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  • 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
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Just short of four years since Crown Prince Abdullah, while on a trip to Washington, met leaders of U.S. energy companies to discuss cooperation efforts, negotiations to secure $25 billion of investment for Saudi gas projects have broken down. A policy that should have cemented the energy-supply facet of Washington's sixty-year friendship with Riyadh is in tatters, alongside the diplomatic and military relationships, themselves frayed by a purported lack of Saudi cooperation since the September 11 attacks.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 19 — less than a month after President George W. Bush's call for Palestinian reform and just two days after the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades' latest terrorist attack — the State Department released its latest Palestine Liberation Organization Commitments Compliance Act (PLOCCA) report. This new report is a mixture of increased truth telling (the good), old formulations (the bad), and irrelevant standards for what constitutes supporting terrorism (the ugly). In total, despite the improvement over past PLOCCA reports, the current report undercuts the Bush administration's nascent policy of pushing the peace process forward by demanding the establishment of consequences for noncompliance with peace commitments.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Helena Kane Finn
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The speech delivered by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz at the Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation (TESEV) in Istanbul on July 14 was a detailed, comprehensive statement of U.S. policy on Turkey. In the clearest expression of U.S. policy on Turkish-Iraqi relations to date, Wolfowitz observed that "it is vital to Turkey for the people of Iraq to govern themselves democratically, with full respect for the rights of minorities, including the Turcomans, and to maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq." Yet, how will current Turkish crises affect the prospects for U.S.-Turkish cooperation on Iraq?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Following preparatory meetings on Palestinian reform between Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Elizabeth Cheney and European officials, the Quartet (the United States, the European Union [EU], the UN, and Russia) met this week in New York. The Quartet established an International Task Force on Palestinian Reform with seven subcommittees, which are to meet quarterly. As talks about Palestinian political reform progress, the donors intend to find an acceptable means enabling the group to begin disbursing $1.2 billion in donor funds to the Palestinians.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations, Reform
  • Political Geography: New York, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Earlier this month, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) published the Arab Human Development Report 2002, a critical look at development in the Arab world. Written by Arab scholars, it attempts to explain why Arab societies lag behind much of the rest of the world in key areas of economic, political, and social progress. The report has been hailed for the honesty of its conclusions, which assert that the Arab world has deficits in three areas: freedom, knowledge, and the participation of women in economic, professional, and political activities. Moreover, the details and methodology of the study itself offer further, perhaps unintended insights.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the most significant Bush administration pronouncement on Arab-Israeli issues since President George W. Bush's landmark June 24 speech, Secretary of State Colin Powell joined with leaders from the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU), and Russia in issuing a "joint statement" on Middle East policy in New York yesterday. In characterizing the meeting of "Quartet" diplomats that produced the statement, much of today's media reportage highlighted the contrast between Secretary Powell's fealty to the president's security-first approach and the preference of the other Quartet members for pursuing security, political, and humanitarian objectives simultaneously. Yet, a close reading of the Quartet's statement shows a different trend — namely, a disquieting resurrection of pre-June 24 prescriptions for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking, as well as acquiescence by U.S. participants in subtle yet meaningful backtracking in key areas of policy.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, New York, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Thomas G. McInerney
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In his June 1 West Point address, President George W. Bush announced a policy of using preemption against countries that support terrorism and can deliver weapons of mass destruction (WMD). The preeminent such case in the world is the government of Iraqi president Saddam Husayn. The United States can no longer tolerate that regime and must take action in order to succeed in its broader war on terrorism. A U.S. campaign against Iraq should have four objectives: 1) remove Saddam Husayn and his supporters from power, 2) install an Iraqi government based on democratic principles, 3) rebuild the Iraqi economy, and 4) eliminate Iraq's WMD.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 24, 2002, President George W. Bush stated, "Peace requires a new and different Palestinian leadership, so that a Palestinian state can be born." His speech elicited initial favorable reaction from Arab governments, which has evolved amid negative Arab media response.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Helena Kane Finn
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Simmering political problems in Turkey reached a boil following the resignation of the deputy prime minister this week, throwing into doubt both the health of the Ecevit government and Turkey's critical negotiations with the European Union (EU). The current situation, which is fluid and unpredictable, will also have ramifications for Turkey's role in U.S. efforts regarding Iraq.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Phillip Gibbons
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since 1991, the United States has averaged over 34,000 military sorties per year in support of no-fly zone operations in Iraq. One might ask, to what effect?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Over the course of a few days at the end of May, Iran conducted a missile test; Pakistan conducted three such tests; and Israel launched a reconnaissance satellite. Each of these instances serve as proof, if any were needed, that missiles are becoming an important part of the military scene in the Middle East and Southwest Asia. The question for Washington is how the growing sophistication of Middle East/Southwest Asian missiles will affect the stability of this volatile region.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Middle East, Israel, Asia, Arabia
  • Author: Malik Mufti
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since October 1998, Turkey has moved from the brink of war with Syria to the brink of signing a military cooperation agreement: Syrian chief of staff Gen. Hassan al-Turkomani will pay an official visit to Turkey on June 19, the first such visit by a Syrian chief of staff. The changes that have occurred in the Turkish-Syrian relationship are illustrative of the volatility of Turkey's general Middle East policy during the last decade.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Josef Joffe, R. James Woolsey
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Although the current campaign against terrorism is just unfolding, America has actually been in the middle of a new "World War" of sorts for some time. In order to understand this war, one must answer three crucial questions: 1) With whom is the United States at war? 2) Why is America at war with these particular adversaries? 3) How should the United States conduct this war, both at home and abroad?
  • Topic: Security, Politics, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Michael Rubin
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 22, 2002, Iranians demonstrated in the heart of Tehran, chanting antigovernment slogans. Riot police clashed with protestors on Vali Asr Avenue, the city's main thoroughfare. The protest came five days after security services sealed off the streets leading to Arak University, where student protestors had barricaded themselves. On May 1, numerous student and trade groups also protested around the country. The increasing frequency of public demonstrations is evidence of the growing discontent among Iranians over both a souring economy and President Muhammad Khatami's failure to fulfill his campaign promises.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Tehran, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As President George W. Bush completes his latest European trip — one highlighted by a symbolic Memorial Day speech in Normandy that underscored the link between America's past wars and the current war on terror — his European Union (EU) hosts have begun to implement a policy on terrorism that is fundamentally at odds with the "Bush Doctrine": namely, that those who support, fund, or abet terror are terrorists themselves.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: America, Europe, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The 2001 edition of Patterns of Global Terrorism, the U.S. government's preeminent annual accounting of international terrorism, is slated for release tomorrow, a few weeks later than its usual April unveiling. The delay is presumably the result of the sharp rise in international terror activity in 2001. The report is said to be twice the usual length, including an overview of a U.S.-proposed global framework for countering terrorism. Key to judging the report, however, will be its treatment of terrorism writ large, including the controversial issues of Palestinian terrorism and state sponsors.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ray Takeyh, Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Near the end of the Clinton administration, some analysts expressed a degree of hope that Iran's reform movement would inject some measure of pragmatism into Iranian foreign policy. That hope seems to have faded. The Bush administration has established terrorism and proliferation — two areas in which Iran has been particularly active — as top-priority issues, while the previous administration predicated its policy on certain developments within Iran. The parameters for evaluating Iranian foreign policy and U.S.-Iran relations have changed, particularly on the issue of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Charlotte Beers
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The United States is viewed with suspicion by much of the rest of the world, and its motives are consistently questioned for several reasons. This reality can be addressed through actionable goals. First, the United States is perceived as being too big, a hyper power whose global reach is threatening. Second, dialogue with the Middle East is almost nonexistent, and when it does occur, the fundamental concepts underpinning American democracy, such as the rule of law, are often misunderstood and need to be explained. Third, American studies programs, which could be used to bridge the understanding and dialogue gap, are now nonexistent at Middle Eastern universities. Finally, the United States has a very small share in the kind of debate that takes place in the new global village, where communication is nearly instantaneous and a rumor sent via email can reach half the world's population by the end of a business day. In particular, the inaccurate perception that, post-September 11, the United States is waging a war against Islam both at home and abroad has been widespread.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Within the last month, the remaining members of al-Qaeda have begun to issue new electronic pamphlets through the websites of their supporters under the name of "Qaedat al-Jihad" (base of jihad). Usage of the internet by radical Islamists is not unprecedented, but after al-Qaeda's defeat in Afghanistan, it has become a vital modus operandi. This trend has also led to the establishment of dozens of websites by radical Saudi, Egyptian, and Palestinian scholars that grant Islamic legitimacy to al-Qaeda's cause.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 29, President George W. Bush caused considerable consternation among foreign policy analysts by referring to an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address. The analysts worried that the president's castigation of Iran would embolden hardliners who routinely exploit external threats as a means of deflecting attention from their sagging political fortunes. The concern was that, in addition to hurting Iran's reform movement, the president's speech would lead to a more aggressive Iranian foreign policy, ending the modest gains toward U.S.-Iranian rapprochement that were achieved in the last years of the Clinton administration.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Thoraya Obaid
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: There is no doubt that demographics and population are linked to political stability. Although water and food resources are topics of great concern in the Middle East, there is another vital resource that deserves attention: young people. Today, growing unrest and perceptions of inequality and injustice pervade the region. Although suicide bombers currently claim the world's attention, another very serious phenomenon demands similar attention: the radicalization of Middle Eastern youths. When chronic poverty is combined with feelings of injustice or neglect and a lack of legitimate means to address problems, a path is paved for extremism.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Kemal Derviş
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Turkey's recovery from the economic crisis of February 2001 has so far been very successful. Fundamental reforms have been undertaken and strict fiscal discipline has been implemented. Furthermore, this process is, to a large degree, irreversible. For the recovery to be truly successful, however, it is essential that Turkey's relations with the European Union (EU) be promoted and that foreign direct investment be encouraged.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Middle East
  • Author: Simon Henderson, Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: After declining at least two earlier invitations since January 2001, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is due to meet President George W. Bush for the first time this Thursday. The de facto leader of America's leading oil supplier (his elder half-brother, King Fahd, is ailing) had previously snubbed Washington's efforts, ostensibly angry over the president's reluctance to become involved in Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. In addition to the current crisis, the lunchtime talks at President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, are expected to cover a complete range of issues including the involvement of Saudis in the events of September 11 and extension of the war against terrorism to Saddam Husayn.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Secretary of State Colin Powell and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon exchanged warm words regarding the U.S.-Israel relationship at a press conference on April 12, but underneath that they presented two distinct approaches to stopping the current violence in the region. Sharon emphasized that Israel is conducting a war on terror, stressing that completing the ongoing military operation is of the utmost importance. Powell was sympathetic to Israel's need to defend itself, but he emphasized finding a political answer to the conflict, one tied to a timetable for ending Israeli military operations.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Helena Kane Finn
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The day after a devastating suicide attack on the Israeli town of Netanya killed some twenty people celebrating the Passover Seder, Maria Rosa Menocal published an op-ed in the New York Times entitled "A Golden Age of Tolerance." In it, she reminded readers that "a thousand years ago on the Iberian Peninsula, an enlightened vision of Islam had created the most advanced culture in Europe. . . . [W]hat strikes us today about Al Andalus is that it was a chapter of European history during which Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived side by side, and despite intractable differences and enduring hostilities, nourished a culture of tolerance."
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: New York, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The best way to view the current situation is by recognizing that there are actually six wars going on simultaneously: 1) the Israeli-Palestinian war; 2) the war against terror; 3) the war against Saddam Husayn and the axis of evil; 4) the war within the Arab world between rulers and ruled; 5) the war among Israelis to determine Israel's future and a long-term strategy; and 6) the war for the heart and soul of the Bush administration's Middle East policy. These wars overlap, intersect, and converge, but they are not the same. One affects the other, usually in negative ways.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Amatzia Baram
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Among the many advantages of an Iraq without Saddam Husayn, the first clear one is the removal of an unacceptable threat to the Iraqi people. Saddam has shown that he is prepared to put the nation and the region as a whole at risk. At the very least, an Iraq without his regime would be much more friendly to America, and — given Iraqi oil reserves — could even lessen American dependence on Saudi oil.
  • Topic: Security, Oil, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ellen Laipson, Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the year 1000, the Middle East had a population of approximately 30 million people, and it remained around that level until 1800. Between 1800 and 1900, however, the figure grew by 75 percent, and then by another 565 percent during the twentieth century, bringing the population to 386 million, or nearly thirteen times its historically stable level. But this increase is coming to an end. In the year 2050, the population will be less than twice what it was in the year 2000, and it will stop increasing entirely by the late twenty-first century, when it will reach its maximum of approximately twice the level it was in the year 2000. In other words, the population increase over one thousand years is essentially concentrated in a 150-year period between 1875 and 2025. This anomalous period of population growth has been a time of tremendous social, political, and economic turmoil.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Paul Wolfowitz
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: "It is the great good fortune of the United States to have in Turkey a friend and ally that has stood with us through war and peace, going back to the days of the Korean War. That is where American troops got their first look at Turkish courage — a fighting spirit and self-reliance that is also legendary in the annals of history. . . .
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the Bush administration seeks to define its policy on the Middle East, Libya has emerged in the high drama of the U.S. war against terrorism. A Scottish appeals court yesterday upheld the conviction of former Libyan intelligence agent Abdel Baset al-Megrahi for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. The appeals court ruled unanimously that none of the grounds of appeal are well founded. The latest verdict not only ended the Lockerbie legal saga but potentially ushered in a new phase in U.S.-Libyan relations.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Africa, United States, Middle East, Libya
  • Author: Simon Henderson
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Tomorrow's conference of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in Vienna comes at a time when higher oil prices have been reflected in increased gasoline prices over the last two months. Indeed, further price hikes are possible, particularly as talk of war with Iraq has strengthened the futures market in recent days. Presently, the cartel influences rather than controls the world price of oil and, unlike in 1973, sees its role as maintaining supply. Last May, in the National Energy Review (NER), the Bush administration appeared unwilling to criticize the production policies of OPEC, which is dominated by Middle Eastern states. How has this view been affected by the events of September 11? Furthermore, how might OPEC respond as the Bush administration pursues the war on terrorism and confronts the "axis of evil," which includes two OPEC members — Iran and Iraq?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Six months after the September 2001 attacks, U.S. focus remains fixed on taking the war to the terrorists. There are a variety of roles along a spectrum of cooperation to be played by countries throughout the world, from military operations to freezing terrorists' assets and sharing intelligence.
  • Topic: Security, Intelligence, Religion, Terrorism, War
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: While publicly stressing Saudi Arabia's cooperation and shared concern regarding terrorist financing, U.S. treasury secretary Paul O'Neill held private consultations this past week in Riyadh with Saudi officials and businessmen regarding specific Saudi organizations and individuals suspected of financing terrorist activities. Promising to find clear-cut cases, O'Neill reassured his hosts that the United States is both fine-tuning the procedure of targeting charitable institutions and fast-tracking the processing of individuals and institutions already placed on terrorism lists and subject to financial blocking orders.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson, Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Neither Prime Minister Ariel Sharon nor Chairman Yasir Arafat could have foreseen a year ago what is happening today — namely, an escalating spiral of terror and reprisal. Sharon believed that by insisting on "no negotiations under fire" and increasing pressure on the Palestinians, he could stabilize the situation. By sending his son to meet with Arafat, he also sought to convey that he would indeed negotiate once the violence stopped. Arafat believed that fissures would grow within Israeli society, or that a worsening of the situation would bring international intervention that either imposed a solution or enabled him to maneuver more freely. Neither leader got what he had hoped for.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Jean-Louis Sarbib
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Even prior to September 11, the World Bank emphasized the links between economic development, hopelessness, acts of desperation, and terrorism. To be sure, there is no one-to-one connection between poverty and terrorism, but surely poverty feeds hopelessness, which then creates an enabling environment for terrorism. Living in a society with such despair, terrorists can perceive and present themselves as champions of the poor. The acts that were perpetrated on September 11 proved that building a wall around the prosperity of a particular region of the world simply does not work. The world is truly globalized and unified; events and problems know no borders.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Amy W. Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On March 6, Lorne W. Craner, assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights, and labor, will testify before Congress on the State Department's just-released "2001 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices" covering 195 countries. How the reports characterize human rights and influence U.S. policy in the Arab world is especially important this year. Traditionally, human rights have not figured prominently in U.S. policy toward the region. However, some U.S. officials have recently alluded to the promotion of "freedom" in the Middle East as part of the war against terrorism. Most notable were President George W. Bush's State of the Union remarks that "America will always stand firm for the nonnegotiable demands of human dignity: the rule of law, limits on the power of the state, respect for women, private property, free speech, equal justice, and religious tolerance."
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet testified before the Senate Select Intelligence Committee on February 6 that Iran continues to be "the foremost state sponsor of terrorism." Citing its attempt to transfer offensive arms to the Palestinian Authority (PA) aboard the Karine-A smuggling ship, Tenet said that there has been "little sign of a reduction in Iran's support for terrorism in the past year."
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 17, Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia was quoted by New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman as saying that he had drafted a speech ready for delivery before next month's Arab summit, offering the "idea" of "full normalization of relations" with Israel in exchange for "full withdrawal from all the occupied territory, in accordance with U.N. resolutions, including in Jerusalem." As Friedman's column was headlined, this was an "intriguing signal" from the Saudi heir. Is it an important one, too?
  • Topic: Security, Religion, United Nations
  • Political Geography: New York, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Helena Kane Finn
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The U.S.-Turkish military strategic relationship has been a strong one historically, based on the loyalty of Turkey — a staunch NATO ally — over the past half century. As a result of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit's visit to Washington in January, business contacts between the United States and Turkey have intensified, adding a new and very significant dimension to the relationship. Perhaps the most concrete result of the meeting between President George W. Bush and the Turkish prime minister is the State Department's creation of the Economic Partnership Commission (EPC), scheduled to hold its first meeting in Ankara on February 26-27. State Department undersecretary for economic affairs Alan Larson will lead the U.S. delegation.
  • Topic: Security, Economics, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Turkey, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Raymond Tanter
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush's reference to an "axis of evil" in his State of the Union address accurately captures the ties among Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. The president also usefully highlighted the overlap between proliferation and terrorism. In the end, there are more benefits than costs in using such confrontational language.
  • Topic: Security, Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, North Korea, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 31, following President George Bush's State of the Union condemnation of the "axis of evil," National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice explained, "Iran's direct support of regional and global terrorism, and its aggressive efforts to acquire weapons of mass destruction, belie any good intentions it displayed in the days after the world's worst terrorist attacks in history." How accurate is this characterization?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ray Takeyh
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In his January 29 State of the Union address, President George Bush criticized Iran as one of three states (the other two being Iraq and North Korea) forming an 'axis of evil' and castigated its "unelected leaders" for denying the will of the majority. Indeed, the perennial conflict between Tehran's political factions seems to have escalated, deepening the stalemate that has essentially paralyzed its governing system. The durability of the Islamic Republic has always stemmed from its flexibility and capacity to absorb change. Since the election of Muhammad Khatami in 1997, however, the popular demand for change is outstripping the system's accommodative capabilities. The youths' demands for employment and cultural freedom, the middle class's quest for representation, and the women's clamor for social emancipation are creating tensions and pressures that threaten the foundations of the Islamic Republic.
  • Topic: Security, Islam, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, North Korea, Arabia
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On January 20-21, an interfaith summit of Muslim, Christian, and Israeli Jewish leaders convened in Alexandria, Egypt, after several years of effort and planning. The meeting did not draw much attention in the Egyptian or Palestinian media — only in the Israeli media — but it deserves attention, if not for the religious dimension, then at least for the political.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Michael E. Mandelbaum, Robert Hunter, William Kristol
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the wake of the Cold War, certain regions of the world (e.g., Western Europe, Northeast Asia, the Western hemisphere) are both important to the United States and, for the moment, relatively stable. Several other regions (e.g., sub-Saharan Africa, former Soviet Central Asia) are unstable but not as important. The Middle East is the only region that boasts the unhappy combination of being both important and unstable.
  • Topic: Security, Cold War, Religion
  • Political Geography: Europe, Central Asia, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Helena Kane Finn
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The visit of Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to the United States last week was a political and public relations success for his administration, but a few questions remain: Can the Turks continue to implement the economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund, or will there be slippage when the road gets rough? Can Turkey pull together to complete the legislation necessary to meet the European Union (EU) requirements? Balancing regional and international considerations, will Turkey be able to meet the challenge clearly posed by the deteriorating situation in Iraq? Will Turkey sustain the wise course it has taken in recent months on the Cyprus issue? And, perhaps most important for the long-term health of Turkish society, will it be able to seize the opportunity offered by the resolution of conflict in the Southeast and find ways to successfully integrate all of its citizens?
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Turkey, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With its longstanding support for terrorism, both pre- and post-September 11, Syria poses a unique challenge to U.S. antiterror strategy. Unlike Iran — whose leaders orchestrate public chants of "Death to America, death to Israel" and thereby provide rhetorical context to their sponsorship of terrorism — Damascus proclaims its desire for warm ties with the United States and its commitment to a "comprehensive" peace with Israel. Specifically, Syria has benefited from its role in the Arab-Israeli peace process and its suzerainty over Lebanon. These factors have for years combined to provide Syria with a measure of protection against U.S. (and Israeli) antiterror initiatives.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the Bush administration surveys options for the next phases in the war on terrorism, scant attention has been focused on Syria — despite the fact that Dr. Bashar al-Asad's regime has been among the world's most active supporters of terrorism, even after September 11.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia, Syria
  • Author: Hans Blix
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since September 11, there has been increased concern about terrorists using weapons of mass destruction (WMD). It is thus natural to return to the issue of Iraq, a country that has used chemical agents against Iran and its own citizens. Indeed, Iraq violated the Non-Proliferation Treaty before 1990 and, prior to the Gulf War, was estimated to be a year away from developing workable nuclear weapons.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Revelations of Iranian-Palestinian collusion to smuggle fifty tons of weapons into the hands of Yasir Arafat's Palestinian Authority (PA) through the offices of Hizballah have profound strategic implications for the Middle East. For the Bush administration, responding appropriately to the Karine-A episode may have unpleasant repercussions for relations with key Arab states. However, failing to deal forthrightly with the shift in the region's tectonic plates represented by the smuggling affair is a self-defeating exercise in delusion.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iran, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Mark Parris
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Visits by Turkish prime ministers to Washington have tended in years past to be low-profile events. With imagination and boldness on the American side, the January 16 meeting between President George W. Bush and Turkish prime minister Bulent Ecevit has the potential to be a watershed in a relationship that will affect vital U.S. interests well into the new century.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: America, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Patrick Clawson, Amy W. Hawthorne
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In a brief January 3 statement, the White House announced that Egypt is receiving $959 million in accelerated economic aid, the bulk of which was evidently disbursed in the closing days of 2001. While an important sign of continued U.S. support for the Hosni Mubarak government, this sudden and massive windfall has the potential for weakening U.S. leverage in convincing Egypt to pursue additional (and much needed) economic reforms. Additionally, it is certain to be viewed in Cairo as a signal that the United States is fully satisfied with Egypt's post-September 11 contribution to the war against terrorism.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Andrew Mason, Sang-Hyop Lee, Gerard Russo
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: Asia, a region whose population has long been dominated by children, is seeing the proportion of its elderly rise rapidly. The U.N. projects the population 65 and older will more than quadruple by 2050, while the population under age 15 will decline. Though Asia's population is still younger than the West's, dramatic declines in childbearing and significant improvements in life expectancy are causing it to age faster. The result will be growing demand for health care, retirement systems, and old-age support — particularly if the traditional family support system continues to erode. The challenge to countries with large elderly populations and relatively under-developed economies will be especially great. Throughout Asia, population aging could slow economic growth. If governments are to meet the challenges posed by aging populations, they must start soon to adopt policies that encourage saving and investment, develop effective social and economic institutions, and find new ways to tap the productive potential of older people.
  • Topic: Religion, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Asia
  • Author: Gerald M. Steinberg
  • Publication Date: 12-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: In the wake of the failed Camp David summit of July 2000 and the terrible violence that began at the end of September, there have been many efforts to halt the carnage and revive the negotiations. These efforts included summit meetings in Paris and Sharm el Sheik, the Mitchell Commission, and security plans presented by CIA director George Tenet and General Anthony Zinni. None of these had any visible impact, and the Palestinian attacks and Israeli responses have only intensified.
  • Topic: Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Iraq, Middle East, Paris, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Dan Diker
  • Publication Date: 10-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
  • Abstract: The Israel State Comptroller's report released on October 7, 2002, leveled unprecedented criticism on Israel's public relations efforts. The State Comptroller revealed that "since its establishment in 1948, Israel's intelligence organs have not succeeded to respond to the broad-based propaganda and incitement by the Arab world." The report also emphasized that "the lack of a central authority to direct and coordinate all government information bodies to execute a public relations policy is the main factor accounting for Israel's longstanding failures in this field."
  • Topic: Security, Government, Religion
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia