expect an agreement on a Hamas ceasefire (or hudna) to be announced soon. According to Abbas, Hamas -- in Arabic, "the Islamic Resistance Movement" -- "will commit to halting terrorism, both within the green line and in the territories." As longtime Palestinian minister Saeb Erekat explained, Abbas needs a ceasefire agreement to jumpstart negotiations for Palestinian statehood. Abbas, said Erekat, "will insist on this declaration [of a ceasefire] because that's the key . . . for him to go out and tell the Palestinians, 'Look, we've got the Israeli government to recognize the Palestinian state, [so] we need two years in a peaceful, meaningful peace process.'"
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush will be holding three summits next week that will have a strong Middle East orientation. A G-8 summit will followed by a meeting with Arab leaders in Sharm al-Shaykh, Egypt, and a summit of Israeli and Palestinian leaders in Aqaba, Jordan, representing a new phase in the administration's approach to the Middle East.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israel's cautious approval of the Roadmap opens a new phase in Middle East peacemaking. Although media focus will now turn to the next episode of high-level engagement by President George W. Bush -- perhaps at a Jordan- or Egypt-hosted regional summit in early June -- the real test for Washington and its Quartet colleagues comes in the implementation of the first phase of Roadmap requirements.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent talks in Damascus focused not only on Syrian sponsorship of Palestinian terrorist groups, but also on Syria's increasingly intimate ties with and support for Hizballah. Yet, Syrian support for terrorist groups of global reach does not end with Hizballah. Recently revealed intelligence on al-Qaeda activities in Europe exposed a significant al-Qaeda network in Syria.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Syrian sponsorship of terrorism topped the agenda of Secretary of State Colin Powell's recent trip to Damascus, and his visit was quickly followed by conflicting reports regarding the status of various terrorist headquarters there. The coming weeks will determine whether the Damascus offices of Hizballah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC), and other terrorist groups have in fact been shut down, and, far more critically, whether their activities have been curtailed. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Syrian officials continue to describe the Damascus headquarters of these terrorist groups as "media offices." By harboring these groups, Syria is complicit in their terrorist activities, which include inciting, recruiting, training, coordinating, funding, and directing terrorists staging operations from Syria itself and from Syrian-controlled Lebanon.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With last week's formal unveiling of the Roadmap, the Arab-Israeli peace process has moved into a new phase that is its most internationalized in a quarter century. The establishment of the Roadmap's all-important "verification mechanism" -- the structure of which has largely been worked out among the Quartet's U.S., European Union (EU), Russian, and UN representatives -- will give tangible expression to this heightened level of internationalization.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Within hours of Mahmoud Abbas's (Abu Mazen) confirmation as the new Palestinian prime minister and the presentation of the Quartet's roadmap to peace, two suicide bombers struck a seaside bar next to the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, killing three civilians and wounding sixty more. As is frequently the case, authorities investigating the attack are likely to find that the bombers were fed, housed, prepared, armed, and transported to their target by terrorists drawn from the social welfare "wing" of one terrorist group or another. The most critical test facing the nascent Palestinian government is the immediate task of weeding out the logistical support networks that facilitate such attacks under the cover of charitable or humanitarian activities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Addressing the Palestinian Legislative Council Tuesday, new Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister Mahmoud Abbas outlined a bold program of domestic reform and commitment to diplomacy that balanced loyalty to Yasir Arafat with an evident desire for fundamental political change. The speech's most positive aspects were Abbas's affirmation of negotiations as the route to achieve Palestinian aspirations, his assertion of the primacy of the rule of law, and his promise that "the unauthorized possession of firearms . . . will be relentlessly addressed." He hinted at, but was not conclusive on, plans to have paramilitary groups like Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades forcibly disarmed rather than just invited to reach "an internal understanding" on their opposition to a peace strategy. Abbas's ambiguity on whether attacks against Israeli targets inside the West Bank and Gaza constitute terrorism left a serious question mark. An important aspect of his address, overlooked by most observers, was his frequent reference to the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), not the PA, as the institution to which he owed first allegiance.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky, Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 05-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 28, 2003, Dennis Ross and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Ambassador Ross is director and Ziegler distinguished fellow at the Institute and former U.S. special Middle East coordinator for the peace process. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute and author of Making Peace with the PLO: The Rabin Government's Road to the Oslo Accord.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Prime Minister Ariel Sharon presented his new 68-member right-center government to the 120-member Knesset today. The government represents four parties with the following allocation of seats: Likud (40), Shinui (15), National Union (7), and National Religious Party (6). This marks the first Israeli government formed since 1974 that does not include any ultraorthodox participation. Below are the main areas that the government has made its policy guidelines.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As one clock ticks toward a decision on the use of force to disarm Iraq, a second clock clicks toward the formal launching of the "roadmap" for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking drafted by the Quartet (i.e., the United States, the European Union, Russia, and the United Nations). Barring some major external development — such as the death or exile of Yasir Arafat, a cataclysmic act of Palestinian terrorism, or an unexpected Israeli-Palestinian initiative — the roadmap process is likely to begin, as President George W. Bush might say, in a matter of weeks, not months.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a recorded statement released this week, Osama bin Laden called on Iraqis to carry out suicide attacks against Americans. Al-Qaeda is not the only terrorist organization to call for such attacks, however; just four days earlier, Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Ahmed Yassin published an open letter calling on Muslims to "threaten Western interests and strike them everywhere" in the event of a "a crusaders' war" against Islam in Iraq. Indeed, Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet told the Senate Intelligence Committee this week that "the days when we made distinctions between terrorist groups are over." Moreover, in February 2002, Tenet told Congress that if Palestinian groups "feel that U.S. actions are threatening their existence, they may begin targeting Americans directly, as Hizballah's terrorist wing already does." In fact, several Palestinian groups are increasingly inclined to target American interests.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky, Elie Rekhess
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 29, 2003, David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute, an adjunct lecturer on Middle Eastern studies at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies, and a contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky, Elie Rekhess
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 24, 2002, Elie Rekhess and David Makovsky addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Dr. Rekhess is a senior associate at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University and director of the center's research program on Arab politics in Israel. Mr. Makovsky is a senior fellow at the Institute and contributing editor to U.S. News and World Report.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Earlier this week, Israel's Labor Party leader Amram Mitzna announced that he would not look to resume a broad coalition government with the Likud Party following the country's upcoming January 28 election, a crucial decision that dropped Labor from 24 to 20 seats (according to today's Yediot Aharonot poll) and that may have sealed the election for Likud. Mitzna's decision halted Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's slide of the last several weeks in the wake of a vote-buying scandal that imperiled his electoral bloc's grip on a Knesset majority.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2003
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The slide in the polls of Ariel Sharon's Likud Party over the last six weeks has been rather dramatic, transforming the character of the campaign from an expected Sharon landslide into a closer contest. In Thursday's Yediot Ahronot-Dahaf poll, Likud dropped from 40 to 28 seats in the 120-member Knesset, while Amram Mitzna's Labor Party edged up to 24 seats from 22. Sharon's losses stem directly from the swirl of Likud election corruption allegations, beginning with low-level charges of vote buying — illegal activity that may have helped catapult Sharon's son Omri onto the parliamentary list. The latest charges, denied by Sharon, surround a $1.5 million loan that the prime minister borrowed from a South African businessman friend, Cyril Kern, to pay back illegal campaign contributions in 1999. Sharon still clings to the hope that his denials will halt his party's slide downward, while Mitzna is finding new hope in the prospect that a drop in support for Likud will lead voters to take a second look at his candidacy.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The temporary seizure by the Spanish navy last week of a ship carrying Scud missiles from North Korea to Yemen was a reminder of the extent of missile proliferation in the Middle East. Similarly, Yemen's insistence on receiving the missiles, despite U.S. pressure, is a reminder of how much priority Middle Eastern states place on missile arsenals.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, North Korea, Yemen
  • Author: Chen Zak
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Satellite photos published last week showed two sites in Iran that might house a civilian energy program and/or a nuclear weapons program. To determine exactly what purpose these sites serve would require an on-site inspection. Yet, inspections performed by international regulatory agencies are bound by certain limitations. What are the chances that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the organization responsible for verifying compliance to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT), will detect clandestine nuclear activities in these two sites or elsewhere in Iran?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East
  • Author: David Kay
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On December 6, 2002, David Kay addressed the Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. David Kay is a senior fellow at the Potomac Institute. He previously served as the UN's chief nuclear weapons inspector in Iraq, where he led teams that uncovered the scope and extent of Iraq's nuclear program. He has also served as corporate vice president of Science Applications International Corporation. UN Security Council Resolution 1441 required Iraq to submit a full and complete declaration of all weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs and associated delivery systems by December 8. Given the stakes, and the fact that Iraq's previous declarations have been incomplete and misleading, the international community remains concerned, and the United States wary, of the Iraqi declaration.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer, Gal Luft
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Parallel to the Palestinian armed struggle against Israel is a power struggle between Hamas and Fatah. Years of tensions have culminated in Gaza street clashes between the two organizations in recent weeks. An Egyptian-sponsored summit designed to achieve rapprochement between the two groups sputtered in Cairo last month, but talks are scheduled to resume on December 22. Against the backdrop of a floundering economy, weak public security, and a disintegrating central authority, Fatah's attempts to rein in Hamas are crucial if the Palestinian Authority (PA) is to remain the ruling institution in the territories.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Gaza, Egypt
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: U.S. policy on promoting democracy in Muslim-majority countries took two steps forward and one step back last week with Secretary of State Colin Powell's major address unveiling the new Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI). On the positive side was the simple fact that democratization merited such cabinet-level focus, along with the details of MEPI itself – a promising set of small-scale, big-bang-for-the-buck, incubator-style projects targeted at critical groups (women, youths, educators) that deserve attention and support. On the negative side were a series of political messages within the speech – both explicit and implicit – suggesting that the active promotion of democratic change in Muslim countries, especially U.S. allies in the Arab world, may not be such a priority after all.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Martin Kramer, Lisa Anderson
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On November 26, 2002, Martin Kramer and Lisa Anderson addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Martin Kramer is the Institute's Wexler-Fromer fellow and author of its 2001 monograph Ivory Towers on Sand: The Failure of Middle Eastern Studies in America. Lisa Anderson is dean of international affairs at Columbia University and president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA). The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Security, Education, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Middle East, Colombia
  • Author: Bruce Hoffman, Matthew Levitt, Daniel Benjamin
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On December 4, 2002, Bruce Hoffman, Daniel Benjamin, and Matthew Levitt addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Hoffman is vice president of external relations at RAND and author of Inside Terrorism (Columbia University Press, 1998). Benjamin is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, former director of transnational threats at the National Security Council, and coauthor of The Age of Sacred Terror (Random House, 2002). Levitt is a senior fellow in terrorism studies at the Institute and author of Targeting Terror: U.S. Policy Toward Middle Eastern State Sponsors and Terrorist Organizations, Post-September 11 (The Washington Institute, 2002).
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Colombia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a thoughtful and measured address on December 4, State Department Policy Planning Director Richard Haass enunciated a new Bush administration policy on building "greater democracy" in the "Muslim world." Though it skirted several of the toughest policy issues (e.g., whether and how to promote democracy in inhospitable terrain like Saudi Arabia), this important speech nonetheless broke substantial new ground. Especially welcome was the healthy mix of realism and idealism, with arguments for pursuing democratization in Muslim countries leavened with the recognition that "we must above all obey the Hippocratic oath and first do no harm."
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: According to the Financial Times, France and Germany will propose to the December 12-13 European Union (EU) summit that negotiations regarding Turkey's accession to the EU begin in July 2005, providing Ankara achieves further progress in democratic consolidation and human rights. If indeed Turkey is offered a conditional date for EU accession at the Copenhagen summit, this would represent a significant, yet incomplete, step. Turkey needs a direct date from the EU to begin negotiations for joining the union.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, France, Germany
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week, Adel al-Jubeir, foreign policy advisor to Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, presided over a Washington press conference and the release of a report, "Initiatives and Actions Taken by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Financial Area to Combat Terrorism." The press conference marked the first time that Saudi Arabia has publicly committed to formal cooperation with international bodies in the fight against terrorist financing and money laundering. Yet, the event also included a number of disturbing statements.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Measures being taken by Saudi Arabia to stop terrorist financing have been welcomed by top U.S. officials. But the main test for the new rules announced on December 3 will be in Saudi Arabia itself, where zakat (giving to Islamic charities) is a religious duty and where measures that please Washington are increasingly regarded as objectionable. As often happens in the kingdom, the theory behind the new rules may well differ from how they are actually implemented.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Central Command of the U.S. military reports that the biennial "Internal Look" exercise is slated to begin Monday at the as-Sayliyah base in Qatar. The operation is designed to test U.S. military reactions to various threats in the Middle East.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Benjamin Orbach
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Initial suspicions, select intelligence reports, and growing evidence have indicated that al-Qaeda played a role in Thursday's attacks on an Israeli-owned hotel and airliner in Mombasa, Kenya. If this evidence proves accurate, the attacks signal a shift in al-Qaeda's choice of targets and demonstrate a new danger to immediate U.S. interests in the Middle East. After almost a year of silence, Osama bin Laden (or someone speaking in his name) has resurfaced with a revised political agenda meant to mobilize the Arab and Muslim worlds against the United States. Through two recent communications – a November 12 statement and a less publicized "Letter to the American People" distributed on the internet and translated by the British Observer on November 24 – al-Qaeda has made the Palestinian issue the new focal point of its allegations against the United States.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ayca Ariyoruk
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On November 28, the newly formed Justice and Development Party (AKP) government will present its twenty-five cabinet members to the Turkish Parliament for a vote of confidence. With eleven fewer members than the outgoing cabinet, the new cabinet represents AKP's commitment to smaller government. In addition to six names from the Islamist Welfare Party (RP), which was banned in 1998, the cabinet includes eleven new figures, who rose in politics with AKP. There are also six deputies formerly associated with the centrist Motherland Party (ANAP), one deputy each from center right True Path Party (DYP) and Nationalist Action Party (MHP), as well as a female member, Tourism Minister Guldal Aksit. Some analysts view this diversity as proof of AKP's desire to form a government that represents the party's voters, ranging from Islamists to moderate liberals.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Hilmi Akin Zorlu
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The creation of ISAF was authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 1386 in December 2001. The United Kingdom served as the first lead nation until Turkey took over command on June 20, 2002; the Turkish mandate was granted by Resolution 1413, which extended ISAF's authorization until December 20, 2002.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt, Kenneth Pollack
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Retraining and reorganizing the Iraqi military and eliminating weapons of mass destruction (WMD) will be vital tasks in the wake of any U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Yet, political change is a prerequisite for military change, and neglecting the former could pose disastrous consequences for the latter. Specifically, the United States should assist in the creation of an apolitical, professional Iraqi military in concert with a new pluralist, federal, civilian-led Iraqi government with indigenous roots. Ultimately, these efforts would help to stabilize Iraq both internally and vis-a-vis its neighbors.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week's Jordanian government raid on the southern city of Maan was likely a tactic designed to insulate the kingdom from the possible repercussions of a U.S.-led war in Iraq. Indeed, the incident in Maan was a microcosm of larger Jordanian problems stemming from pro-Iraq, Palestinian, and Islamist opposition elements. Should war erupt, Jordan will almost certainly face challenges from these groups. It might also have to fend off a flood of Iraqi or Palestinian refugees, economic meltdown, or even military attack.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Rolf Ekeus
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1441, adopted after weeks of diplomatic aerobics, authorized renewed weapons inspections in Iraq and outlined a timetable for the inspections process, with mandatory deadlines for Iraqi compliance. UNSCR 1441's popularity is remarkable: the United States, Russia, France, and Syria all like it, and even Iraq seems somewhat amenable to its terms. This popularity may stem from the possibility that each of these countries has a different understanding of the resolution's implications. If so, the disarmament effort may eventually reach a fork in the road, with two possible paths forward.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Afshin Molavi
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Iran has been experiencing nationwide student demonstrations this week, touched off by a hardline court's recent decision to sentence Tehran professor Hashem Aghajari to death for advocating reform of the Shi'i clergy. Although Aghajari's message was well within the mainstream of traditional Shi'a thought, it presented a challenge to the hardline clerics, who insist on a far-reaching revision of Shi'a that includes unquestioning obedience to ruling clergy. The death sentence was meant to send a message to other midranking academics within the reformist movement. Yet, the hardliners' grave miscalculation about the reaction of the Iranian street has led to protests in Tehran, Tabriz, and other Iranian cities.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, World Bank
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Turkish parliament will meet tomorrow for its first session since the elections of November 3, in which a party with an Islamist pedigree – the conservative Justice and Development Party (AKP) – secured a majority, winning 363 of 550 seats (the social-democratic Republican People's Party [CHP] is the only other party in parliament, with 178 seats; independents won the remaining 9 seats). Over the next few days, AKP leader Tayyip Erdogan is expected to meet with President Necdet Sezer, who has the power to appoint the next prime minister. For the first time since 1954, Turkey has a two-party parliament, in which AKP will rule. Will this be a successful experiment? What are some of the challenges facing this government?
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week's bombing of a coffee shop and car-bombing attack against a Fatah figure in Ein al-Hilweh, a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, are the latest developments in a wave of recent violence in the camp. Al-Sharq al-Awsat has reported no less than nineteen bombings in Ein al-Hilweh since the end of September 2002. Asbat al-Ansar (League of partisans) – a predominantly Palestinian terrorist group based in the camp, with established links to al-Qaeda – is seen as the culprit behind this violence. In an apparent move to ignite heightened Arab-Israeli tensions, the group has destabilized the camp and surrounding areas. Mounting tensions in this long-neglected and impoverished camp could undermine Lebanese stability, aggravate its refugee crisis, and enfeeble America's efforts in the "war on terror."
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay, Mark Parris, Bulent Ali Riza
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On November 3, Turkey went to polls, and a party with an Islamist pedigree – the Justice and Development Party (AKP) – won a clear majority with 34 percent of the vote and 363 of the 550 seats in the parliament. The social-democratic Republican People's Party (CHP) was the only other party to win parliamentary representation, garnering 19 percent of the vote and 178 seats (the remaining 9 seats went to independent candidates). All three parties in the outgoing coalition government failed to meet the 10-percent threshold for participating in the legislature, as did the other opposition parties. With 363 seats, AKP is only 5 seats short of the two-thirds majority needed to amend the constitution. Still, the party has enough ministers of parliament to form the next government on its own, putting an end to fifteen years of coalition governments in Turkey. This could bear positive results: Turkey has performed rather poorly under coalition governments (e.g., during the 1990s), but rather well under majority governments (e.g., during the Turgut Ozal years of the 1980s).
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Ali Salem
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: During those periods when modern Egypt was occupied by foreign powers and governed by regimes subservient to those powers, many Egyptians found themselves attracted to extremist ideas and organizations. Beginning in the 1920s, all sorts of secret revolutionary and extremist organizations began to expand throughout the country. Whether secular or not, all of these organizations descended from the same forebear: extremism. In fact, even the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser himself had once been a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and had sworn to obey its leaders.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Egypt
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 11-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The annual conference of the Saudi World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY) concludes today in Riyadh. Although it claims to be a charitable organization espousing moderate Islam, WAMY is actually one of many such organizations that, while closely linked to the Saudi government and royal family (e.g., WAMY's president is Sheikh Saleh al-Sheikh, the Saudi minister of Islamic affairs), also have documented links to international terrorism. Others include the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, the Muslim World League, and the Benevolence International Foundation.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On November 3, the Turks will go to the polls to elect their new government. The elections could usher in a major realignment of the Turkish political landscape, perhaps bringing a party with Islamist pedigree – the Justice and Development Party (AKP) – to power. Should Washington worry about the foreign policy orientation of a new Turkish administration and its willingness to support a military campaign against Iraq?
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On Thursday, October 24, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a new terrorist threat alert (this time warning of attacks on transportation systems), highlighting once more why attention has been focused on al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups since September 11, 2001. A year on, however, other Middle Eastern terrorist groups and state sponsors of terrorism still receive inconsistent attention despite a sharp rise in their activity. In fact, militant Islamist groups from al-Qaeda to Hamas interact and support one another in an international matrix of logistical, financial, and sometimes operational terrorist activity. Inattention to any one part of the web of militant Islamist terror undermines the effectiveness of measures taken against other parts of that web.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, America, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since September 2001, Yemen has worked hard to shed its image as a hotbed of Islamist terrorism. That image, however, was reinforced when London's al-Sharq al-Awsat Arabic daily reported that the Islamic Army of Aden (IAA, or Aden-Abyan Islamic Army), an al-Qaeda affiliate, claimed responsibility for an explosion that crippled a French tanker on October 6 in the Yemeni harbor of Mina' al-Dabba. Moreover, a recent letter allegedly written by Osama bin Laden praises the "bold heroic jihad operations . . . against the crusader's oil tanker." The attack, which killed one crewman, underscores Yemen's importance as an area of concern in the U.S. government's "war on terror."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, London, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: British foreign minister Jack Straw met for an hour last week with Gamal Mubarak, the youngest son of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. According to a British official cited in al-Qanat, an Arabic online daily, Straw met Gamal because he "is a very important person who certainly enjoys great influence." The meeting was significant because it took place less than a month after President Mubarak appointed Gamal to a high-level post in the National Democratic Party (NDP), Egypt's governing political institution. Despite repeated, emphatic, and official assertions to the contrary, all indications point to Gamal being groomed to succeed his father.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Egypt
  • Author: Barry Rubin
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This question is usually answered in one of two ways. The "just around the corner" view, often favored by Western government officials and the media, argues that the region's conflicts and lack of significant progress could be rectified quickly if only the proper policies and detailed solutions were proposed. In contrast, the "victim" view, often favored in academia and in the Arab world, argues that the area's problems result primarily from external aggression and oppression. The irony is that those styling themselves progressive and pro-Arab in the West actually do great damage to the lives of Arabs in the Middle East, in part by embracing reactionary dictatorships.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Zalmay Khalilzad
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: I want to give you the administration's perspective on where we are and what our vision is for Iraq. As far as the current situation is concerned, we are of the view that Saddam Husayn's regime is determined to retain, expand, and again use weapons of mass destruction (WMD), and that the regime is ready to employ such weapons not only at home, but also abroad. The administration is now determined to disarm Iraq one way or another. No decision for use of force has been made, and we have no desire for war with Iraq. War is not inevitable, but action is. We are working with Congress to secure an effective resolution that allows the president to consider all possible options for dealing with the threat that Saddam Husayn poses. Similarly, we are working with the UN to secure an effective resolution that will end Saddam's defiance of Security Council resolutions and disarm the regime. We believe that Saddam is in material breach of his commitments to the UN. We believe that he threatens regional and global stability by supporting terrorism as well as by holding his country hostage and using its resources to build WMD and the missiles to deliver them. In order to avoid the use of force, Saddam must take the necessary actions – not words, but actions – to comply with all Security Council resolutions. Our position is that this threat will be dealt with one way or another, and in short order.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week, intensified Islamist violence prompted Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to launch his military's largest counteroffensive against radical Islamic elements in five years. The target of this ongoing operation is the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC), a breakaway faction of the Armed Islamic Group (GIA). GSPC deserves special attention in America's "war on terror" for its extensive ties to al-Qaeda and its devastating effect on Algeria.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Algeria, Arab Countries
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Jones was in Ankara Monday to discuss foreign policy issues including Iraq with her Turkish counterparts. Interestingly, Iraq's vice premier Tariq Aziz visited Ankara yesterday for the same purpose. These trips come at a crucial time as Washington prepares for a confrontation with Saddam Husayn. While prepared to stand with its close NATO ally the United States, Turkey remains uneasy about several issues.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, NATO, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The United States and Britain are consulting with the other three permanent members of the UN Security Council (Russia, France, and China) before introducing a new draft resolution on Iraq. Much attention has been given to whether the resolution will explicitly authorize the use of force. At least as important will be whether the resolution reverses the long, slow erosion of Iraq's UN-mandated obligations. For all their seemingly tough language, recent Security Council resolutions on Iraq have been ambiguous at best about the issues on which Saddam Husayn has been allowed to cheat in the past.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the United States considers a possible military campaign in Iraq, Turkey is preoccupied with its upcoming elections. Although a party with roots in Islamism will be a major contender in the November 3 elections, it is unlikely that Turkey's approach to the Iraq issue will change much, regardless of which party wins. That said, continuing political uncertainty at home could preoccupy Turkish leaders, reducing Turkey's contribution to solving the Iraq problem.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Martin Kramer, Mouafac Harb
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Public diplomacy in the Middle Eastern context is not a new problem. Every non-Muslim state that has projected its power into the Middle East has had to win over the "hearts and minds" of the Muslim population under its control. Muslim Middle Easterners have always viewed the projection of non-Muslim power into the region with suspicion. Nevertheless, America does not have to reinvent the public diplomacy wheel. The United States should learn from the history of the European experience in the Middle East and from its own successful public diplomacy efforts in the Cold War era.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Seyfi Tashan, Heath Lowry
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The U.S.-Turkish security relationship is becoming increasingly important to the stability of the Middle East. The two countries have long enjoyed a friendship based on mutual economic and military interests. Many perceive this to be an ideal relationship between the West and the Islamic world. Americans certainly have an interest in encouraging Muslim countries to develop more democratic societies. Yet, the secular structure of Muslim Turkey may not necessarily be the right model for the entire Muslim world. Any externally imposed model is a recipe for failure; individual countries must possess structures of their own that will allow them to develop secular institutions.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, America, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With its longstanding support for terrorism, Syria poses an exceptional challenge to U.S. antiterror policy. On September 20, 2001, President George W. Bush declared that "from this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." This declaration implicitly offered state sponsors a virtual amnesty for previous actions if they would cease sponsoring terror, an offer that Syria has thus far rejected. In June 2002, the president directly called on Syria to "choose the right side in the war on terror by closing terrorist camps and expelling terrorist organizations."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Ellen Laipson, Rend Rahim Francke
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Judging whether or not regime change in Iraq is desirable depends in part on forecasting what is likely to occur afterward. The international community cannot expect to determine the success or failure of regime change in the few months after it is initiated; this is the responsibility of the Iraqis themselves. By intervening, the international community would be entitled to set some terms regarding the basic principles of a post-Saddam government, but the details of such a government – in the social, political, and economic realms – must be meaningful and credible to Iraqis.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson, Keith Weissman
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The people of Turkey go to the polls on November 3, 2002, amid a great deal of political and economic uncertainty. Possible outcomes range from a coherent pro-European Union (EU) coalition to a dramatic change following an outright electoral victory by a party attractive to Islamist voters. In Turkey, the election is widely portrayed as a referendum on the country's EU accession. Lack of progress on key EU reforms (abolition of the death penalty; allowances for Kurdish-language broadcasting and education) during Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's debilitating illness provoked the July political crisis that has led to the upcoming elections. (Parliament approved these reforms in early August.) Polls indicate that a majority of Turks support EU membership. What divides parties and voters is not the principle of membership – which in theory is the logical outcome of Kemal Ataturk's vision of Turkey's European identity – but rather the issue of how much should be conceded to the EU in order to join.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In terms of public diplomacy (PD), the U.S. government's record since September 11 is poor. This failing grade is due to a combination of factors: faulty strategic direction from PD policymakers, who have put a premium on a well-intentioned but highly counterproductive effort "to be liked" at the expense of policy advocacy; flawed tactical decisions that have lent an aura of endorsement to some of the most virulent critics (and critiques) of U.S. interests and policy; a lack of speed and creativity in taking advantage of the post-September 11 window to develop and implement new PD projects and initiatives (some of which are actually resurrected old projects that were prematurely terminated); and over-reliance on the powers of broadcasting and a concomitant lack of attention and adequate funding to medium- and long-term aspects of the "hearts and minds" campaign. An assessment of the past year suggests that the heart of the problem lies in Washington, not in the field, where most PD professionals toil with woefully inadequate resources and poor policy direction. Even in the field, however, some are reluctant to press the case for U.S. policy, preferring instead to focus efforts on winning admiration for and sympathy with U.S. values.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Barham Salih
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since it became an autonomous region in 1991, Kurdistan has taken advantage of its relative freedom from the tyranny of Baghdad. As a result, Kurdish culture has blossomed, media outlets have boomed, and the number of schools, physicians, and universities in the region has increased dramatically. In comparison to its pre-1991 status, Kurdistan is doing very well. Nevertheless, it has reached a dead end. The Kurdish people realize that in order to ensure further cultural revival, better education, and additional healthcare, a regime change in Baghdad is necessary. At the same time, the Iraqi people look with pride at what has been achieved in Kurdistan and wait for the day in which they can emulate it. They, too, have reached the conclusion that regime change is necessary and that they must accept differences within their society and government, as expressed through the ballot box. Iraqis feel that the day of liberation is near, and they hope that the international community will soon perceive their readiness for change and their willingness to pay the price for such change.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia, Kurdistan
  • Author: Ugur Ziyal
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The November 3, 2002, Turkish parliamentary elections are unlikely to produce any significant change in Turkish foreign policy, upon which there is a national consensus. The statements of all the political parties support Turkey's European orientation, and they also share a similar stance on Iraq. The new government may bring differences in style, but the same guiding principles for policymaking will remain in place.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush's speech to the UN General Assembly on September 12 is expected to lay out U.S. policy on Iraq. There are strong arguments against raising the issue of arms inspections at all during this speech, and even stronger arguments for proposing a specific deadline for resuming inspections.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ahmed Rashid
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although al-Qaeda and the Taliban no longer pose a military or political threat in Afghanistan, al-Qaeda cells are regrouping. This threat requires the response of special forces, intelligence, and commandos in order to uncover the terrorist cells and prevent another September 11-style attack. But the main threat posed by terrorism in Central Asia today is the enormous domestic political crisis that has erupted throughout the region.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Central Asia, Taliban
  • Author: Ely Karmon
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On August 28, 2002, a U.S. federal grand jury issued a new indictment against five terrorists from the Fatah Revolutionary Command, also known as the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), for the 1986 hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 in Karachi, Pakistan. Based on "aggravating circumstances," prosecutors are now seeking the death penalty for the attack, in which twenty-two people – including two Americans – were killed.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Iraq, Middle East, Baghdad, Palestine, Arabia, Karachi
  • Author: Nihat Ali Ozcan, Ersel Aydinli
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Ever since talk of American intervention in Iraq began heating up, Turkish policy on cooperation has generally been as follows: keep a close eye on the situation and clearly express reluctance, but if Washington begins to display greater decisiveness, take part in the action. The primary reasons for such a policy are Turkey's immediate proximity to Iraq and its unpleasant memories from the Gulf War.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Ankara
  • Author: Raymond Tanter
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: An uninvited guest – Saddam Husayn – may dominate the August 21 military planning session at President George W. Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The publicized agenda for this session does not mention Iraq, but then again, neither did the Bush speech at West Point in June 2002. Nevertheless, the doctrine Bush set out in that speech – the doctrine of preventive war – will receive its first test case with Iraq. Bush's argument in June was that the United States must be prepared to take preemptive action against rogue states that acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD), which could be transferred to terrorists if not used directly by such states.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, South Africa, Baghdad, Arabia
  • Author: Maher Al-Masri
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Palestinian economy has reached a situation like none it has ever experienced before. For several years leading up to 1999, average annual growth within the PA was estimated at 6.5 percent. Unemployment shrank to around 11.5 percent, poverty figures were on the decline, and, for the first time, the Palestinian economy was absorbing more Palestinian laborers than Israel. The economy might have been in an even better situation had trade and border conditions not been under strict Israeli control. Under such control, transported goods often had to be unloaded, checked, and reloaded, on top of several other impediments to the free flow of goods. Despite these impediments, however, the economy was progressing at a significant pace.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Reform
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In two long sessions recently, the Turkish parliament adopted a historic reform package. Many view the legislation as a milestone for several reasons. First, it fully liberalizes the country's political system. Second, it lifts the few remaining limits on freedom of press, association, and expression. Third, it abolishes capital punishment, except in wartime circumstances. Fourth, it redefines and narrows the powers of the police forces, while increasing the communal rights of non-Muslim minorities. Fifth, in a gesture to the country's diversity, the bill facilitates the teaching of all languages spoken in Turkey, including Kurdish; it also extends broadcasting rights in these languages.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Iran's democratic movement has had a busy few weeks. Today, the usually weak-kneed President Muhammad Khatami spoke out about the importance of democracy and warned hardliners against their crackdown on reformers: "No problem will be solved through the superficial elimination of a group. . . . [S]uch tendencies would go into hiding and grow up at great cost." Sunday, 151 of the 290 Majlis members signed a statement criticizing the judiciary for its hardline crackdown, arguing that it would bring only disappointment and discontentment to the populace. Last week, the often timid main student organization (the Office for Strengthening Unity) issued its first strong defense of respected antiregime Ayatollah Hussein Ali Montazeri, demanding he be released from house arrest. Finally, two weeks ago, protests forced the Expediency Council to withdraw a proposed directive that would have placed it above the president and Majlis, able to overrule both.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Cracking down on terrorist financing demands an all-encompassing approach, targeting not only the full array of terrorist groups, but also the individuals, businesses, banks, criminal enterprises, and charitable and humanitarian organizations that finance terrorism.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Zalmay Khalilzad
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: "On January 29, the President in his State of the Union address laid the foundation for the policy we are pursuing today for Iran. It's a dual track policy based on moral clarity: tell the world specifically what is destructive and unacceptable about Iran's behavior – sponsorship of terror, pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and repression of the clearly expressed desires of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy – while laying out a positive vision of partnership and support for the Iranian people. This dual track approach reflects two fundamental principles and beliefs of the President more broadly: first, that September 11 taught us that we need to deal with threats before they manifest [themselves], and, second, that there is an essential truth that must be emphasized: when given the choice, people will choose freedom. . . ."
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Mark Parris
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Turkey's attitude will be critical in the event the United States seeks to remove Saddam Husayn through use of force. Simple geography demands that any military option include Turkey. What do Turks think about the prospect of direct U.S. military action to topple Saddam? The short answer is: they hate the idea. But sitting it out is not an option.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Raymond Tanter
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: King Abdullah of Jordan's visit to Washington tomorrow offers the Bush administration an opportunity to clarify the relationship between regime change in Baghdad and progress in the Israel-Palestinian arena. Last Monday, the king told British prime minister Tony Blair that in light of the failure to move the peace process forward, military action against Iraq would open a Pandora's box.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Washington, Turkey, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Ely Karmon
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Hizballah has not yet been made a clear target of America's war on terrorism. Recently, the organization has been taking advantage of the political space granted to it by this fact in order to frustrate both the war on terrorism and any plans for a campaign against Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia