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  • Author: Nazar Janabi
  • Publication Date: 01-2008
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Away from the headlines, Sunnis and Shiites are testing the waters of reconciliation in the Iraqi parliament with an agreement that may come at the expense of country's Kurdish population. The Kurdish political reaction to such an agreement could potentially exacerbate anti-Kurdish sentiment among many Arab parliamentarians, costing the Kurds some of the hard-earned political ground they have gained thus far.
  • Topic: Government, Political Economy, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Vesselin Popovski, Nicholas Turner
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United Nations University
  • Abstract: Decisions over the use of force are the most significant and dangerous that leaders must take, both morally and in terms of achieving their goals. Consideration of the reasons that can justify behaviour resulting in the elimination of human life is as philosophical and ethical as it is political and legal. In the context of exponential increases in the destructiveness of war, particularly with the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, such consideration assumes an even greater significance.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Peace Studies, Religion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo
  • Author: Soner Cagaptay, Daniel Fink
  • Publication Date: 01-2007
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 14, in a rare show of unity, Sunni and Shiite Arab, Turkmen, and Christian Iraqis gathered at a conference in Ankara to denounce Kurdish plans to incorporate Kirkuk, the capital of Iraqs at-Tamim province, into the Kurdish region. This comes after recent violence in Kirkuk, including a December 26 roadside bomb that killed three and wounded six. Between December 2005 and July 2006, the number of reported violent incidents in Kirkuk increased by 76 percent, ending the citys previous status as a relatively safe area. With tensions in Kirkuk rising, how can violence be countered?
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Cecile Zwiebach
  • Publication Date: 08-2006
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: While U.S. and coalition forces—and increasingly the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)—struggle to defeat the Sunni insurgency in Iraq, they are also dealing with a range of armed groups that complicate the security scenario. Militias and ad hoc units with different levels of government sanction are growing in strength, and the training of the ISF is progressing unevenly. While it is not possible to conduct a comprehensive survey of both independent groups and ISF units, a sampling of less publicized units illustrates how diffuse military power in Iraq has become.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq
  • Publication Date: 09-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Instead of healing the growing divisions between Iraq's three principal communities -- Shiites, Kurds and Sunni Arabs -- a rushed constitutional process has deepened rifts and hardened feelings. Without a strong U.S.-led initiative to assuage Sunni Arab concerns, the constitution is likely to fuel rather than dampen the insurgency, encourage ethnic and sectarian violence, and hasten the country's violent break-up.
  • Topic: Government, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries, Kurdistan
  • Author: Mona Iman
  • Publication Date: 10-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: While the outcome of Iraq's October 15 national referendum is uncertain, it is clear that many of Iraq's Sunni Arabs will vote against it. Why are Sunni Arabs opposed to a constitution that appears to give them the same opportunities for self-governance that it provides to Kurds and Shia?
  • Topic: International Relations, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Emily Hunt
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On November 2, Iraq's Defense Ministry appealed to junior officers from Saddam Hussein's disbanded army to return to service. The decision to include these soldiers is part of an ongoing strategy to minimize support for terrorism by reintegrating Sunnis into the political fabric of the new Iraq. This latest effort comes as Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group steps up targeting of Shiite civilians in an effort to spark retaliatory attacks against Sunnis. But as Zarqawi's attacks on Shiites exact growing toll among civilians, his tactics may be causing a divide within the ranks of the resistance.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 08-2005
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Warnings by Sunni politicians of even greater violence if Sunni Arab concerns are not addressed in the draft Iraqi constitution raise the question: could the insurgency get worse? The answer can be found by examining the insurgency's demographic dimension.
  • Topic: International Relations, Politics, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East
  • Author: Adil Abd al-Mahdi
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Iraqi elections rapidly approach despite an entrenched and violent insurgency, the country's economic challenges are extensive. The government is faced with the momentous task of transforming a war torn, state-dominated economy into a transparent, investment-friendly institution, all during the course of daily political violence.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White, Todd Orenstein, Max Sicherman
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Attacks by insurgents on Iraqi police officers and facilities have become a major feature of this stage of the insurgency in Iraq. Hundreds of police personnel have been killed, the police in some areas have been routed by insurgent forces, and police have been penetrated and subverted by the insurgents. Deployed widely and to the neighborhood level in towns and cities, they have become a prime target for the insurgents.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Daniel Benjamin, Jonathan Schanzer
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Groups affiliated with al-Qaeda are a threat not only in the countries in which they operate, but also at the global level. Al-Qaeda's presence throughout the Muslim world comes largely in the form of these groups; attacks in Bali, Yemen, Casablanca, Iraq, and elsewhere have been linked to such affiliates.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Yemen, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ghassan al-Atiyyah
  • Publication Date: 12-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The forces at play in Iraqi politics have changed over the past seventeen months. There is a glaring absence of moderate Iraqis throughout the political scene, within all three major ethno-religious groups -- Shiites, Sunni Arabs, and Kurds. The interim government has perpetuated the dominance of the same seven prominent political parties that controlled the Iraqi Governing Council before the June 2004 transfer of sovereignty. Those outside this elite group of parties, especially Sunni Arabs, are frustrated at the perception that their voices are not being heard.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The military outcome of the long-anticipated coalition operation to break the insurgents' control of the city of Falluja was never in doubt. Only the speed of the operation and the casualties inflicted and taken were in question. Ultimately, of course, it remains to be seen if Iraqi and coalition forces can prevent the insurgents from reestablishing a presence in the city. Nevertheless, the fight for Falluja tells us much about the maturing resistance that U.S. and Iraqi troops now face in Iraq. While there are unlikely to be any more battles like Falluja, there will be no cheap or easy victories over the resistance in the battles to come.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush will enter his second term leading a country that is at war on five fronts at once. Four are clear: in Iraq and Afghanistan, against al-Qaeda and its global affiliates, and within the homeland. The fifth front, however, is the poor stepsister to the other four. It is being fought with an arsenal of outmoded and dysfunctional weaponry, a set of confused and self-defeating battlefield tactics, and no clear strategy for victory. Such is the status of the U.S. effort to fight the "battle of ideas" -- the ideological war to prevent Islamists and their sympathizers from capturing the social, cultural, economic, and political high ground in Muslim societies around the world.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Knights
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On November 22-23, officials from several countries will hold a conference in Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt, regarding Iraq's future. The meeting will represent the first major international event focused on Iraq since the reelection of President George W. Bush and the resignation of U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell. Though organized to improve international assistance to Iraq, the conference promises risks as well as rewards.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries, Egypt
  • Author: Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 11-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Coalition and Iraqi government forces are moving to retake Falluja from insurgents who have held the city since April 2004. On the evening of November 8, U.S. troops with large-scale air support began to penetrate at several points, encountering some resistance. The coalition and the Iraqi government are gambling that they can break the insurgents hold on the city with acceptable losses and without a protracted battle. The insurgents are hoping to avoid annihilation, inflict embarrassing losses, create an image of wanton destruction by the coalition and government forces, and force an inconclusive end to the fighting. Indeed, Falluja has become a kind of "Stalingrad on the Euphrates" -- a city imbued with political, military, and symbolic consequence, and a battle whose outcome will have long-term implications.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The U.S.-led coalition and the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG) have had to confront both bureaucratic red tape and insurgent terrorism in their effort to recruit, train, and equip the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF). Nevertheless, progress is being made. Equipment is arriving, ISF personnel are being trained, and the flow of new recruits (motivated by the prospect of stable employment and, in many cases, patriotic pride) continues in the face of terrorist attacks on ISF personnel and facilities. Ultimately, however, success in creating a relatively stable, if not peaceful, Iraq will depend in part on whether the ISF can surmount the operational challenges it is liable to face in the coming months and years, both in conjunction with coalition forces and, ultimately, on its own.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The counterinsurgency in Iraq has entered a critical phase: the start of operations by U.S.-led coalition and Iraqi forces to pacify insurgent-held areas, smoothing the way for January 2005 elections. In recent weeks, coalition and Iraqi forces have battled insurgents in Tal Afar, Samarra, Mahmudiya, and Latifiya, as well as Sadr City and Haifa Street in Baghdad. They now appear to be preparing to move against Falluja, which has been described by some U.S. officials as the "center of gravity" of the Sunni insurgency.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 10-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Ramadan starts on October 15 or 16, depending on the sighting of the moon. Last year on the first day of Ramadan, five car bombs went off in Baghdad within an hour, including one in front of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) offices. There is a disturbing prospect that the insurgents could try in Ramadan this year to mount a more significant offensive than any attacks to date. Such an offensive would underline the insurgents' claim to act in the cause of Islam; it could significantly complicate plans for elections in Iraq; and it might aim to influence the U.S. elections.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt, Jeffrey White
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Surprise in war is inevitable. It is impossible to anticipate all enemy actions or the impact of the social and political forces unleashed by war. To succeed, one must be able to rapidly adjust one's plans when their underlying assumptions are proven wrong. In this regard, the U.S. performance in Iraq has been found wanting. The war brought surprises in four areas: The insurgency. The Sunni insurgency resulted from the way the war was fought by both sides: U.S. forces brought about the rapid collapse of the regime without instilling a sense of defeat among its members, while many members of the regime's security forces survived the war because, whenever possible, they relied on paramilitary forces drawn from the dregs of Iraqi society to do the fighting for them. Moreover, the U.S. failure to realize that the fall of Baghdad did not end the war enabled the resistance to organize itself and stay one step ahead of coalition forces. The United States must prevent further entrenchment of the resistance and stamp out the miniature "republics of fear" that have emerged in the Sunni Triangle and deterred many residents from embracing the Iraqi Interim Government. It must be remembered, however, that successful counterinsurgency campaigns often take years to bear results. The question is whether the U.S. presence will become politically untenable before Iraqi political and security structures are in place.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White, Todd Orenstein, Max Sicherman
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The effects of resistance operations have been felt in terms of stability and governance, reconstruction, and military security. Sunni resistance has removed some areas from government and coalition control and permitted the emergence of local rule by anticoalition and antigovernment elements. Officials working with the government have been killed, wounded, kidnapped, or otherwise intimidated, again with the effect of limiting government influence.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White, Todd Orenstein, Max Sicherman
  • Publication Date: 09-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The prospects for violence in Iraq were much discussed in the period leading to the June 28, 2004, transition to Iraqi sovereignty. The "smart money" was on the expectation that violence against the transitional government and coalition forces would increase. This has proved to be the case, with Sunni-based resistance actions in Iraq increasing in number, scope, sophistication, and lethality. Between the beginning of June and the end of August, some 150 U.S. soldiers have been killed in action and 1,977 have been wounded. It is now possible to speak not only of certain cities that have slipped beyond coalition or government control (such as Falluja, Ramadi, and Samarra), but also of "zones of resistance" that extend across multiple cities and towns in Sunni Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White, Anna Solomon-Schwartz
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The fractious and dangerous Iraqi Shi'i cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is once again attempting to foment a rebellion. In scenes virtually identical to those of his April-May 2004 uprising, his militia is in the streets, Shi'is are demonstrating en masse, and he is alternately talking peace and vowing to fight to the death. Iraq has changed since the April rebellion, however, with al-Sadr now pitted against the coalition as well as the new Interim Iraqi Government and its expanding security forces.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 08-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Morocco is a nation of nearly 30 million people, part Arab, part Berber, and overwhelmingly Muslim, yet distant enough from Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian arena so that those issues, while relevant, are not all-consuming. Hence, it provides an excellent vantage point from which to assess the ideological battle between radical Islamists, on the one hand, and non- and anti-Islamists on the other.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Morocco
  • Author: Charles Swannack Jr.
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Like all U.S. forces in Iraq, the 82nd Airborne Division was worked hard in 2003-2004. Beginning in February 2003, the division's headquarters were split between Afghanistan and Iraq. From February 2003 to April 2004, at least two maneuver brigades from the division were continuously deployed in one of these two countries. Eventually, every brigade in the division rotated through Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Dov Zakheim
  • Publication Date: 07-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although the United States had been engaged in a similar reconstruction effort in Iraq not more than twelve years before the recent war in that country, the Iraq of 2003 was fundamentally different from the Iraq of 1991, which meant that the reconstruction effort this time around would also be fundamentally different. First and foremost, the reconstruction effort of 1991 was directed more toward the rebuilding of Kuwait. Because Iraq had triggered the first conflict, the donor countries were inclined to allocate the majority of their funds to the aid effort in Kuwait. Second, both the political situations and the internal economies of the countries that contributed to reconstruction effort twelve years ago were vastly different. In addition, several other reconstruction efforts were -- and had been -- going on when plans for the current reconstruction of Iraq were being formulated. Those efforts were in the Balkans, East Timor, and U.S.-occupied Afghanistan. By mid-March of 2003, while both the Afghan project and the Iraq war were underway, plans were made to establish a coordination group to raise money for the reconstruction of Iraq. This group was called the senior Coalition Contribution Group (CCG).
  • Topic: Security, Religion, War
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt, David Albright
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The culmination of Operation Iraqi Freedom has given rise to much debate concerning the exact nature of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (WMD) programs. Similarly, ongoing negotiations with Iran regarding its nuclear activities have also been dogged by imprecise intelligence and unclear strategies. Both of these cases have led many to realize that noncompliance with weapons inspections does not automatically indicate the existence of hidden weapons programs. Although the Senate Intelligence Committee has yet to issue its report on Iraqi WMD, one could reasonably argue that the situation in Iraq during the 1990s served as an example of how inspections can provide a powerful deterrent against covert WMD activity. At present, it is too early to establish with any certainty the exact nature of Iraqi WMD prior to the invasion. Just as some prewar analyses were mistaken when they claimed to know precisely where Iraq's weapons stockpiles were, it would now be erroneous to declare that the country possessed no WMD before the war or that such weapons are not present there today. One must remain open to various possibilities until history comes down conclusively on either side.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: After several days of diplomatic tension between London and Tehran, eight British military personnel who had been captured by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) were released and flown out of Iran on June 24. The men, who served with the coalition forces in Iraq, had been in three boats intercepted in the Shatt al-Arab waterway, the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that forms the border with Iran. (Tehran, which dislikes the Arab name, calls the waterway the Arvand River.) The incident comes after several weeks of minor clashes in the Persian Gulf and at a time when Iran is facing strong international pressure due to concerns about its suspected nuclear weapons program.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Tehran, Arab Countries
  • Author: Jeffrey White, Ryan Phillips
  • Publication Date: 06-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Muqtada al-Sadr represents a serious long-term political and military challenge to the coalition and the new Iraqi government. Open warfare between Sadr and the coalition first emerged on April 4, 2004, with "uprisings" by his militia, the so-called Mahdi Army, in Baghdad and across southern Iraq. Although Sadr has not achieved his objective of a broad-based Shi'i rebellion, coalition forces have not been able to bring him to justice or dissolve his militia. Both sides are now playing a high-stakes game. The coalition is betting that it can eliminate or reduce Sadr as a political force without causing a serious breach with the larger Shi'i community. Sadr is gambling that he can persist, even prosper, in the face of the coalition. Indeed, he has long-term political goals and is positioning himself for the upcoming elections. The prospects that the coalition can bring him under control at acceptable cost and risk remain uncertain.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Egemen Bagis
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: For years, the Turkish Cypriots have been blamed for the Cyprus issue. Nevertheless, Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally convinced UN secretary general Kofi Annan to open the fourth round of negotiations, and Rauf Denktas, president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, was much more productive in these talks than was the Greek Cypriot leader. The conclusions emerging from the Annan Plan negotiations were the best obtainable result, even though they did not address all Turkish priorities. According to the plan, the Greek and Turkish Cypriots each submitted the plan's proposals to a separate referendum. Yet, only the Turkish Cypriot leadership stood behind its word and asked for a "yes" vote. With this, the Turkish Cypriots sent the message that they were ready to integrate into the international community. Unfortunately, the Greek Cypriot leadership backed off of its support for the agreement, and the Greek Cypriots consequently rejected the plan in their referendum. The European Union (EU) had promised Greek Cypriot accession regardless of their referendum result, however, and on May 1, Greek Cyprus entered the EU while the Turkish side remains unfairly punished by international sanctions. The destiny of the Turkish Cypriots should not rest in the hands of the Greek Cypriots, and the world has begun to recognize this. Now, lifting the sanctions on the Turkish Cyprus is Turkey's priority.
  • Topic: Security, NATO, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Cyprus
  • Author: Stephen Hadley
  • Publication Date: 05-2004
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: You have heard President Bush talk about a forward strategy for freedom in the Middle East. The president's vision of the future for the Middle East is predicated on one clear principle: that the advance of freedom and democracy leads to peace and progress for all. As the president has said, as long as the Middle East is a place of tyranny and despair and anger, it will produce men and movements that threaten the safety of Americans and our friends. We seek the advance of democracy for the most practical of reasons: because democracies do not support terrorists or threaten the world with weapons of mass destruction.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, America, Middle East
  • 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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