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  • Author: Bryan Early
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The path to acquiring a peaceful civilian nuclear program is fraught with challenges for countries in the Middle East. Given Israel's proactive policies in preventing the proliferation of its neighbors and nuclear supplier states' consternation about the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the region, Arab states face a number of unique obstacles in acquiring foreign nuclear assistance. Yet as the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) recent success in courting the assistance of a number of nuclear supplier states demonstrates, these obstacles are not insurmountable. This piece explores the UAE's strategies in obtaining foreign nuclear assistance to uncover the generalizable insights that may be of use to other Middle Eastern countries seeking to develop peaceful nuclear programs.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Arms Control and Proliferation, Nuclear Weapons
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Wendy Pearlman
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Of the thirty-eight peace accords signed between 1988 and 1998, thirty-one failed to last more than three years. Contributing to their failure was the behavior of so-called spoilers: those who use violence or other means to undermine negotiations in the expectation that a settlement will threaten their power or interests. The stakes for understanding spoiler behavior are high. Where parties kept spoilers at bay, such as in Guatemala and South Africa, years of bloody conflict gave way to successful transitions to peace and democracy. Where spoilers proved triumphant, such as in Angola and Rwanda, the violence ensuing after a peace accord failed was more horrific than what had preceded it.
  • Political Geography: Middle East, South Africa, Rwanda, Angola, Guatemala
  • Author: Jeremy Pressman
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The administration of President George W. Bush was deeply involved in the Middle East, but its efforts did not advance U.S. national security. In the realms of counterterrorism, democracy promotion, and nonconventional proliferation, the Bush administration failed to achieve its objectives. Although the United States did not suffer a second direct attack after September 11, 2001, the terrorism situation worsened as many other countries came under attack and a new generation of terrorists trained in Iraq. Large regional powers such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia did not become more democratic, with no new leaders subject to popular mandate. The model used in Iraq of democratization by military force is risky, costly, and not replicable. Bush's policy exacerbated the problem of nuclear proliferation, expending tremendous resources on a nonexistent program in Iraq while bolstering Iran's geopolitical position. The administration failed because it relied too heavily on military force and too little on diplomacy, disregarded empiricism, and did not address long-standing policy contradictions. The case of the Bush administration makes clear that material power does not automatically translate into international influence.
  • Topic: Security, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Iran, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: Matthew Bunn
  • Publication Date: 11-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The United States and the other members of the P5+1 are struggling to launch the first in-depth negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program in which the United States has participated. The United States comes to the table with few good options. Sanctions have failed to change Iran's decisions about its nuclear program, and no feasible set of sanctions (given the limits of what China, Russia, and others will agree to) is likely to convince Iran to give up its enrichment program. Military strikes against Iran would probably not set back Iran's program for longer than a brief period and would greatly increase Iran's incentive to go straight to the bomb at covert sites (as Iraq did after Israel destroyed its facilities at Osiraq).
  • Topic: Foreign Policy, Nuclear Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, China, Middle East
  • Author: Deborah West
  • Publication Date: 06-2003
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The function of narratives was discussed at great length. It was suggested that in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, each side's narrative is rooted in fear and insecurity, albeit for different reasons. Each side fears destruction, and, in another sense, each side fears peace. If peace comes, each side will have to reorganize it- self. This process is difficult because it is psychologically easier to organize against a clearly defined opposing force than without one. In order to move be- yond the traditional opposition, each side must recognize and legitimize the other side's fears as well as its own.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Lynne Kiesling, Joseph Becker
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Recent changes in Russia's domestic oil industry have had dramatic effects on world oil markets, including Russia's emergence as the number two exporter of oil after Saudi Arabia. These effects are occurring even though Russia is not close to fully exploiting its reserves. Russia's oil industry has large growth prospects, and this potential will allow Moscow to take a greater market share away from OPEC in the future. A number of factors will facilitate this trend. Russia's target oil price is lower than OPEC's, which gives it an incentive to continue exporting beyond OPEC's wishes. Also, Russia's oil industry is more privatized than the oil industries in Persian Gulf states, which allows it to be more entrepreneurial in attracting investment and joint ventures.
  • Topic: Security, Energy Policy, International Organization
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Europe, Middle East, Moscow, Kabardino
  • Author: Graham T. Allison, Emily Van Buskirk
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: The date is July 1, 2001. Real world history and trends occurred as they did through March 19, 2001 — except for the hypothetical departures specified in the case below. Events after March 19 that are not specified in this case are assumed to be straight - line projections of events as they stand on March 19. Assume, for example, that sporadic violence continues in the Middle East at the current level of intensity; Britain and the U.S. are nearing the end of their review of UN sanctions against Iraq, and will soon make recommendations on refocusing the sanctions to make them “smarter”; as expected, Mohammad Khatami was reelected as President of Iran on June 8 with a mandate for continued reform; the price of oil is $25/barrel; events in Chechnya and Ukraine, and negotiations over Nagorno - Karabagh will continue as before.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Energy Policy
  • Political Geography: Britain, Russia, United States, Iraq, Ukraine, Middle East, Asia, United Nations
  • Author: Ariel Merari
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Since its creation in 1948, Israel has had to contend with the constant threat of terrorism. To meet this challenge, Israel has created and maintained an elaborate counterterrorism system. Much of the Israeli effort has focused on developing defensive measures designed to prevent attacks on the civilian population and minimize casualties. Israel has developed this strategy for two reasons. First, most Palestinian terrorist attacks, as well as a smaller yet significant number of attacks by Lebanese groups, have been random attacks against civilians. Second, all Israeli governments have been highly sensitive to civilian casualties.
  • Topic: Nuclear Weapons, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel