Issues Navigator

Global Challenges

Strategic Regions

Domestic Debates

Tag cloud

See All Tags

Strategic Regions

Greater Middle East

December 17, 2012 | The West May Regret Taking Sides In Syria

Paul Smyth: A popular revolt seeking political freedoms has become a civil war in which democratic objectives are increasingly sidelined. If Assad falls before an effective alternative government is available, a power vacuum may exist in which Islamist groups seek to rule the country. For women, liberals and minorities, life after Assad may not bring progress. …More

December 10, 2012 | Germany: The Abstention Champion

Oliver Krumme: Germany’s present foreign policy has been marked by not taking positions in crucial votes during its two-year membership of the UN Security Council. Whenever there was a decision to make, it was almost certain for Germany to abstain. Germany is the undisputed abstention champion. …More

November 30, 2012 | The EU and the Middle East: Divided We Decide

On November 29, the UN approved Palestine’s bid for being a “non-member observer state”. ++ Despite all the risks of this decision, the EU has once again shown its inability of acting unanimously. ++ While France, Portugal and …More

November 28, 2012 | The Fallacy of New in the Middle East

The assumption that the world, due to the events of the Arab Spring, has acknowledged a “new Middle East” has proven wrong. ++ Despite harsh rhetoric and verbal clashes, an attack of any Arab player on Israel is unlikely. ++ Israel’s “Iron …More

November 26, 2012 | Rebalancing the Asia Pivot

While the Israel-Palestine conflict escalated, US foreign policy concentrated on “pivoting” to Asia. ++ In the Middle East, this strategy could be interpreted as lack of US interest towards the region. ++ Instead of discussing a rising Asia, the …More

November 19, 2012 | Israel's Questionable Move

The Arab Spring has changed attitudes towards the Israel-Palestine conflict. ++ With growing assertiveness, Arab countries are likely to redefine Israel’s politics. ++ Israel’s air attacks on Gaza have weakened Hamas militarily but have …More

November 1, 2012 | Democracy and Islam: Compatible Norm Systems?

Salahodin Aryapur: Ever since the beginning of the global “war on terror”, the issue of democratic governance and reforms in the Muslim world has been high on the list of issues. This master’s thesis takes a look at whether the theories of state found within Islam are compatible with democratic values. …More

October 26, 2012 | Give them Weapons

James Kratovil: America must step up its support of aid to the Syrian opposition in the form of weapons and must increase its intelligence assets to provide a more informed picture of who should receive this support. By expanding its capabilities within Syria, the United States will be able to shape the events acceptable to Syrians and Americans and will not have to depend on Saudi Arabia influence in the country. …More

October 25, 2012 | The West Should Not Give Heavy Arms to Syrian Rebels

Ievgen Vorobiov: The US and the EU should tread carefully in their policy on Syria, as an increase of weapon supply to rebels advocated by some Arab countries and American politicians might turn the horrible status-quo into an irreversible geopolitical disaster. Decision-makers across the Atlantic should resist supplying heavy arms to the rebels, amplifying their efforts for a diplomatic solution instead. …More

October 22, 2012 | Turkey and the Arab Spring, the End of Zero-Problems?

David Murdo Ian Macdonald: The Arab Spring has created a number of significant regional challenges for Turkey, whom was caught off guard by the magnitude and speed of events. Several neighboring regimes quickly became destabilized, threatening the delicate balance of regional relations that Turkey had built up. …More

October 8, 2012 | At the Table with Iran: Progress Depends on the Right Order of Steps

Sascha Lohmann: The order of steps undertaken within the West’s coercive dual-track approach has to be altered. In this regard, a lifting of sanctions as well as a recognition of Iran’s right to nuclear energy must both be employed to facilitate a diplomatic solution. …More

October 1, 2012 | Gaining the Upper Hand Over the Iran-Hezbollah Axis

Niklas Anzinger & Ludwig Jung: Syria’s civil war has left the region’s revolutionary axis vulnerable. Tehran and Hezbollah are pursuing an even more aggressive strategy against their perceived enemies. Apart from putting more pressure on Tehran, designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization in the EU would help Western powers dry up financial sources in several European countries. …More

September 27, 2012 | What After the Arab Spring?

Vikas Kumar: Arab societies need their own local solutions in creating democratic societies. These solutions can take on a variety of forms. However, some reforms are more likely to bear fruit given the cultural context. Here are some ideas for laying the groundwork for democracy in the Arab world. …More

September 13, 2012 | Libya Has Issues But All Hope Isn't Lost

The assassination of the US ambassador to Libya fits the pattern of a series of attacks carried out by Salafists and directed toward Westerners and other Muslim sects. ++ Although Libya has lingering security problems and local …More

September 13, 2012 | Iran and the Bomb: US and Israeli Responses

Aaron Thomas Walter: This paper considers the relationship between the United States, Israel and Iran. The primary finding of this study suggests that the actions of all three countries are anchored in the realist realm and will continue to be bound to the concepts of power and security. …More

September 12, 2012 | Crisis in Syria: Rethinking Russia's Policy

Oleg Khlopov: The resignation of Kofi Annan as UN special envoy to the Assad regime highlights the difficulty of effective international engagement. Despite the problems of diplomacy, Russia as a key player needs to rearrange its policy and work out a fruitful formula for Syria’s transition away from Assad. …More

September 6, 2012 | A Free Palestine Would Heal Israel-Turkey Relations

Two years after the Gaza flotilla raid, the key to fully repairing Israel-Turkey relations is to find a just solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ++ This conflict is of significance for Turkey’s Muslims, not just …More

August 31, 2012 | Dr. Marina Ottaway, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Before joining the Carnegie Endowment, Dr. Ottaway carried out research in Africa and in the Middle East for many years and taught at the University of Addis Ababa, the University of Zambia, the American …More

August 29, 2012 | Mursi: Supporter of Democracy and Autocracy?

It is not only disturbing but also hypocritical that one of Mursi’s first trips abroad is to Iran. ++ He is there for the outdated Nonaligned Movement, but the world is now split between democratic and undemocratic states. ++ …More

August 22, 2012 | Non-Intervention in Syria: A Shot in the Foot

The West and most Arab countries naively hope for orderly regime change but fail to realize that there cannot be any transition without overthrowing Assad first. ++ The negotiations with Assad were a farce from the start; he …More

August 17, 2012 | Mursi in the Spotlight, For Better or Worse

Egypt’s Pres. Mursi pulled off a “soft-coup” when he dismissed the military—a testament to his legitimacy and his intention to reshape the state. ++ Following the attack on 16 border guards, the balance of power has shifted in his …More

August 15, 2012 | If Europe Can Do It, So Can the Islamic World

Can Islamism reorient its extremist wings into a moderate force for modernization? ++ Europe’s history, especially that of the Christian Democratic parties and Germany who we thought could never accept democracy, shows that it …More

August 8, 2012 | Why Israel (and the US) Exaggerate the Iran Problem

Israel’s “bomb Iran fever” is based on lies and what if’s. ++ Iran does not even have nuclear weapons and has offered concessions beyond its obligations under the NPT, but still Israel is foolishly convinced that it is a …More

August 6, 2012 | Why Eastern Islamic Societies Cannot be Role Models to the Arabs

Vikas Kumar: Moderate Eastern Muslim societies cannot serve as role models to the Arab world, given the ethno-linguistic rootedness and demographic diversity, as well as the cross-cutting ethnic affiliations of these societies. It is for this reason that the Arabs must rely on themselves for guidance. …More

July 30, 2012 | Iran in the Shadow of Continued Sanctions

The Iranian government has been able to circumvent existing sanctions by replacing companies on the list with newly established front companies. ++ Financial channels in the form of forfeiting companies have also been used. ++ …More

July 20, 2012 | Turkey: NATO's Wedge in Syria?

Among all the countries involved in the Syrian “cauldron”, Turkey’s agenda is the hardest to discern. ++ Both committing itself to regime change and sponsoring an armed group for the first time in a neighboring country, Turkey is taking a …More

July 13, 2012 | More Than Meets the Eye in Syria

The Western media has promoted a false narrative on the Syrian conflict. ++ They have created a simplistic story of struggle for democracy and blame the regime for everything. ++ But atrocities committed by the insurgents are rarely reported ++ …More

July 11, 2012 | Who Defines the World Order?

Russia will not change its position on Syria unless the conflict’s internal dynamics shift. ++ Moscow does not view Syria as Middle Eastern geopolitics. ++ Rather Russia sees it as about who defines the world order. ++ Moscow consistently opposes …More

June 27, 2012 | Turkey's Prudent Management Ends Syria Crisis

Ross Wilson: Five days after Syria’s downing of a Turkish F-4 fighter aircraft, Prime Minister Erdogan brought the crisis to a close by securing NATO support, reporting its views to the UN Security Council, complaining formally to Damascus, and altering the rules of engagement along the 500-plus mile border with its neighbor to the south. Both militaries may now be somewhat more visibly at loggerheads. …More

June 27, 2012 | Darkness in Egypt?

The Arab Spring has turned into an Arab winter. ++ Although wanting to emulate Turkey’s model of democratic Islamism, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is confronted with a military regime that is in favor of the older practice of “deep …More

June 22, 2012 | Let the Islamists Govern

The power struggle in Egypt between the generals and Islamists is complex. ++ The generals have not pulled off a counter-revolution. ++ They are trying to control the new democracy and hold on to their special privileges. ++ The West should oppose the …More

June 18, 2012 | Egypt Has Changed Too Much to Be Run by a New Dictator

Jann Boeddeling: Last year, the Egyptian people asserted themselves against an oppressive state. They have stood their ground on Tahrir Square and elsewhere ever since. At the end, they may carve out a more permanent and much different political role for themselves than many currently think: a distinctively Islamic political system that puts a very direct emphasis on people-power - a perpetual Tahrir. …More

June 15, 2012 | European Energy Policy: Looking in the Wrong Direction

Mohamed Ahmed El Garhi: The 2006-2009 Russia-Ukraine gas standoff demonstrated the vulnerability of the European Union’s energy security in light of Europe’s increasing dependency on Russian oil and gas. The time has come for the EU to invest in other energy sources as well as new energy partners. …More

June 14, 2012 | The Future of Berber Languages After the Arab Spring

Vikas Kumar: The Arab Spring brought hope to many, especially minorities in North Africa. The Berbers are one of the largest minority groups in the region. The long struggle for recognition of their language and culture may finally be succeeding. There is still work left to do though. …More

June 7, 2012 | Intervention is Not the Answer in Syria

Paul Smyth: The increasing bloodshed in Syria understandably generates a feeling that something must be done to end it, such as taking the principle of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) seriously and acting accordingly. This may be a popular opinion but it can be very difficult to implement such noble feelings; instead, the pursuit of just causes must be based on logic, not sentiment. …More

June 5, 2012 | NATO Engagement with Arab Elites: A Critique of "The Dangers of Stability"

Alexander Corbeil: The Arab Spring presents an opportunity for the West to re-engage Arab polities and allow for democratic transition. For this to occur, Arab elites, the “kingmakers” in any transitional process, must be provided assurances that their interests will be respected, a crucial aspect of Memo 39. …More

May 31, 2012 | The Future of the Arab Spring

Yasir Kuoti: The Arab Spring is not over yet and is far from the simple narrative of peace and democracy. In these underdeveloped societies, there are many difficulties to overcome and different paths to be chosen. The West should respect any democratic elections or decisions, even if Islamic-inspired. …More

May 30, 2012 | Egyptian Election Results Reflect a Precarious Democratic Transition

Gillian Kennedy: Instead of lifting spirits, the recent elections in Egypt reflected the depressed mood amongst a people demoralized by their current situation. However, the elections were not a complete loss. Egyptian liberals still have an opportunity to bring much needed change to their country. …More

May 23, 2012 | The Baghdad Talks: Setting the Pieces for the Next Round

Sami Kronenfeld: Representatives from the US, Europe, Russia, and China are meeting with their Iranian counterparts to discuss Iran’s nuclear program. The talks can only be successful if Europe and the US reach an agreement with Russia and China on what to do if Iran does not follow international agreements. …More

May 16, 2012 | Defining Partnerships: Why the "Stability" Critique is Flawed

Josiah Jason Surface: Stability is a desirable outcome for all parties in the Mediterranean Dialogue. This does not mean returning to the failed policies of the past; our Atlantic Memo is rather a roadmap for maintaining a commitment to the burgeoning democratic institutions of the region. …More

May 16, 2012 | The Dangers of "Stability": A Rebuttal to Atlantic Memo 39

Andrea Teti: Western governments need to recognize that authoritarian regimes are often fierce but not strong; that privatization is rarely the road to liberalization, much less democratization; and that Islamism was as wrong-footed by the uprisings as they were. …More

April 23, 2012 | Obama Wastes Time As Syria Bleeds

The violence in Syria will never be ended through diplomacy. ++ The Obama administration must accept reality and work with options that could end the bloodshed. ++ More unarmed observers and sanctions will not work. ++ An arms embargo only …More

April 18, 2012 | Islamic Economics and the Global Financial Crisis

Renáta Janka Janka Tóth: The Islamic banking system showed a higher resilience during the global financial crisis than its conventional counterparts and is gaining more recognition worldwide. Some are even considering the implementation of the system in the conventional banking systems of Europe. …More

April 18, 2012 | The Future of Iraq: Warning Signs of Factionalism

Yasir Kuoti: The political landscape of Iraq is fracturing. Divisions are growing even more pronounced than before. Iraqi officials have exploited these tensions for their own gain. Unfortunately, the Iraqi government can no longer be relied upon. …More

April 17, 2012 | Forgiveness, Not Easy but Necessary

Iran and the P5+1 are moving to draft proposals to address their differences over Iran’s nuclear program. ++ In exchange for the full disclosure of all programs, Iran should be permitted to continue the enrichment of uranium for …More

April 11, 2012 | Reducing Violence by Including Assad

Delivering aid to Syria’s armed opposition groups will most likely escalate violence. ++ This is because of the political complexities within the country. ++ Although large portions of the country support toppling the regime of Bashar …More

April 5, 2012 | Canada Lost on Middle East Policy

Canada is not capitalizing on its economic chances in the Middle East. ++ This stems largely from political circumstances. ++ Under Harper, Canada tilts strongly in favor of Israel at the risk of sidelining itself in the Palestinian-Israeli …More

April 2, 2012 | The Psychological Aspects of the Nuclear Conflict with Iran

Bernhard Lucke: The actual conflict with Iran is very much centered on the symbolic issue of nuclear enrichment. However, this misses the depth and history of the conflict. In particular, the psychological aspects of the confrontation between Iran and Israel should be considered more. …More

March 30, 2012 | How to Improve NATO Partnerships after the Arab Spring

Editorial Team: The second theme week of our “Your Ideas, Your NATO” policy competition focused how NATO should support regional transition after the Arab Spring. Five articles were shortlisted. However, we wanted to highlight the other high quality submissions. …More

March 28, 2012 | Will Iran's Defensive Realism Policy Work?

Gökhan Tekir: To prevent a NATO attack on its country, Iran is seeking to expand its sphere of influence. However, in the long term Iran’s allies will not be able to maintain their hold on power because of domestic troubles. Such troubles leave Iran in the precarious situation of relying on unstable allies. …More

March 28, 2012 | Engage Iran with Concrete Reciprocity in Upcoming Talks

Sascha Lohmann: The West must prevent pitfalls and seize the opportunities associated with the intricate cost-benefit calculations driving Iran‘s nuclear diplomacy. Taking Iran’s desire for recognition and independence into consideration will be indispensable for successful negotiations. …More

March 23, 2012 | NATO and the Arab Spring: Democracy Promotion and Security Sector Reform

Alexander Corbeil: Given NATO’s linkages to Arab states through the Mediterranean Dialogue, the Alliance should actively support the transition to democracy in post-Arab Spring countries by utilizing its various resources in the realms of institutional creation, democracy promotion, and security sector reform. …More

March 22, 2012 | International Conferences on Afghanistan: From Bonn '01 to Bonn '11

Javeed Ahwar: This thesis highlights the untouched aspects of Afghanistan that were not discussed or integrated into the process of the Bonn conferences 2001 to 2011. In particular, it discusses the agendas of these conferences in terms of what they meant on paper and in practice. …More

March 22, 2012 | India's Iran Policy Simply Makes Sense

India has economic and domestic reasons for its ties with Iran. ++ India cannot simply give up Iranian oil: many Indian refineries are made for processing Iranian crude. ++ India has substantial trade with Iran beyond oil. ++ Iran also …More

March 22, 2012 | NATO and the OSCE: Joining Forces to Support the Arab Spring

Gillian Kennedy: NATO should seek to encourage a stronger collaborative relationship with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. The OSCE has experience with a number of democracy-building options that are outside NATO’s expertise, but key to a stronger relationship with states caught up in the Arab Spring. …More

March 21, 2012 | Mare Nostrum: Building a Stronger Mediterranean Dialogue

Josiah Jason Surface: NATO must take concrete steps to strengthen its partnership framework with North Africa. Inviting Libya to join, expanding the topics covered, and tying the dialogue to discussions with the Arab League will help strengthen the Mediterranean community and the ties of partnership. …More

March 20, 2012 | Partnerships Should Be Incentivized

Vivien Pertusot: NATO’s leverage in the Arab world is limited, and the Arab uprisings illustrated it. Transition and reform processes will leave little room for NATO. Its only options are to better clarify its expectations, to listen more, and to cooperate with other actors to offer multifaceted cooperation packages. …More

March 19, 2012 | Endowing the Arab Spring Generation with the Skills to Govern

Geoffrey Phillip Levin: To foster both regional stability and a positive working relationship with the young generation that initiated the Arab Spring, NATO should establish a program that trains young Arabs who desire to work in the security and public sectors. Such a program could set the groundwork for greater cooperation. …More

March 19, 2012 | Your Ideas, Your NATO: Partnerships after the Arab Spring

Editorial Team: In the second theme week from our current policy workshop, we focus on NATO’s partnerships in North Africa and the Middle East. How can NATO best interact with the new governments forming in the wake of the Arab Spring and what should its role be in furthering security in the region? Read our young writers’ top ideas! …More

March 18, 2012 | NATO's Response to the Arab Spring: A New Public Diplomacy Approach

Arik Segal: The Arab Spring has introduced a new actor to Middle Eastern foreign policies: the people. NATO should recognize this change and design a new public diplomacy approach that will aim to understand the new liberated nations and increase engagement with them.

March 18, 2012 | Youth Intercultural Diplomacy: A Promising Initiative for Change

Yasmin Jeanice Mattox: NATO should encourage new intercultural youth dialogues that focus on intercultural understanding and encourage transnational unity. By increasing intercultural appreciation, these dialogues could minimize and even disincentivize future military and diplomatic issues. …More

March 18, 2012 | NATO's Most Powerful Tool: Turkey

Emine Deniz: Turkey is the key component for sustainable relationships between NATO and the Middle East and North Africa. As a NATO member, Turkey represents a military and economic bridge between the West and MENA. NATO must utilize Turkey’s connections to improve the Alliance’s relations with the region.

March 18, 2012 | NATO, Turkey and the Arab Spring

Gökhan Tekir: The transition period to democracy for Arab countries that experienced revolutions may beget more turmoil and civil wars. The involvement of NATO highlights the fact that Turkey has a role to help these countries set the course for stable democracies and solid economies.

March 18, 2012 | NATO's Chance: Cultural Education for Strengthening Military Cooperation

Giulia Clericetti: NATO has a chance of enhancing its cooperation in MENA, but it has to confine it to the military/strategic field, without any democratic rhetoric, and change its air of superiority to a cooperation on an equal footing that minds about the difference of cultural languages.

March 18, 2012 | NATO's Future Role: Promoting Transatlantic Values

Karsten M. Jung: Sixty years after its foundation, the aspirations of the Arab Spring show that NATO’s values are as relevant as they have ever been. Events in the Middle East also indicate, however, that the Alliance’s role in their pursuit has to change from merely defending to actively promoting these values. …More

March 18, 2012 | Building on the Mediterranean Dialogue and Social Media

Elizabeth Mallia: The Mediterranean Dialogue’s aspect of soft power is one of the greatest strength’s of NATO initiative. NATO should use this soft power in tandem with social media to promote NATO’s values and agenda in the region.

March 18, 2012 | Rule of Law: Foundations for Governments New and Old

Robert James Hurd: As developing nations seek to improve their status at home and abroad, the focus must be on improve the Rule of Law, NATO ought to use its members’ expertise and experience to support efforts in developing nations to establish a Rule of Law in order to support long-term partnerships and stability. …More

March 18, 2012 | Growing Security: Long-Term Approach to Security and Democracy

Lukas Hoder: As the experiences in East and Central European countries show, the transformation from autocratic regime to democratic government is a slow and hard process. We should be patient with the new democratic governments forming in wake of the Arab Spring. …More

March 18, 2012 | Partnerships for Liberal Democracy: Carrots for Political Reform

Nicholas Ryan Balthrop: To maintain its relevance, NATO must approach the dynamic situation across the Mediterranean with a radical expansion and redevelopment of NATO priorities; a two-tiered system involving engagement and “carrots” is essential for the future of NATO relations across the Mediterranean and beyond. …More

March 18, 2012 | States and Identities: Sprouting Stability from the Spring

Philip James Duffy: NATO needs a radical new approach to the Middle East. This approach would involve a recognition of the self-determination for all people in the region and not just a few. The events in the region are but a transitional period, in which NATO must support true democratic nation-states in the region. …More

March 18, 2012 | The Arab Spring Narrative: Separating Fact from Fiction

David Vielhaber: The Arab Spring narrative of a democratic transformation in the Middle East and North Africa is wrong. The result of the political upheavals is regression, not progression. NATO needs to come to terms with reality for the alliance to find the right approach in the post ‘Arab Spring’ environment. …More

March 18, 2012 | How NATO Can Contribute to Regional Stabilization in the Middle East

Dmitriy Burov: The 2011 Arab spring engendered a hotbed of instability in the region. NATO, as an effective political organization, has huge potential for bringing peace and order to the Middle East and North Africa through initiating a number of the steps listed below.

March 18, 2012 | Civil-Military Relations: NATO Support for MD Partner Countries

Karen Joy Harriger : In order for NATO to support the transition process in its Mediterranean Dialogue partner countries, its methods must focus on both encouraging the development of civil-military governments and ensuring that these governments grow in strength over time. …More

March 18, 2012 | Fostering Democratic Civil-Military Relations in the Middle East

Julian Christopher Fuchs: For its future Middle East strategy, NATO needs to work together with the Arab militaries as the most decisive and responsive actors in the (post-) revolutionary setting and employ a policy of effective conditionality, thus facilitating a lasting democratic transition and stability. …More

March 18, 2012 | Beyond Libya: The Arab Spring and NATO

Sarah Wagner: Although the Arab Spring seems to demand engagement by NATO, this should not occur unless NATO has sufficiently analyzed its involvement in Afghanistan, the demands and realities on the Arab ground, and its opportunities for support. Such an approach could result in more lasting support for NATO. …More

March 18, 2012 | Education, Democracy, Future Leaders

Isabelle Natalie Siqu Summerson: NATO should establish an online education and skills training program aimed at young people in order to reduce inequality in regional partner countries in the Middle East and North Africa. The ability to reach young people important if we are to connect with the next generation of leaders.

March 18, 2012 | Economic Ties with the Arab Spring

Keri Elise Majikes: Arguing that NATO should selflessly help the Arab world transition to democratic governments through political or military programs is not only unrealistic, it’s unsustainable. Instead of trying to encourage altruistic programs to artificially create a democratic environment, NATO should focus …More

March 18, 2012 | Let NATO Surprise the Arab Street!

Zbigniew Grzegorz Rokita: The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation does not present an attractive civilisational model for the Arab public. What we mainly need to do is to let them start liking us: the only way to achieve it is to recognise their needs. In doing, we will be able to create lasting partnerships between our people. …More

March 16, 2012 | Follow New Delhi to Tehran

Iran and India are developing a warmer relationship. ++ In light of renewed sanctions, India hopes to step into the Iranian markets vacated by European firms. ++ Iran could provide India not only with oil, but also with chemicals, polymers, and …More

March 15, 2012 | Afghan War is Lost

There are no gains to be made by continuing the war in Afghanistan. ++ NATO’s counterinsurgency strategy relies on building trust with the local Afghans. ++ However, any bonds of trust are broken and most likely beyond repair. ++ Due to the recent killings …More

March 14, 2012 | Syria's Stalemate

The conflict in Syria is bound to last for some time. ++ Too many countries are waiting around for someone else to take action. ++ Turkey and Jordan refused to be drawn in by creating safe havens along the Syrian border. ++ Assad’s armed forces are able to …More

March 8, 2012 | The Syrian Uprising: Signs of a Protracted Military Conflict

Alexander Corbeil: As the Syrian crisis heads into its second year, all signs point to a protracted struggle, in which neither side gains an advantageous position. The military dimensions of the current uprising and other intricate factors have amalgamated to ensure a lengthy and indecisive conflict. …More

March 8, 2012 | James Appathurai's Answers on Global Partnerships and the Arab Spring This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: The NATO Deputy Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Security Policy has responded to your questions and policy recommendations! In this first of two installments, he answers questions about cooperation with countries touched by the Arab Spring, discusses an Atlantic Memo proposal for a Global Partnership Council, and many more. …More

March 7, 2012 | How to Refer Syrian Leaders to the ICC

Securing the investigation into Syrian war crimes is imperative. ++ Syria is not a member of the ICC so the only way to give the tribunal jurisdiction over the country’s leaders is through the Security Council’s enforcement. ++ The …More

March 7, 2012 | Janus-faced Turkey's Syria Challenge

Niklas Anzinger: Turkey’s success story of combining moderate Islam and democracy is being challenged by the ruling AK Party’s power grab. In this game, the struggle for power trumps ideology, but the religious resurgence remains an element of unpredictability in foreign policy. Regarding Syria, reality mugged the ill-guided Middle Eastern adventures of Turkey. …More

March 6, 2012 | Obama Now Gets Iran Right

After the election of Iran’s parliament, there is a new political climate that augurs well for talks on the nuclear issue. ++ It is unlikely that Ayatollah Ali Khamenei will now attempt to oust President Ahmedinejad, who has renewed his influence. …More

March 1, 2012 | Obama Drones: Blowback One Dead Civilian at a Time

Obama’s drone warfare is not only legally ambiguous but has also not improved the US position in Pakistan and Yemen. ++ An unstable and nuclear-armed Pakistan dislikes the US even more now than before. ++ In the failing state …More

February 26, 2012 | Operation Unified Protector: A New Division of Labor

Anita Rebecca Sundarajan: A new division of labor as seen in Operation Unified Protector will allow the alliance to take on increased responsibilities in the peacekeeping arena because the U.S. is no longer forced to assume the majority of the risks, costs, and burdens associated with wars of choice. …More

February 24, 2012 | Only Russia Can Save Syria

The West has declared ‘good’ and ‘bad’ guys in Syria without fully understanding the situation. ++ Western governments should first determine who exactly the opposition is. ++ Russia and China’s veto of the Security …More

February 23, 2012 | From Escalation to Engagement: How to Avoid War

Memo 37: The United States and Europe should strive to de-escalate the growing tensions between Iran and the West. The transatlantic partners could do this by reframing their Middle East policy, promoting a more coherent nuclear proliferation stance, and allowing Europe to act as a bridge between Iran and the US. …More

February 22, 2012 | Netanyahu's Failures Endanger Israel

Defense Minister Ehud Barak has three conditions for war: it must delay Iran’s nuclear program; there must be minimal harm to Israel; and it must receive US and international support. ++ The Netanyahu government has had 20 months to …More

February 20, 2012 | Cyber Wars Could Spark Real War

Arab-Israeli tensions are being played out by citizen hacktivists on both sides. ++ If a hacker causes real physical damage to critical systems it could quickly involve governments in the real world. ++ There is no operations center that a nation …More

February 17, 2012 | Iran from Russia's Perspective

Russia hopes to gain benefits from mediating the Iran dispute. ++ Historically, there has always been conflict between Russia and Iran. ++  Due to this past animosity, the notion of Russia being Iran’s ally sounds strange to most …More

February 16, 2012 | The Right Moment to Engage Iran

Isolated and struggling from devastating sanctions, Iran is now giving signs of renewed interest in diplomacy. ++ The regional balance of power has shifted since Arab countries are unafraid to condemn Iran, and Syria is weakened from within. ++ …More

February 13, 2012 | Iranian Oil: Out of Ideas and Out of Cash

Amrit Deecke Naresh: Western sanctions are just one reason Iran’s oil industry is facing a crisis of output and sustainability. Eventually, Iran’s leaders will have to come to grips with the fact that foreign investment will be needed to prevent its imminent decline. …More

February 13, 2012 | Secret Talks Divide Taliban

Disclosure of the leadership’s secret talks in Qatar have divided the Taliban’s ranks. ++ The reclusive leader Mullah Omar has not issued a verifiable video or audio statement since late 2001 and the insurgency are waiting for guidance. ++ Peace …More

February 10, 2012 | Rapprochement with Iran: Improbable Necessity?

Vince A.M. Klösters: Western rapprochement towards Iran is the only rational course of action serving long-term stability and peace in the Middle East. We can use models of past détente with China to plot a course towards a pragmatic and secure status quo in the region. …More

February 9, 2012 | Fear No More and Engage Iran

Sascha Lohmann: A fear-based policy by the US and its allies toward Iran is not likely to solve the nuclear standoff peacefully any time soon. Instead, a strategy of engagement that takes the psychological predispositions of the actors seriously is the only way to achieve this goal. …More

February 9, 2012 | Ethnic Conflict and Language Rights

Mohammad Saber: The Afghan conflict has ethnic and language roots. A long term resolution of the conflict requires recognition of the rights of minorities to their human right of speaking, educating and promoting their language and culture. …More

February 9, 2012 | The Yemeni Question

Dave Roddenberry: As Yemen continues its downward trajectory, its strategic position means a multinational intervention must be considered. Though this would be a heavy undertaking, if Western nations learn from previous interventions and peace-keeping operations, they could turn Yemen from a liability into an ally. …More

February 9, 2012 | Time to Make Nice with Assad

The violence in Syria could result in a full-blown civil war. ++ The controlled collapse of the Syrian regime is not possible considering that the army, the elites, and other segments of society still support the government. ++ With support from …More

February 8, 2012 | Iran Standoff Should Spell End of Nuclear Hypocrisy

Jason Naselli: Demands that Iran (or anyone else) not seek nuclear weapons are hard to swallow while the US clings to so many. The only real solution for solving problems like Iranian proliferation is a legitimate nuclear regime that treats all countries equally. This means getting more serious about disarmament. …More

February 7, 2012 | We Need More Strategic Thinking in the Iran Debate

Aaron Ellis: In the perennial debate over what to do about Iran, those who think they have a solution to the problem rarely put it in the context of a broader strategy or explain their trade-offs and indirect consequences. Overall strategy and the ensuing consequences are precisely what we should be considering when debating Iran. …More

February 7, 2012 | A Turkish Model of Governance?

If Turkey is to become a good model for Muslim nations it must synthesize liberal democracy with its traditional religious values. ++ “Post-Islamism” does not imply a detachment from Islamic identity. ++ The AKP has matched its pro-Palestinian …More

February 6, 2012 | Russia and China: Warnings from the Arab Spring

Beijing is dismissive of Western interests in the UN, prioritizing stability, economic benefit and non-interference. ++ Russia is Syria’s largest arms supplier and is attempting to demonstrate an alternative to Western …More

February 6, 2012 | Poll Results: Atlantic Community's Focus in 2012

Editorial Team: We’re excited to reveal the results of our latest members’ poll and inform you of what our priorities will be in 2012. As well as displaying your decisions on the most important issues of 2012, we’re also announcing our first theme week and what we plan to do with the topics you requested throughout the rest of the year. …More

February 2, 2012 | What if Assad Survives?

Bashar al-Assad is hanging onto power in Syria despite a gradually developing civil war. ++ The current turmoil is the most precarious moment in Syria’s post-independence history. ++  No matter how much condemnation and bloodshed, the Assad …More

February 1, 2012 | Drones as a Tool for Human Rights

It is time to use drones to benefit human rights advocacy. ++ Drones could replace the Arab League observers who suspended their operations in Syria last week. ++ The evidence could be broadcast to prosecutors at the International Criminal …More

January 30, 2012 | Iran is a Distraction From Palestine

President Netanyahu has turned the Iranian threat into a convenient distraction away from Israel’s settlement policy. ++ He has taken advantage of President Obama’s preoccupation with the presidential elections. ++ Both Israel’s center and …More

January 27, 2012 | The Impact of Iran Sanctions on China and India

The impact of Western sanctions on Iran goes further than “market plays, fire sales and opportunism” for India and China. ++ The long term role Iran plays in their energy security policies has been missed. ++ Iran has sought to …More

January 26, 2012 | Renewable Energy as an Incentive for Peace

Keri Elise Majikes: The US can eliminate Iran’s incentives for developing nuclear technology without becoming militarily involved by creating an economic agreement that establishes Iran as a leader in renewable energy. Such an agreement would be less expensive than a military operation against Iran. …More

January 25, 2012 | Confronting Pakistan's Fears

Marno de Boer: Pakistan’s foreign policy is driven by two security concerns that need to be addressed before it will be on board with any lasting solution for peace in Afghanistan. The US must establish a regional treaty that deals with both Afghanistan’s relations with India and Pakistan’s fear of Pashtun nationalism. …More

January 25, 2012 | US Arms Won't Create Middle East Stability

The US and Britain have just concluded weaponry deals to Saudi Arabia worth $53 billion. ++ These deals are a short term solution to ease their recession hit economies presented as an opportunity to promote stability in the …More

January 23, 2012 | Bomb-Bomb-Bomb Iran?

A preemptive strike represents one pole of the debate on Iran, the most abused foreign policy topic this election. ++ Best indicators suggest that Iran’s nuclear program is moving fully ahead and could produce a weapon within one year. ++ Obama’s policy …More

January 20, 2012 | Speak with the Taliban

The Afghanistan conflict is moving into a complex period and the US must make greater diplomatic efforts. ++ Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has described US strategy as “fight, talk, and build.” ++ A bipartisan statement from US leaders must …More

January 19, 2012 | A Conference for Security and Cooperation in the Middle East

Ali Fathollah-Nejad: With the war drums on Iran sounding and the Arab revolts following an arduous path, there still remains no sustainable perspective for a peaceful Middle East. The Conference for Security and Cooperation can bring the important civil society element to bear in a region where state-centric solutions have failed. …More

January 16, 2012 | Turkey Balances East-West Interests Over Syria

Turkey is now spearheading a joint Western-Arab-Turkish policy of forcing President Bashar Assad to cede power in Syria. ++ Previous good relations with Syria and Iran were part of a “zero problems with neighbors” policy. ++ …More

January 13, 2012 | An International Event Calendar for 2012

Editorial Team: Elections and transfers of power look set to dominate world events in 2012. Will Chinese leadership adopt a more aggressive stance? Will Egypt develop into an Islamist regime? Here is a brief look at these and other events likely to shape the new year. Feel free to share any events you think will also be important. …More

January 12, 2012 | Helping Iran Weather the Storm

China’s position over a possible Iran war is difficult as China has huge oil interests at stake. ++ China should not expect Russia to act on the issue and needs to act in accordance with its own interests. ++ If the US sanctions Chinese companies …More

January 12, 2012 | Yemen's Year-Long Spring

Alexandra Lewis: Yemen was hit hard by the Arab Spring, which has a cross-national appeal that has somewhat obscured its distinctiveness in each country. Demonstrations in Yemen are strongly correlated with long-standing grievances on security and development, yet protests have become entwined with existing power struggles and difficult to disentangle from local conflicts. …More

January 10, 2012 | Iran's Threat to Oil Supplies is Real, but Desperate

Iran’s threat to close the Hormutz strait is real; it has the capability to block oil supplies in the region, albeit temporarily. ++ The Iranians have designed asymmetric tactics to effectively challenge preponderant US …More

December 2, 2011 | Playing Chicken with Iran

The British embassy siege and subsequent expulsion of Iranian diplomats from London shows that the brinksmanship of the Iranian nuclear issue is heating up. ++ There are perverse incentives on both sides to ramp up the rhetoric: for Iranian hardliners, …More

November 10, 2011 | Misrata Celebrates This Article contains Flash-Video

NATO: The Alliance’s job to protect civilians from the threat of attack is done. Surrounded by the devastation that Qadhafi’s troops caused, residents and fighters of the city of Misrata declare their own end to the revolution by celebrating with a victory parade. They promise to hand in their weapons and rebuild their city. …More

November 4, 2011 | Iranian Plot Makes Sense... in Iran

The Iranian assassination plot makes sense when viewed through the lens of domestic political struggles. ++ Competing factions in the Islamic Republic have always put their interests ahead of national interests and been willing to ally …More

November 3, 2011 | Islamist Parties Should Not Be Excluded

Fears over the rise to power of Islamist parties in post-revolutionary Arab countries are unfounded. ++ Islamic parties cannot afford to rule single-handedly and ignore the secular population. ++ Instead of building a religious theocracy, …More

October 31, 2011 | Overcoming the Paradox of Iranian Sanctions

Sascha Lohmann: The ever increasing use of sanctions against Iran reveals their actual function as a policy substitute. An engagement strategy based on concrete reciprocity should be used to fill this strategic void. …More

October 21, 2011 | Tunisia Must Lead Arab Spring Once Again

Sunday’s elections in Tunisia mark an important step for the Arab Spring. ++ Tunisia can be an important model for other nations; its strong private sector, respect for women’s rights, and lack of sectarian feuds make it a …More

October 17, 2011 | Iran's Nuclear Buildup Now Faces Tough Future

Paul Smyth: Away from the headline grabbing conflicts in North Africa and Syria and the recent convoluted assassination attempt, Iranian progress toward membership of the atomic club has continued with little international attention or fanfare. But recent events point to Iran having a much more difficult road ahead. …More

October 13, 2011 | Israel's Old Road is Rapidly Fading as Times Change in Middle East

John Taylor: While the Jewish state remains the strongest military power in the Middle East, it is increasingly isolated in a region undergoing dramatic political change. Israel needs to adopt a policy of engagement and dialogue with its neighbors in order to safeguard its position in the region. …More

October 12, 2011 | A Time to Stand Against Assad

Europe and the US must not let cowardly vetoes and abstentions from the BRICs stop them from continuing to press Syria on its brutal crackdown on demonstrators. ++ Even though the UN Security Council resolution condemning President Bashar al-Assad …More

October 10, 2011 | Obama Should Test Iran's Nuclear Offer

Three times during September’s UN General Assembly, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad made an offer to stop weapons-grade uranium enrichment in exchange for access to specialized fuel for its research reactor. ++ President …More

September 23, 2011 | UN Vote Will Lead to Violence in the Middle East

Regardless of the outcome, a UN vote on Palestine will result in violence in the Middle East. ++ The US and Israel’s push to convince Security Council members to abstain from voting is a short-term solution for postponing …More

September 23, 2011 | Why Europe Should Vote 'Yes' on Palestine

Anno Bunnik: On Friday, 193 UN member states formally received Palestine’s request for statehood. This is a bold move with potential to bring about Israeli-Palestinian peace, and one that will impact future strategic relations in the Arab world. The UN should vote in favor of accession. …More

September 22, 2011 | Why Israel Needs An Independent Palestinian State

Since the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin, Israeli leaders have failed to embrace a far-sighted vision on the Israel-Palestine conflict. ++ To reinitiate the peace process, Israel should accept that only an independent …More

September 19, 2011 | "Ten Reasons for a European 'Yes'"

The UN vote on the status of the Palestinian state presents a unique opportunity for Europe to play a decisive role in global affairs. ++ The EU should put aside national differences and vote as a union for the recognition of the …More

September 9, 2011 | Arab Spring Undermines Al-Qaeda

The Arab Spring has significantly weakened the influence of militant jihadist groups and delegitimized the use of violence and terrorism to attain political goals. ++ Following the popular uprisings that led to the overthrow of several dictators …More

September 7, 2011 | Turkey's De Facto Moral Compass

Marc William Zedler: The Arab Spring has left the Middle East with a power vacuum. Three regional players, Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, will be the region’s deciders for the next decade. As a global middle power, Turkey should take a principled stance in a region that needs its leadership now more than ever. …More

September 6, 2011 | Israel Should Apologize To Turkey

By refusing to apologize to Turkey for its disproportionate use of violence against the Gaza flotilla in May 2010, Israel is effectively isolating itself from the international community and its closest allies. ++ Israel’s defiant stance …More

September 2, 2011 | A New Track Against a Nuclear Iran

Felix F. Seidler and Niklas Anzinger: The Arab uprisings have opened new avenues for change in Iran. To slow Tehran’s military and nuclear ambitions, Western leaders must find a resolution to the Syrian conflict, while activists should harness the social power of the internet to force the Iranian regime to reform. …More

August 31, 2011 | Israel Should Intervene in Syria

By intervening in Syria, Israel could seize the opportunity offered by “the convergence of moral imperatives and strategic goals”. ++ This would oppose the passive precedent Israel has set in the Arab Spring, but offering a corridor …More

August 30, 2011 | "Libya's Impact Will Shake the Assads"

Libya will have a “tremendous” effect on the Syrian uprising, boosting the morale of protestors and casting doubt on the Assad regime. ++ The EU must intensify pressure by banning oil imports from Syria, while Lebanon …More

August 26, 2011 | Can Democracy Work in the Arab World?

Stephanie Mazzola: Amid calls for democracy in the Arab world, we cannot help but associate “democracy” with the liberal model of government of the West. But can popular sovereignty be applied to Islamic states? It is possible, but they must first establish social foundations that allow a democratic transition to take place. …More

August 25, 2011 | Nonviolent Tactics Could Topple Regime in Iran

CGA at NYU Ethnic Conflicts Learning Community : Nonviolent movements have toppled autocrats from Serbia to Egypt, and these tactics could also work in Iran. Protestors should exploit internal government divisions and leverage their youth and the strength of women to bring down this oppressive regime. …More

August 25, 2011 | Endgame in Libya a Victory for US Leadership

Despite the domestic assault on his Libya policy, President Obama’s strategy to depose Gaddafi has worked, with US support for NATO combat operations proving critical to the rebel forces’ success. ++ The Libyan case shows that …More

August 24, 2011 | EU Should Back US in Sanctioning Syrian Oil

Johnny West: The West has bemoaned the lack of democracy in the Arab world for decades. Now, as the slaughter continues in Syria, it is time for the West to back its values with action. The recent US ban on purchasing Syrian oil has a good chance of debilitating the Assad regime. Europe must do the same. …More

August 23, 2011 | Libya Needs International Boots on the Ground

With Libya on the verge of ousting Gaddafi, the rebels cannot allow tribal divisions to tear their leadership apart. ++ To support a peaceful transition of power, the outside world should be prepared to send, “at the very …More

August 23, 2011 | Egypt's Future Lies in Empowering the Working Class

Reese Alan Neader: To establish a functioning democracy, those shaping the new political system in Egypt will have to engage and empower the working class. If the government does not provide its people with social services and defend their human rights, extremist groups like the Muslim Brotherhood could gain traction. …More

August 22, 2011 | "What Will Free Libya Look Like?"

The conflict in Libya has reached “zero hour”. ++ As rebels infiltrate Tripoli and celebrate Gaddafi’s imminent surrender, the “forward-thinking” Transitional National Council makes plans for post-conflict …More

August 22, 2011 | Mubarak's Trial: Arab Authoritarianism on Its Knees

Gillian Kennedy: The trial of Hosni Mubarak signals the end of an authoritarian era in the Middle East. For too long, the US and Europe acquiesced in fraudaulent elections and brutal political repression in the region. Now, they must engage with a new Arab polity to secure a real democratic transition. …More

August 17, 2011 | Tehran's Nightmare: A Revolution in Syria

Saba Farzan: A successful Syrian revolution would mean the end of the destructive influence by the Islamic Republic and its proxies Hezbollah and Hamas. This makes Western support for the Syrian pro-democracy movement even more important. …More

August 11, 2011 | Turkish Delight: A Chance to Realign With the West

James Brian Taylor: Turkey’s relations with the United States and Europe have been strained over the past two years, despite a rich history of cooperation. But the ongoing upheaval in the Middle East provides a golden opportunity for Turkey to realign itself with the US and Europe, beginning with a reconciliation with Israel. …More

August 10, 2011 | US Must Back Palestinian Bid for Statehood

With Israel evidently unwilling to negotiate, a UN vote on Palestinian recognition is the only road to creating a state. ++ Statehood alone will not resolve Israeli-Palestinian tensions, but the “long overdue” recognition …More

August 5, 2011 | Iran Racing to Build the Bomb

Years of economic sanctions and diplomacy have failed to slow the progress of Iran’s nuclear program. ++ In fact, Iran’s “pariah status has ironically engendered an esprit de corps within its scientific community” that has …More

August 3, 2011 | "Syria: Tired Slogans and a Looming Dawn"

Syria’s society has experienced a brutal crackdown on protestors and civilians over the past five months. ++ The state claims that the protesters’ goal is “to undermine Syrian leadership” in the Arab world; but …More

August 1, 2011 | What Libya Says About the Future of the Transatlantic Alliance

“Libya is the first NATO war in which the US is taking a back seat, while the European allies take decisive military action. This should be cause for cautious optimism about NATO,” argues Tomas Valasek, director of …More

July 26, 2011 | Arab Spring Should Avoid Russian Model

When new Arab leaders in Egypt and Tunisia take office, they ought to learn from Russia’s corruption-plagued transition from the USSR. ++ They can avoid a similar fate by initiating the transparent privatization of state economic …More

July 22, 2011 | NATO's Partnerships and the "Arabellion"

Karl-Heinz Kamp: For decades, NATO favored stability over freedom in the Arab world. Now, the Alliance should support its partner countries with expertise to make their armed forces more effective in a democratic environment, especially in human rights training, international law, defense planning and border security. …More

July 20, 2011 | Europe and the US Send Mixed Messages to Syria

While Secretary Clinton said that President Assad had “lost legitimacy,” European ministers sent him another implicit lifeline, urging him to implement promised reforms. ++ “So long as Washington and Europe send mixed …More

July 16, 2011 | The Syrian Regime's Slow-motion Suicide

Even in its attempts to survive at all costs, the Syrian regime appears to be digging its own grave. Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East (VII):  The Syrian Regime’s Slow-motion Suicide,
the second of a two-part …More

July 13, 2011 | Israel Solidifies Global Diplomatic Ties

Until recently, Israel’s foreign policy was defined by its conflict with Palestine, which stunted its growth and its engagement with the world. ++ Now, Israel is pursuing a strategy of “inclusion, integration and …More

July 12, 2011 | Iran Threatens with New Nuclear Ambitions

A recent announcement by Iran’s atomic energy chief that it plans to accelerate uranium enrichment raises concerns about the country’s nuclear ambitions. ++ Iran will triple its capacity to enrich uranium to 20 percent, …More

July 11, 2011 | "Arab Youth Steps in Where Islamism Failed"

The Arab spring has slid into a long, hot summer. After toppling their autocratic regimes, Tunisia and Egypt have yet to show their movement toward democracy is sustainable, while the violent conflicts in Syria and Libya drag on. …More

July 6, 2011 | Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council member Dean Carroll interviewed the President
of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy about the Arab spring, Poland’s emergence as a serious player, nuclear power and
supporting the spread of …More

July 5, 2011 | The Economic Case for Supporting Israel

Tiny Israel has long depended on the United States for military aid and security. But Israel is also vital to the economic interests of the United States. ++ Despite being smaller than the state of New Jersey, Israel is a global leader in …More

June 27, 2011 | Libya Could Be a Catalyst for Europe's Security Policy

Wolfgang Ischinger & Timo Noetzel: The Libya crisis is confronting European governments with uncomfortable truths about their military and strategic shortcomings. The crisis could mark a turning point in the EU’s common foreign and security policy. …More

June 21, 2011 | NATO and the Arab Spring This Article contains Flash-Video

Anders Fogh Rasmussen: The international community has to ensure that the Arab Spring does not turn into a bleak winter. In Libya the question is not if Qadhafi goes, but when. NATO can help North Africa and the Middle East with its democratic transition - complementing support from other international actors, particularly the European Union and the United Nations. …More

June 16, 2011 | No Ahmadinejad, no Dialogue

The weakening of Ahmadinejad’s presidency, exercised by Iranian religious leaders, significantly decreases the chances of nuclear negotiations with the US. ++ Despite his strong beliefs in the necessity of a nuclear program, the Iranian …More

June 7, 2011 | Syria - a Fount of Disorder

President Assad intends to downplay assaults on regime opponents by exciting attacks on Israel. ++ Syria gave a green light to Palestinian refugees to assemble in the “sealed-off military zone” of the Golan Heights. ++ The latter resulted …More

May 31, 2011 | 'Arab Spring' and the 'Non-Integration' of the Maghreb

Daniel Novotny: The Maghreb region currently faces a distinctive combination of security threats – sociopolitical transformation sparked by the recent wave of pro-democratic movements that have spread across the entire North Africa and Middle East coupled with the ‘frozen’ border disputes and territorial conflicts which seriously undermine all efforts at regional integration. …More

May 27, 2011 | The EU, the US and the Pursuit of the 'Good World'

Katja Kruse: EU and US arms export strategies leave them bound to regimes whose domestic practices and policies are questionable. This suggests that international norms such as democracy and human rights do not count as much as economic interests. …More

May 21, 2011 | How to Support Regime Change in the Middle East

Bernhard Lucke: Developments in Egypt and Iraq show that the process of encouraging regime change is a long-term endeavor. Ignoring the precedent of Afghanistan through risky actions in Libya and Syria will create prolonged civil wars in the region. The West can build trust through student exchanges, well-managed development aid, and general cooperation. …More

May 20, 2011 | Libyan Collateral War

An initially brisk NATO-led operation in Libya has stretched into a three-month military intervention with a questionable balance of saved and killed civilians. ++ The absence of any “consensus within NATO for sending ground forces” and a still …More

May 17, 2011 | US-Saudi Split Amid the Arab Spring

The Saudi government plans to pursue a more aggressive foreign policy, at times conflicting with US interests. ++ The tacit agreement between both countries (oil for security) has been broken since Riyadh has stopped agreeing to, in its …More

April 21, 2011 | Jordan is the Brick That Will Halt the Regional Domino Effect

Stephanie Mazzola: The instability caused by the struggle for political liberalization and economic reforms in the Arab World has made some political regimes collapse. Despite this apparent trend, a few “clever” countries such as Jordan will survive the so called domino effect. …More

April 18, 2011 | The West Can Defeat Al Qaeda

While Al Qaeda has been silent during Arab uprisings, they will use disillusionment that follows revolutions to regain upper hand. ++ Its ability to exert influence does not depend on allegiance of every protester and new governments will be …More

April 15, 2011 | Europe Must Share Responsibility for North African Migrants

Laurence McGivern: Recent events in North Africa have led to large numbers of migrants attempting to reach the shores of the European Union. This sudden growth of push factors in the region presents the first real challenge to the increasingly integrated migration policies introduced in the EU following the Tampere Council (1999). …More

April 15, 2011 | Don't Confuse the Arab Spring with the Fall of Communism

Cody William Punter: The past months have witnessed an unexpected turn of events in the Arab World, leading us to draw parallels with past events, namely the fall of Communism in 1989. This article urges caution in drawing comparisons, while attmepting to place current events within the context of a wider narrative. …More

April 13, 2011 | Arab Spring: The West's Chance for a Fresh Start

Memo 30: Focusing on societal engagement, economic reform, and military confidence building, we should break with our questionable past and respond to the Arab uprisings by taking bold action to improve our reputation. …More

April 13, 2011 | Opportunities in North Africa

Ana Isabel Alves: Today, millions of citizens in Egypt believe in a better future and are willing to die for it. We, Western citizens, cherish and support them - at least, in theory. But, are we really thinking about it? Do we provide effective support for democratisation? …More

April 11, 2011 | Rethink Strategy, Engage Hamas

Manuela Paraipan: It is in the interest of the Occident to build relationships with key local players that have earned the support of their respective populations through an internationally sanctioned process. …More

April 11, 2011 | How NATO Can Foster the Arab-Israeli Peace Process

Lea Landman: An Arab-Israeli peace agreement has clear parameters. The parties cannot reach a settlement because the process is lacking choreographed encouragement from external actors such as the US, NATO and the EU. …More

April 11, 2011 | US-Europe Consensus on Hezbollah Status Finally in Sight

Marketa Reichert Phares: For the past three decades, the United States and Europe have had different policies in place toward Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based Shiite Jihadi organization. The currently operational UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon may lead to a surprising breakthrough in transatlantic relations on this issue. …More

April 5, 2011 | We Are Combatants in Libyan Civil War

Obama Administration and European partners have no strategy for Libya. ++ Willingness to consider arming rebels reflects coalition’s ignorance; would make bloody stale-mate between Gaddafi and rebels more likely. “The coalition effort has …More

April 4, 2011 | Goldstone Has Second Thoughts on Israel War Crimes

More is known about what happened in 2008-09 Gaza war than when UNHCR Goldstone Report was produced. ++ Lack of Israeli cooperation meant that fact-finding mission didn’t have evidence explaining circumstances in which Gaza …More

April 1, 2011 | What Should Germany Do About Libya?

Editorial Team: Foreign policy makers and experts around the world criticize Germany’s position on Libya. However the majority of Germans seem to approve it. What do members recommend to the German government? …More

March 31, 2011 | Active engagement, not upraised forefinger

Felix F. Seidler: Germany has to leave its abstention approach. Commenting with upraised forefinger causes only further damages on relations its partners. Now Berlin has to engage actively for NATO´s success in Libya. Concrete engagement is the only way to heal alliance solidarity´s wounds. …More

March 28, 2011 | Pakistan and Israel: Religion, Politics and State

Malte Gaier: Religion, politics and the nation state are entwined in the foundations of both Israel and Pakistan. This paper examines how the basic characteristics of these states were formed and politically legitimized through a religious framework. …More

March 28, 2011 | Where Will the Women be Post-Revolution?

Heidi S Rosbe: While women’s participation in the Arab-world protests has not gone unnoticed by mainstream media, the angle taken has further marginalized their roles. Women’s sidelined roles have not been explored as are voices calling for women to step into leadership roles. …More

March 24, 2011 | Middle East and North Africa: The Energy Security Aspect

Ece Ozkan: The uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa are challenging not only the authoritative regimes of the region, but also the energy security of the world. States need to be aware of the major implications that regime change can have on energy supplies and markets, vital to the region and the world. …More

March 22, 2011 | From Moscow to Cairo

Anna Adeola Makanju: Those who want to see democracy flourish in the Middle East must learn the lessons of the post-communist transition and make civil society engagement and support a priority. While working to address the short term needs of the region, strategies should be in place for a lasting resolution. …More

March 21, 2011 | Unintended Consequences

Jesse Schwartz: Mohamed Bouazizi, driven to commit suicide by the despair of his circumstances, has galvanized millions while simultaneously unleashing a torrent of repressed anger. The social and political fabric of the greater Middle East has been irrevocably altered as a result. …More

March 16, 2011 | Earthquakes: Iran not Safe for Nuclear Energy

Gerlinde Gerber: Following the catastrophe in Fukushima it is time to add a new dimension to the already controversial discussion about the Iranian nuclear program. This should serve as further push for the international community to strengthen its efforts to halt Iranian nuclear development. …More

March 15, 2011 | Morocco is not Immune

Ghassan Dahhan: The idea that the Moroccan Kingdom is safe from the revolutionary wave that is currently sweeping across the Arab world rests on wrong premises and on a rather rosy depiction of the present situation. Instead, new dangers are looming over its horizon. …More

February 28, 2011 | Oil Shock: 2011

Moammar Gadhafi, Libya’s erstwhile leader has begun sabotaging oil facilities in an effort to sow chaos. ++ Despite an increase in Saudi production to make up the shortfall, oil analysts are worried about what will happen in the mid term, as the writing is on …More

February 28, 2011 | How NATO Can Help in the Maghreb

Ghassan Dahhan: Given the growing political crises in Maghreb countries, the existing Mediterranean Dialogue with NATO could be utilized as a framework for supporting a political transition. For the time being NATO should reinforce its military cooperation to ensure maritime security. …More

February 25, 2011 | If Not Now, When?

The events developing in the Arab world should be a major wake-up call for the US. ++ While Westerners have acted like the Middle East was a large gas station for years,  this has to change. ++ A major gas tax will make the US more open to promote …More

February 16, 2011 | NATO Looks to Friends in the Gulf

With the Doha Conference underway between NATO and representatives from Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE, NATO Secretary General Rasmussen outlines prospects to intensify the security partnership in the Gulf. ++ As security in the broader …More

February 15, 2011 | Why Morocco Won't Go the Way of Egypt

Ece Ozkan: Even if the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia spark a domino effect throughout the Middle East and North Africa, Morocco won’t be one of the countries affected. There is little appetite for deposing its current monarch and the youth is not as politicized as elsewhere in the region. …More

February 11, 2011 | AC Debate: Egypt's Revolution This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: In response to the ongoing turmoil in Egypt, Atlantic Community published an article arguing that the West has nothing to fear from the Muslim Brotherhood getting into power in the country. The article stimulated an intense debate with more than 40 comments. Here are some of the main arguments. Let us know what you think on the matter! …More

February 3, 2011 | How to Respond to the Revolutionary Wave

Ioan Mircea Paşcu: Nobody can predict what the ultimate outcome of uprisings across North Africa will be. Nevertheless, a coherent response to turmoil in the region is required from Europe. Failure to contain unrest could see revolts spreading southward which would further strain the resource balance in the global economy. …More

February 2, 2011 | What Europe Must Do to Ensure a Two-State Deal

Muriel Asseburg and Jan Busse: Questions still abound as to the EU’s position regarding Palestinian statehood. European policymakers must make key decisions to ensure the peace process becomes viable. …More

February 1, 2011 | Egypt: The Revolution Will Not Be Tweeted

Egyptian society is comprised of a wealthy ruling elite at the top, a small Islamic fundamentalist element at the bottom and in between, masses of unpoliticized ordinary citizens. ++ Despite the government’s recent decision to shut …More

January 31, 2011 | Don't be Afraid of Egypt's Muslim Brothers

Gillian Kennedy: The West’s political leaders must not be afraid to engage with the Muslim Brotherhood. They are not seeking an Iranian style theocracy, but rather a democratic system with conservative Islamic norms. The younger generation of Muslim Brothers is even open to dialogue with Israel. In no other country is there an Islamist movement so experienced with working with a coalition of broad based groups. …More

January 31, 2011 | Arab States: A Quagmire of Tyranny

“Arabs are rebelling not just against decrepit autocrats but the foreign backers who kept them in power.” ++ Years of rule across the Arab world by faceless autocrats and ruthless generals, supported in many cases by the West, have caused …More

January 28, 2011 | Democratic Change in the Arab World? This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: Revolution in Tunisia. Large scale protests in Algeria, Jordan, Yemen and now in Egypt, the heart of the Arab world. Experts are cautiously optimistic about political change. What’s your take? What should the West do now? …More

January 1, 2011 | The Muslim Brotherhood in the Middle East and North Africa

Olivier Guitta: There is intense debate among political leaders and government officials in Washington and Brussels on how to handle the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). A strategy of engaging the MB has recently been gaining currency. …More

December 20, 2010 | Iran: End the Deadlock by Restarting with Common Interests

Nabi Sonboli: Iran and the transatlantic partners have many common interests which should be built upon: Peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as stability in the greater Middle East. The nuclear issue should be separated from these in order to build trust. …More

December 14, 2010 | Turkey's Islamist Adventure

Niklas Anzinger: Turkey’s leading political party is shifting away from its Western orientation. This is a consequential step of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s agenda of de-secularizing Turkish democracy. Ankara’s reorientation remains an obstacle not only to Western influence in the Middle East but also a NATO missile defense shield. …More

December 8, 2010 | Egyptian Elections: Overshooting the Mark

The obviously fraudulent elections in Egypt, which resulted in 83% for Hosni Mubarak, give the country the appearance of a one-party state. ++ This idea makes “even those in power cringe.” ++ The elite had hoped that more …More

November 5, 2010 | Obama's Success Hinges on Pro-Israel, Anti-Iran Policy

The losses experienced by the Democratic Party present an opportunity for President Obama to learn from his foreign policy failures. ++ Polls have consistently shown that Americans want their president to be pro-Israel …More

November 5, 2010 | Obama Needs to Court Syria in the Levant

Baudouin Long: While Obama is trying to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace-process, Damascus has been kept on the sidelines. Yet, US engagement with Syria is the key to making progress in the region. …More

November 4, 2010 | One Decision Away from a New Middle East

The ongoing Palestine-Israel peace talks will decide the future of the Middle East. ++ A significant factor in this regard will be Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to remove the Jewish settlements or on the contrary, continue …More

November 3, 2010 | The Realism of Economic Peace in Middle East

Abdalhadi (Hadi Abdalhadi) Alijla: Israeli PM Netanyahu has presented the new idea of settling the Arab-Israel conflict with “economic peace”. However, with Israel’s current occupation of the Palestinian lands and the constant deterioration of life and property in Palestine, the notion of economic peace seems to be a far cry. …More

October 19, 2010 | A Place for Hamas

The latest Palestine-Israel peace talks have not reached a breakthrough so far. ++ For some, the main reason for this failure is the exclusion of Hamas from the talks. ++ Both Fatah and Hamas are now realizing that they need to settle their differences if they …More

October 8, 2010 | War on Terror Tactics Only Perpetuate Terrorism

Rarely has a stated war aim, in this case, the “cleansing” of Afghanistan and Pakistan of Taliban and Al-Qaeda influence, been missed so dramatically. ++ Combined NATO and CIA actions since 2001, in Pakistan in …More

October 5, 2010 | A Dissection of the Globalized Middle East

Abdalhadi (Hadi Abdalhadi) Alijla: What Middle Eastern countries need is a form of economic development that tackles the basic problems - poverty and unemployment - without leading to greater inequality. At the same time, it should promote human rights, democracy, and the proctection of the civil liberties of each citizen. …More

September 16, 2010 | Middle East Talks are Last Chance for US too

If the ongoing peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians fail, the repercussions for the region and US would be dire. ++ The US, as a mediator, has been unable so far to provide the “favorable environment” for the talks to …More

September 8, 2010 | Even if Peace Talks Fail, Independence is Inevitable

The Palestinian leadership’s determination to continue the pursuit of a peace startegy that embraces non-violence has had a positive impact on the ongoing
peace talks. ++ However, Israel’s incessant violation …More

August 31, 2010 | Public Diplomacy in the Greater Middle East

Ali Sarihan: In the specific context of the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, NATO’s new Strategic Concept should focus on the role that the Alliance plays in the Greater Middle East. A multilateral policy approach and a revitalized public diplomacy campaign are required in order to overcome current obstacles to cooperation in this region. …More

August 13, 2010 | Will Israel Launch an Air Strike Against Iran?

Editorial Team: A transatlantic pro & con debate has emerged in recent days over the question of whether Israel will resort to an air strike in order to keep Iran from building the bomb: In the US, there are fears that Israel might do so within the next twelve months, while Germans relegate this to the realm of the fantastic. …More

August 11, 2010 | Obama Fails to Meet Expectations Set in Cairo

President Obama’s Cairo speech was intended to set a new tone in Arab-American relations. ++ A year later, the disappointment in the Arab world is tremendous: a recent poll of six Arab countries shows that only 16 percent of the …More

August 11, 2010 | Turkish-Israeli Cooperation and Regional Security

Angelina Harutyunyan: Turkish-Israeli relations depend mainly on the regional context. Iran is playing a role of increasing importance in Turkish foreign policy considerations. Nevertheless, several options remain for improving Turkish-Israeli relations. …More

July 19, 2010 | GMF's Pro-Turkey Bias

Ulf Gartzke: The West assumes that Turkey’s Islamist AKP government plays a constructive role in the Middle East, promoting “universal values.” This view is dangerously mistaken. Instead of full EU membership, a far more cautious “privileged partnership” between the EU and Turkey should be pursued for now. …More

July 5, 2010 | Draining the Terrorist Swamp in Yemen

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the terrorist organization’s franchise in Yemen, must be countered with a comprehensive strategy that stresses local development along with diplomacy and defense. ++ Understanding the needs of …More

June 24, 2010 | Dark Clouds Hang Over Iraqi Kurdistan

The recent rapprochement between Teheran and Ankara is manifesting itself in an increase of their activities against the Kurds in the North of Iraq. ++ “The Kurdish Regional Government has a hard time making its calls for calm and …More

June 18, 2010 | Storm in a Teacup: Iran Will Remain a Theocracy

The protests following last year’s election in Iran did not constitute a popular uprising. ++ They “were no more than a storm in a tea cup that were projected by biased Western media reports.” ++ The …More

June 16, 2010 | Iran: Tourism as a Means for Promoting Cultural Exchange

Sepideh Parsa: Tourism could help bring Iran out of its isolation. Attractive to the Iranian government for the income it generates, the contacts between the Iranian populace and foreign traveller could go a long way to reducing predjudice on both sides. Tensions could be significantly lowered. …More

June 14, 2010 | NATO Needs the Mediterranean in Afghanistan

Sepideh Parsa: NATO seeks to cooperate with countries in the Mediterranean region. However, the cooperation up to now lacks substance and would benefit from the identification of a common goal such as the involvement of a greater number of Muslim countries in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan. …More

June 7, 2010 | The Odd Couple in Cairo

Though united in their efforts to reform Egypt, Mohammed ElBaradei and Mohammed Said al Katatni do make for odd comrades in Cairo’s political arena. ++ Mr. ElBaradei is a committed secular liberal, while his partner is the head of the Muslim …More

June 3, 2010 | US Response to Israeli Attack too Tepid

The Israeli attack on a ship carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza has damaged Israel’s relationship with Turkey, given Hamas a propaganda boost, and made peace talks with the Palestinian Authority even more difficult. ++ “Mr. …More

June 2, 2010 | The Israeli Attack on Humanitarian Aid Ships: An EU Perspective

Mustafa Kutlay: It was reported on Monday, May 31, that the Israeli forces stormed one of the six ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. This operation is a clear breach of international law. The EU should show her unequivocal resistance to the violation of international law by condemning Israel. …More

June 1, 2010 | Unloose the Gordian Knot in the Levant

Mustafa Kutlay: A message to geo-strategic pressure lines of Iran: remember the tale of the Gordian Knot. A bold move by Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, or a ‘diplomatic stroke’, could reverse Iran’s approach and indeed re-establish US leverage in the region. …More

May 21, 2010 | Mixed Reviews from Afghanistan's Might-Have-Been

Former Afghan president Abdullah Abdullah stated in a recent interview that efforts to reintegrate the Taliban into Afghan political live are “idealistic”, he then also added that the worst-case scenario for Afghanistan would …More

May 21, 2010 | Russia the Winner in Iranian Fuel Deal

A deal orchestrated by Russia for the swapping of Iranian low-enriched uranium has given the Kremlin a diplomatic victory over the US. Though Washington was quick to dismiss the deal as a delaying tactic that will not stall the …More

May 19, 2010 | A Diplomatic Coup for Iran

“The deal struck Monday by Iran with Brazil and Turkey will do nothing to restrain Tehran’s nuclear program. It could, however, derail the Obama administration’s effort to focus international pressure on Iran and buy the regime more time to enrich …More

May 17, 2010 | Targeting Iran's Revolutionary Guard

Shirin Mohammadi: Imposing targeted sanctions on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is more likely to hurt the broader Iranian public and not likely to achieve the ultimate goal of moderating the regime’s behavior. …More

May 14, 2010 | Russia and Syria Are Getting Cosy

Syria will strive “to hang Israel around the America’s neck.”++ Given the failure of talks with the US, Syria fears an imminent conflict with Israel. Hence improved relations with Russia are crucial for Syria, given …More

May 12, 2010 | Karzai Visit Will Accomplish Little

“With little more than a year before Obama’s planned withdrawal, the U.S. military is doing what it always does when faced with an impossible mission on an unrealistic timeline: saluting and muddling through.” ++ Afghan …More

April 26, 2010 | A Syrian Policy with No Teeth Will Be Ridiculed

What has been lacking in the US’s Syrian strategy are tangible steps, such as economic sanctions, that put pressure on Dictator Bashar Al-Assad to end his collaboration with Iran and Hezbollah.++ Assad has reacted to special …More

April 26, 2010 | It's Time to Acknowledge Secret Drone Strikes

The US has kept classified its CIA program that targets militants in the tribal regions of Pakistan.++ Since January of 2009, more than 85 reported drone strikes have killed thousands of militants in Pakistan.++ Vital …More

April 26, 2010 | To Achieve Peace Netanyahu Must Stop Expansion

Indirect talks between Israel and Palestine may take place in early May. ++ A freeze on new settlements must occur though it presents a challenge for Netanyahu. ++ Moreover, the prime minister must appear willing to find a …More

April 21, 2010 | White House Confused on Iran Policy

A recent memo drafted by Defense Secretary Robert Gates alarmed many when he stated that the Obama administration currently has no contingency plan should Iran develop a nuclear weapon. ++ “The public signs of the administration’s …More

April 15, 2010 | Netanyahu's Ideological Stalemate Is a Waste of Time

Last month’s diplomatic incident between Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu has effectively stalled negotiations between the US and Israel. ++ Critics have accused the Prime Minister of wasting time, putting ideology ahead …More

April 14, 2010 | A Realist Take on China; Iran Sanctions

Recent reports that China is prepared to sign onto a tougher United States sanctions regime on Iran are overblown. ++ In reality, there are several compelling reasons why China will continue to “drag its feet” on Iran sanctions: to …More

April 12, 2010 | Obama Should Beware of Nuclear Double-Standards

Obama should ignore attacks from Republicans over his most recent nuclear initiatives. ++ Decreasing nuclear stockpiles is the right thing to do. ++ Israel’s decision to send a “low-level” representative to this …More

April 6, 2010 | Time for the US to Curb Aid to Israel

The growing rift between the US and Israel has exposed diverging “goals, expectations, and national interests.” ++ The US gives billions of dollars annually to Israel in military aid. ++ The best thing for the allies would be to …More

March 31, 2010 | Putting a Face on Corruption in Afghanistan

US President Obama’s surprise visit to Afghanistan last Sunday has prompted an examination of Hamid Karzai’s alleged ties to the opium trade. ++ Admiral Mike Mullen, America’s most senior military commander reiterated that continued …More

March 26, 2010 | Obama-Care Has Global Implications

While the passage of sweeping health care reform should be cause for celebration in the US, it has only further mobilized Obama’s adversaries in the Republican Party. ++ “Mr Obama’s willingness to go all the way on health …More

March 24, 2010 | Channeling "Nixon Goes to China " in the Middle East

Greg Randolph Lawson: The balance of power between Sunni and Shia has shifted since the 2003 Iraq War. A bold, “Nixon goes to China ” moment with Iran could reset the balance in the region and allow the US to recalibrate its Middle East strategy. …More

March 23, 2010 | The US and Pakistan: A Key Strategic Moment

Senior US and Pakistani officials will meet next week in Washington for the first strategic dialogue between the two countries in history. ++ Pakistan, in light of its role in Afghanistan, is hoping to capitalize on its enhanced …More

March 22, 2010 | Netanyahu Visit to Test Obama's Mettle

“From the beginning he irritated the Obama team, but it has been his recent aggressiveness that brought them to the breaking point.” ++ Indeed, Netanyahu’s visit to Washington will be one of the most closely-watched of Obama’s …More

March 18, 2010 | Iran and the Arab States: A Delicate Balance of Power

Baudouin Long: Iran’s nuclear ambition is not only a factor of concern for the Western powers but for its Arab neighbors as well. They have reacted to the Iranian threat by developing several strategies in compliance with the NPT. Nevertheless, they suffer from their disarray and should oppose a more united front to Iran. …More

March 16, 2010 | Obama's Pakistan Policy a Success

Obama’s foreign policy approach is bearing fruit in Pakistan. ++ The Pakistani military is engaging Taliban havens in the North of the country and increased intelligence-sharing with Washington has led to the capture of several …More

March 16, 2010 | Iran Sanctions Don't Stick

“Sanctions are a sign of a failed policy.” ++ The Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act, currently under consideration in the United States Congress, targets Iran’s civilian economy and will likely accomplish little in reshaping …More

March 15, 2010 | Is Netanyahu Compromising the Peace Process?

Leaders claim they want to bring about peace and stability between Israel and Palestine, but they haven’t demonstrated their commitment to it. ++ Netanyahu’s actions are compromising any chance at constructive …More

March 11, 2010 | The Spill Over Effect of Oil in Iraqi Politics

Oil, far from the blessing it was expected to be, has failed to lift Iraq out of war and economic stagnation. ++ As demonstrated by high levels of corruption in many oil-exporting nations, overreliance on oil for economic growth …More

March 9, 2010 | Adding Teeth to Iran Sanctions

The Obama administration is currently working on new UN sanctions designed to cut off funding to Iranian nuclear and missile activities, as well as the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s vast network of companies. ++ Chinese participation is a …More

March 8, 2010 | Yemen: Challenges of Counter-Terrorism

Roland Popp: Counter-terrorism operations in Yemen have proven to be difficult. While the West has recognized that a broad civil-military strategy for Yemen is required, strengthening the central government in Sanaa does not lead to a diminished terrorist threat. Western governments should prioritize the country’s regional integration and mediation efforts. …More

March 2, 2010 | Trust Pakistan

Rebuking western claims that the gov’t. is corrupt and at odds with the military, the President re-affirms his Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism and building a sound, democratic society. ++ Zadari states an international assistance program akin to …More

March 1, 2010 | Take Military Option Off the Table

It is a mistake for the United States to retain the threat of a military strike against Iran. ++ Such an approach is unrealistic from a military standpoint, does little to aid the efforts of reform-minded Iranians, and distracts from the …More

March 1, 2010 | Al Qaeda - A Geopolitical Interpretation

Antonio Buttitta: Contrary to the common assumption that terrorism is an irrational and unfathomable threat, having a closer look at the place and nature of the terrorist attacks helps us understand terrorists’ logics. …More

March 1, 2010 | The West Should Proceed with Caution in Yemen

Brian O’Neill: The West needs to address structural problems in Yemen and not just focus on taking out Al-Qaeda. A strategy that fails to address poverty and corruption in the country will fail in the long-term. Any approach to strengthening the central government should take internal conflicts into account. …More

February 25, 2010 | US Better Off Not Courting Syria

US ambassador in Damascus reveals new American strategy towards Syria recognised as “a player in the Middle East.” ++ Five years after Lebanese president’s assassination, the Cedar revolution is definitely buried away. ++ New American diplomacy …More

February 23, 2010 | Middle East Quality of Life is Highest in the UAE

The UAE has the highest quality of life in the Middle East according to a 2009 index by the Economic Intelligence Unit. ++ “The UAE’s ranking was based on its impressive civic development and high GDP growth, as well healthcare …More

February 22, 2010 | EU-US Couple Better Off Courting Syria

Michael Patrick McCarthy: The EU and the United States are both taking proper steps in their relationship with Syria. While they have some differing interests in the Middle East, both Western strategies could work more successfully if they worked more closely to support each other’s diplomacy with Syria. …More

February 19, 2010 | Israel's Obama-Anxiety is Subsiding

Israelis had been riddled with anxiety since Obama took office. ++ Obama is believed to be naïve about Middle East policy and is seen as being too much of a leftist. ++ Over the past year evidence has emerged to disprove that …More

February 16, 2010 | Iranian Sanctions Need to Bite Louder than their Bark

Ahmadinejad’s regime is unlikely to back down from its nuclear ambitions. ++ The Obama administration is taking steps to put pressure on Iran by imposing sanctions through the Treasury Dept., the State Dept., and …More

February 11, 2010 | Gaza Strip: "Another Brick in the Wall"

Palestinian underground tunnellers face increasing difficulties from all parts to provide immured Gaza Strip with staple products and arms. ++ Among the numerous tricks designed to hinder the tunnels’ activities are the …More

February 8, 2010 | Yemen is Not Afghanistan - Yet

Sana,  the capital city proves the country is far from the gloomy picture of a terrorists’ homeland. ++ In spite of Al Qaeda’s deterring influence on tourism, there are English-speaking newspapers, N.G.O.s and a Yemeni population willing to …More

February 2, 2010 | Israel and Palestine Do Better on Their Own

Obama has inserted himself in the midst of a conflict even more difficult than the one between Republicans and Democrats, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ++ Despite Obama’s shift from an optimistic to a pessimistic outlook for …More

February 1, 2010 | Arms Race Replaces Détente in Iran

The United States boosts missile defence in Gulf States, sweeping away Obama’s renewed strategy towards Iran. ++ Washington’s foreign policy goes back to basics: military containment. ++ This move is also meant to deter Israel …More

January 29, 2010 | Gulf States Remain Silent on Iran

As the world watches to see how the political crisis in Iran will play out, its neighbors in the have been silent on the matter. ++ “From the prism of Arab Gulf interests, there is no need to pick a side in this fight, especially when it is …More

January 27, 2010 | Implications of a Nuclear Iran

Antonio Buttitta: Iran is the only country in the Middle East that can not be challenged by Western powers without risking a severe unbalancing of global economies or an all out decent into war - a prospect that would be ultimately unsuccessful for all involved. Instead, rapid diplomacy must lead to effective negotiations, based on a new scheme. …More

January 21, 2010 | Al Qaeda Finds a New Home in Yemen

Al Qaeda is gaining momentum in the Arabian Peninsula since launching an offshoot in Saudi Arabia and Yemen in early 2009. ++ The group has claimed responsibility for the September 2008 bombing of a US Embassy and the attempted Christmas Day …More

January 15, 2010 | Jihad: Women Can Do It Too

The wife of last week’s CIA suicide bomber raises the topic of female Jihadi support. ++ Online dissemination of radical ideologies allows women to participate in jihad by overcoming religious dilemmas regarding their inherent inferior status in …More

January 7, 2010 | Terrorists Are Winning the Media War

Abbas Daiyar: The Taliban and al-Qaeda are achieving their goal of asserting a false sense of their strength, and are increasingly finding wider-outlets to disseminate their message. Furthermore, the US intelligence apparatus is failing to handle the situation. A strong local media campaign to counter that of the terrorists is urgently needed. …More

January 6, 2010 | Time To Act

The wait and see attitude of Europe and the US towards the Iranian revolt is morally unacceptable. ++ Ashton has yet to make a statement and Obama only last week called on the Iranian leadership to stop violating human rights. ++ Ashton’s lack of action based on a …More

December 17, 2009 | Iranian Leadership Does Not Fit the Soviet Cloth

Washington’s containment policy towards Iran is based on outdated Cold War logic. ++ The doctrine of mutually assured destruction does not work as even the most ardent hawks have doubts about US resolve to obliterate Iran in case …More

December 16, 2009 | Focus On Iran's Green Movement

Ahmadinejad and Khamenei made a major misjudgement in assuming they would succeed in suppressing their people, if they would beat down hard enough. ++ The green movement has only become stronger over the past six months, with protesters even …More

December 14, 2009 | Watch Out For Dagan

Israel’s chief spy, Meir Dagan, has systematically reoriented the Mossad to focus on what he considers the greatest threat to the country: Iran. ++ Although Israel’s stance has caused no public rift with the US yet, if it were to attack Tehran unilaterally, …More

December 10, 2009 | "Iranian Solution Must Come from Within"

Although Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tries to rest the blame of the post-election domestic unrest on foreign powers, those protesting are not directing their chants at outsiders but at their own government. ++ Iran’s youth disillusionment …More

December 9, 2009 | Seizing Opportunities from Turkey's Growing Influence

Memo 21: Amid growing fears of Turkey moving away from the West, presents the findings from its special analysis week on Turkey. Members agree that Turkey’s foreign policy should not be misinterpreted as a shift East and call upon the US and the EU to start embracing Turkey’s growing influence. …More

December 4, 2009 | "Iran Left Out in the Cold"

Apart from Pakistan, President Obama did not talk about the role of any other stakeholders in the region in his speech. ++ It was an unwise decision not to mention Iran, considering the role it has to play in tackling regional drug traffic. ++ …More

December 1, 2009 | Obama's Middle East Policy is at the Crossroads

Bernhard Lucke: The Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Afghanistan are the most pressing foreign policy issues of the Obama administration. Good will and nice speeches alone will not make “change” happen. Some bold actions and a break with the Clinton legacy are necessary. …More

November 30, 2009 | The Looming Narrative

The Narrative, “the cocktail of half-truths, propaganda and outright lies about America,” has become omnipresent in the Arab-Muslim world, although most of the Muslims killed today are being killed by jihadist suicide bombers. ++ The majority of the media …More

November 30, 2009 | Turkey Comes First

Turkey, rather than Iran, is emerging as the real beneficiary of the US misadventures in the Middle East. ++ America sits on the sidelines as Turkey expands its regional influence. ++ The souring of Turkish-Israeli relations has been watched with great …More

November 26, 2009 | Turkey's Holistic Approach

Stefanie Jennifer Tetenburg: Current fears that Turkey is moving away from its Euro-Atlantic orientation are misguided. Ankara is indeed strengthening ties with its Muslim neighbors but it is also improving relations with Russia and Armenia. The West should, instead, focus on the benefits that Turkey’s multilateral foreign policy can bring. …More

November 24, 2009 | Diplomacy: Hard But Necessary

Hillary Clinton’s visit to Pakistan demonstrated the difficulty of conducting diplomacy in a country where 64 % consider the US an enemy. ++ Although US diplomacy has been relatively successful in combating extremism, it has failed to alter the …More

November 23, 2009 | The US Needs Turkey for its Middle East Agenda

Brian Katulis: Turkey and the US need to coordinate their efforts in South Asia, Iraq, Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict, towards common goals. In order to make progress on his ambitious policy agenda for the Middle East, Obama needs Turkey. To this end, improving US- Turkish bilateral ties is a first crucial step. …More

November 20, 2009 | Ankara: Looking West, Moving East?

Gamze Avci: Turkey’s fatigue with the EU has accommodated the diversification of its foreign policy. The perceived uncertainty about the accession process has slowed down reforms and has reduced EU leverage over Ankara. But, at present the mainstay of Turkish foreign policy remains EU membership. …More

November 19, 2009 | Europe: Prevent Turkey Turning East

Ghassan Dahhan: Europe should be alerted by Turkey’s foreign policy shift and start treating Turkey as a respected ally, by offering Turkey real EU membership prospects. Turkey is of major strategic importance to Europe and it is up to the politicians of EU member states to alter public opinion. …More

November 18, 2009 | Causing a Splash: Turkey in Tehran

Turkey’s motives are being questioned within the European Union over its growing connections with Iran. ++ Some argue that Ankara could further the Union’s policies concerning Iran’s nuclear capabilities, while others contend that …More

November 16, 2009 | Analysis from Pakistan: Civil War between Army and Tribes

Marie Lall: With Pakistan having entered its most violent chapter in its history as an independent state, it might already be too late to reverse Islamic militancy and terror. The West can only help with a cash injection in the economy, making sure that the money reaches ordinary Pakistanis rather than the military, government officials or Western consultants. …More

November 16, 2009 | Israel's Strategic Imperative

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s call for the resumption of negotiations with Israel, demonstrates his commitment to reaching a peace deal. ++ Netanyahu should accept his offer for talks as a peace agreement with Syria would give Israel important …More

November 12, 2009 | American Jews to Assist Middle East Peace Process

Within the United States, the Gaza War has led not only to renewed calls for peace by the U.S. government, but also to the emergence of numerous pro-active, public peace movements. The American Jewish community is no longer …More

November 11, 2009 | Democracy Takes Root in Iraq

The passing of a recent election law in Iraq is proof enough that democracy has taken root against all odds. ++ The law, which allows for greater transparency and voter responsibility, was hotly contested and in the end Parliament barely managed to …More

November 11, 2009 | Keep Your Friends Close

A 2009 report by the Anti-Defamation League found that a vast majority of Americans view Israel as a strong ally and are substantially less sympathetic towards Palestine. ++ In fact, the US policy to back Israel is one that consistently receives the …More

November 9, 2009 | Wait Until They Get Serious

Until the Israelis and Palestinians are serious about reaching a peace agreement, the US should get out of the picture. ++ The US has only been successful in furthering peace when both parties perceived to be in a mutually hurting stalemate and …More

November 6, 2009 | The Changing Face of Diplomacy

Stefanie Jennifer Tetenburg: In the post 9/11 era hard power has been priortised over soft power to deal with the ‘new’ terrorist threat. In this dissertation I therefore investigate whether traditional diplomacy is still relevant. I argue that traditional diplomatic tools remain important, but need to be complemented by new diplomatic tools. …More

November 6, 2009 | Morality First

The Obama administration needs to balance its approach towards Iran, by taking up its moral responsibilities. ++ Whilst the West has been placing the nuclear issue above all other concerns, Tehran has been establishing an “infrastructure for repression.” ++ …More

November 5, 2009 | If We Don't Build it, Then Who Will?

Despite Israeli criticism, and Arab skepticism, the “Palestinian Dream” has a new visionary. ++ Focus on infrastructure, on what needs to be built and a Palestinian state could be realized by 2011. ++ The Premier of the Palestinian …More

November 4, 2009 | The West's Double Standards for Iraq and Iran

Iraq’s approach of the French nuclear industry for help with the reconstruction of a reactor and its opening of discussions with the IAEA reveal the West’s double standards for Iran and Iraq. ++ In comparison with the West’s close …More

November 2, 2009 | Obama Needs to Match His Words With Deeds

Although Obama has a great vision on the Arab-Isreali conflict, as his phenomenal speech in Cairo demonstrated, he has failed to translate his promises into “concrete accomplishments.” ++ Obama will have to be tougher, and put equal …More

November 2, 2009 | The Honest Broker Goes for Broke

The US has spent months building up a tougher stance on Israeli settlements but Mrs. Clinton’s recent praise of the Israeli government policy to temporarily halt construction is giving the pro-Palestinian camp reason for pause. ++ This “almost …More

October 30, 2009 | Trial of Saddam Hussein: Success of Justice, or Set-up for Failure?

Natalie Catherine Chwalisz: I examine the consequences of the decision to make the Iraqi High Tribunal a domestic court-a decision which negatively affected its effectiveness. It analyzes the Tribunal’s success / failure in achieving not only a fair procedure, but also transitional justice in its broader sense. …More

October 26, 2009 | Iran Dodges Another Deadline

As Tehran once again moves past a UN deadline without taking action the West must take stock after 5 failed UN Security Council resolutions. ++ Iran is “dragging its feet over a next date for wider talks with America, three European …More

October 23, 2009 | EU: Don't Let Go Of Turkey

The growing opposition against the accession of Turkey to the EU is a dangerous development. ++ In recent months Turkey has been a very active player in the Middle East, signalling its fatigue with the EU and demonstrating its importance as a …More

October 23, 2009 | Engagement With Islamists Pays Off

Nuclear talks with Iran have progressed slowly but show that engagement is the best strategy. ++ Although Iran’s acquisition of advanced nuclear technology is inevitable, talks can assure that Iran’s program is brought under IAEA …More

October 22, 2009 | IAEA Should Not Forget About Syria

In the fight against nuclear proliferation, Syria should not be forgotten. ++ The IAEA’s failure to get Damascus to reveal the history of its secret nuclear reactor, questions its ability to act as an effective watchdog. ++ The IAEA’s stategy …More

October 19, 2009 | Palestine Remains Divided

As the fallout from the Goldstone Report continues, Palestinians are looking to attempts at reconciliation domestically. ++ The failure to act against Israel has led to the postponement of talks in Egypt later this month between Hamas and Fatah, …More

October 16, 2009 | The Dragon's Increasing Thirst for Oil

Dario Cristiani: As China becomes an increasingly important player in the Middle East the West must make sure it maintains its own strategic interests. Facing fresh influence for the first time the Gulf states are set to benefit from feeding the dragon’s increasing thirst for oil. …More

October 15, 2009 | Iran May Have Passed the Peak of its Power

It seems, Iran has reached the limits of its power. ++ In order to regain control over key institutions following the election disturbances, Ali Khamenei has lost popular support and legitimacy. ++ “To save his regime he has sacrificed …More

October 14, 2009 | Palestinians Victims of Leadership Failure

In the latest round of shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East, Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal exchanged insults in televised speeches, leaving the US peace envoy looking like “a travelling salesman trying in vain to sell …More

October 12, 2009 | Building Bridges, Not Walls Between the West and MENA

Alex Glennie: A more even-handed approach to promoting political reform in the Middle East and North Africa on the part of western policymakers is both a moral necessity and a strategic imperative. As part of this, dialogue with non-violent Islamist parties and movements, alongside other opposition groups in the region, must be prioritised. …More

October 8, 2009 | US-Containment Policy is Main Hazard for Peace in the Middle East

The Obama administration’s middle east policy is largely unsuccessful due to its containment policy towards Iran. ++ The „US’ moves meant to contain the power of Iran, are the main stumbling block on the …More

October 7, 2009 | Lebanon Should Mediate in Cyprus Conflict

The lingering conflict between Turkish and Greek Cypriots needs to be resolved now the conflict is riper than ever before. ++ Although Turkey has demonstrated a benevolent commitment to defusing the conflict, internal Cypriot politics …More

September 28, 2009 | Another Nuclear Plant?

The recent revelation of Iran’s continued nuclear program was a successful intelligence coup for he US but has only served to intensify Iran’s stand. ++ “It follows that outside powers will have little chance of stopping the nuclear program …More

September 22, 2009 | US Caught in Middle East Revolving Doors

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell is consistently failing at his role to stimulate a peace deal. ++ As the Israeli’s refuse to halt the construction of new settlements Mitchell’s continual program of talks will prove …More

September 21, 2009 | Deadly Divide: Sunni-Shia Conflict Determines Iraq's Future

Urs Schrade: Sectarian tensions continue to threaten civil war with large Sunni and Shia Muslim populations throughout the Middle East, particularly in Iraq. The current war in Iraq will play a prominent role in determining the future of the Sunni-Shia conflict. The ethno-religious conflict will in turn determine the future of Middle Eastern relations and security. …More

September 18, 2009 | Israel Unfazed by UN Human Rights Report

The UN Human Rights Council report condemning both Israel and Hamas for January’s confrontation looks set to change nothing. ++ Despite a loss in the international public opinion war Tel Aviv secured unanimous support domestically …More

September 15, 2009 | The Road to Tehran Does Not Run Through Moscow

Jeffrey Mankoff: It is a priority of the USA to gain Russia’s support for a new round of UN sanctions against Iran. However, due to a number of economic, diplomatic, and strategic factors, it is very unlikely that Moscow will take meaningful steps against Tehran. Thus, the Obama Administration should circumvent Russia and find a way to solve the Iranian nuclear problem alone. …More

September 15, 2009 | Iran: Domestic Crisis and Options For the West

Roland Popp: The domestic crisis that arose in the wake of the presidential elections of 12 June 2009 constitutes a fundamental challenge to Iran’s political system, which is based largely on religious legitimacy. …More

September 15, 2009 | Syria: Less Carrots, More Sticks

Obama’s approach to shift away from the Bush policy of isolation and reestablishing dialogue with Syria proofed not successful yet. ++ Despite the good intentions, the current US Administration’s behavior has not convinced Damascus to change …More

September 14, 2009 | Land First, Then Peace

Obama’s speech in Cairo raised expectations in the Arab world. ++ In order to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East Israel must be willing to give back Arab territory. ++ Saudia Arabia, as the key actor in the region, will refuse to engage Israel as …More

September 11, 2009 | Iran On Charm Offensive

Iran is finally now prepared to hold a meaningful and broad strategic dialogue with the West over its nuclear program. ++ Tehran “seems poised to benefit from a…positive gathering of the board…at the IAEA and strong backing from the …More

September 7, 2009 | A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Ivan Kalburov: For the last 40 years Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi has been tantalizing the world. Although he appears to have changed his ways in the past decade, he uses the same old despotic tricks, only dressing as a sheep when necessary. This has been most obvious in the way foreign prisoners have been treated. …More

August 31, 2009 | Netanyahu Running to Stand Still

Netanyahu has unconvincingly committed to the peace process although his Foreign Minister consistently undermines the aim. ++ Obama “has placed a revival of the peace process at the heart of efforts to rebuild US influence in the region …More

August 27, 2009 | The West Must Change Course in Iran Now

As the movement against Iran’s controversial election is fading, the West is likely to resort to imposing more sanctions against Tehran. ++ But “the only viable…. strategy is to stop trying to isolate Iran and instead …More

August 26, 2009 | Iranian Spy Games Threatening Iraqi Balance

Leader of the Iraqi intelligence services Gen. Mohammed Shahwani has quit over Iranian spies row with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. ++ “Without the backstop of U.S. support, Iraqi authorities are now desperately vulnerable to …More

August 25, 2009 | How Israel Should Solve the Middle East Conflict

Prime Minister Netanyahu must accept the idea of an end to settlements when he meets with US government officials this week. ++ Thus, Arab countries should seek to normalize their relations with the Jewish state. ++ A cessation …More

August 25, 2009 | Middle East: A Peace Guide for the Muslim World

Months after President Obama’s speech in Cairo, it is still upon Muslim states to react. ++ Being the first US President credible enough to be accepted by the Palestinians, Obama called on Muslim countries to finally …More

August 19, 2009 | Mubarak to Realign Egypt-US Axis

Egypt hopes to become Washington’s primary Middle Eastern partner following a visit to the US this weekend by President Hosni Mubarak. ++ The Bush regime served to undermine bilateral ties but Cairo could now be prepared to compromise. ++ …More

August 18, 2009 | Germany to Get Tough on Iran

Germany and the EU are considering massive sanctions against Tehran unless it shows signs of compliance with international calls for nuclear disarmament. ++ These may include the cessation of oil exports which account for 30% of Iran’s …More

August 13, 2009 | Obama's Iran Policy Will Fail

Barack Obama’s friendly approach towards Iran will not work. ++ Tehran’s leaders need anti-Americanism as an ideology if they want to avoid the collapse of their regime. ++ Ayatollah Khameni rejected the option of choosing a moderate president …More

August 12, 2009 | The Two-State Solution Solves Nothing

The Israeli-Palestinian consensus on the two-state solution has little meaning. ++ It is “a catchphrase divorced from… issues it is supposed to resolve.” ++ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sticks to demands for …More

August 12, 2009 | Israel Is Ready for Hezbollah

Israel will not accept Hezbollah as part of the Lebanese government, or as a political entity, says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ++ Hezbollah is “seeking a national unity government that guarantees a real partnership’” after …More

August 11, 2009 | Iran: Shame Trials Show Government's Insecurity

“The shame trials in Iran mask an insecure regime.” ++ Tehran’s actions must not be confused with an expression of Iran’s strength and confidence. ++ They are the leadership’s last opportunity to shift away the focus of the …More

August 7, 2009 | Where Is Europe's Support for Iranian Protesters?

Despite Iran’s development towards an Islamic military dictatorship, the political and civil countermovement gains ground. ++ As long as gas imports rise and oil profits are not passed down to the population protests …More

August 6, 2009 | Palestine: Trendsetter for Accountable Governments?

Despite the unflattering picture painted by the UN’s recent Arab Human Development report, conditions in the West Bank are improving. ++ This is due to Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s governing model, which adheres to the …More

August 4, 2009 | Twitter Generation Will Not Change Iran

Iran is missing an outstanding face leading the protest, Tehran’s twitter-bugs alone will not change Iran’s regime ++ The West’s embracing of Iran’s Twitter generation as political protest movement is counterproductive as it “has …More

August 3, 2009 | Iran is Ripe for Another Revolution

The Iranian regime’s legitimacy has been “irretrievably undone” by the summer’s election controversy. ++ “The current situation offers parallels with the political unrest leading up to the 1979 Islamic Revolution.” ++ Just as Carter’s …More

July 28, 2009 | American Answer Needed to Mideast Problems

As both the Israeli and Palestinian parties have settled on a two-state solution, the US must now show them the way. ++ The rivals’ ability to negotiate bilaterally has reached its limit. ++ “An American proposal that …More

July 21, 2009 | American Success in Iraq Shuts Europe Up

Christoph Suess: If someone had said two years ago that the US would have largely withdrawn its forces from Iraqi cities by now, he would have been called naive. Nobody here in Europe believed that the Iraqis would be able to handle their own security so soon. Given that, Europe’s silence on the latest US move is suspicious. …More

July 16, 2009 | Expats Should Not Overlook Social Injustices in Dubai

Eimear O'Casey: Dubai’s growth came at the expense of the human rights of Asian and African workers, and against the fragile environment. Westerners moving to Dubai have a responsibility to end their ignorance toward this unfair society. …More

July 3, 2009 | Little Opportunity for the West to Influence Iran

Florian Broschk: While the rest of the world ponders the impact the unrest in Iran will have on foreign policy issues, there is a much greater struggle going on inside the country. Different factions are manoeuvring for control of Iran and there is little that the West can do to influence this power struggle. …More

July 3, 2009 | Watch Out For Turkey, the Rising Strategic Star

Turkey’s rapprochement with Syria shows its transformation to a confident regional player. ++ The foreign policy crafted by the Islamist regime has three focuses, making Turkey a valuable international partner: to forge ties …More

July 1, 2009 | Pakistan: Western Meddling Likely to Backfire

Marie Lall: The West continues to misunderstand Pakistani realities on the ground. It must alter its hawkish approach towards the region and embrace a deeper understanding of the views across Pakistan. A radical policy shift and investments to stabilize the economy must be made before Western involvement turns sour. …More

June 26, 2009 | Peace in Gaza: Principles, Not Preconditions

Any chance at Middle East peace requires recognizing that Hamas, labeled a terrorist group, remains a popular force. ++ Historical conflict regions such as South Africa and Northern Ireland teach us that even “terrorist groups” …More

June 24, 2009 | US Response Betrays Obama's Promised Principles

Obama’s caution vis-à-vis Iran betrays the promises he made in Berlin during his election campaign. ++ The excuse that his only choice is between feeding views that America is “meddling” or virtual silence is unfounded. …More

June 24, 2009 | Beginning the End of the US' Role in Iraq

Punctual US troop withdrawal is the crucial next step for Iraq. ++ Violence will be determined by Iraqi cooperation with the US and across ethnic and sectarian lines. ++ US forces should be able to help their Iraqi counterparts …More

June 23, 2009 | Israeli-Iranian War Becomes Very Possible

The current demeanor of both, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could lead to war in 2010. ++ Although the leaders aim at different goals, “they are united in their apocalyptic …More

June 23, 2009 | Does Obama Lack Passion for Iran Conflict?

As the casualties from the protests in Iran begin to mount, critical voices have accused US President Barack Obama of being too soft and indifferent towards Tehran. ++ In spite of his tone getting tougher in regards to the escalating …More

June 19, 2009 | Is there a Zimbabwean Solution to the Iranian Crisis?

There are four potential scenarios that could come out of the Iranian crisis. ++ A revolution is unlikely: neither side favors a coup. ++ The regime must avoid a Tiananmen-like crackdown as that would ruin its legitimacy. …More

June 18, 2009 | Iran Shifts to Ideological Military Dictatorship

Returned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has actually staged a creeping, silent coup, wresting control of Iran from the clerics and installing his military cohorts in their place. ++ Supreme Leader Khamenei shows strong …More

June 16, 2009 | Iran's Fabricated Elections: The US and EU Must React

Abbas Daiyar: Ever since the Islamic Revolution in 1979, Iran’s theocratic regime has attempted to legitimize the dictatorship through democratic instruments, but the most recent presidential elections proved to Iranians that real change can only be established through a revolutionary overthrow of the clerical regime. …More

June 16, 2009 | Israel Comes Around to Two-State Solution

For the first time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has mentioned the Palestinian state as a solution for the Middle East. ++ Some commentators have labelled this as “a great step for Netanyahu.” ++ “He wants to appease Obama …More

June 15, 2009 | How to Respond to the Iranian Elections? This Article contains Flash-Video

Editorial Team: Amid chaos in the streets of Tehran, uncertainty remains as to the legitimacy of the election results and the appropriate response by Western countries. Please weigh in on the situation in our poll. …More

June 15, 2009 | Iran's Anger Over Rigged Vote not to Fade Fast

The protests in Teheran following the re-election of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad are the broadest since the 1979 revolution and include disaffected members of the revolutionary elite. ++ The leadership faces a crisis of …More

June 12, 2009 | US' New Approach Could See Two-State Solution

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is concerned about US President Obama’s lack of attachment to Israel. ++ “Obama doesn’t fit in the pattern of former US presidents.” ++ “The thrust of his Middle East policy - reconciling the US …More

June 11, 2009 | Iran's Cleric-Sanctioned Vote Won't Lead to Change

Iranian religious leaders have suppressed efforts by any moderates to gain political power - culling all but four of the original 475 Presidential candidates for the elections. ++ President Ahmadinejad is favored to retain …More

June 10, 2009 | Arab Peace Initiative an Historic Opportunity for Israel

Even though the momentum for peace in the Middle East Peace is supported by the Arab world and the US, Israel is hesitating. ++ The Arab
Peace Initiative - a tactical and strategic regional plan - may bring Israel peace, …More

June 9, 2009 | Pro-Western Victory in Lebanon Could Spark Conflict

Lebanon’s Sunni-led pro-western alliance has won a surprising victory at the weekend’s parliamentary elections. ++ Saad Hariri, the son of the assassinated head of government Rafik Hariri, is the front runner for the position …More

June 5, 2009 | Obama's Speech Courageous, but is it Legendary?

Obama has delivered a complaisant speech in the Middle East. ++ “No Western leader before him has been as empathetic and obliging” when addressing the Islamic population. ++The reciprocal dimension of his approach must not …More

June 4, 2009 | Is Apologizing a Sign of Weakness or Strength?

Editorial Team: In his Cairo speech, US President Obama attempted to heal US relations with the Muslim world. But there is increasing controversy surrounding his outreach-focused approach to foreign relations with some commentators claiming that apologizing for past wrongs is dangerous and weakens the US. …More

May 19, 2009 | Speaking Softly With Israel Risks a Catastrophe

Israel is determined to prevent an Iranian nuclear bomb, even with military strike. ++ Such an act of preventive aggression would have disastrous consequences: it would end all Iranian hesitations to build a bomb; the Middle East …More

May 18, 2009 | US Diplomacy Failure Risks Middle East War

If the US and Europe cannot peacefully convince Iran to stop developing nuclear weapons, Israel may consider using force - a move that could trigger a war worse than that in Iraq and make or break both Prime Minister Benjamin …More

May 12, 2009 | US Middle East Policy Will Cause Rupture With Israel

US builds Middle East policy by distancing itself from Israel.++ Calling on Israel to join the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; demanding a freeze of settlements and pushing towards a two state solution despite Israeli …More

May 6, 2009 | Obama's Middle East Strategy Starts with Syria

the Israeli campaign in the Gaza Strip ended in the middle of January, it
seemed at that any hope of Israel
and Syria
reaching a peace agreement in the foreseeable future had ended as well. However,
now senior …More

May 5, 2009 | US Vaccuum Sees Iran in Power Play for Middle East

As the US retreats from the Middle East, Iran has a sophisticated, multi-level strategy to step in and take control of the region. ++ Iran-controlled groups and “front” companies have been caught actively destabilising six …More

April 20, 2009 | Fear Will Hold Israel Back

A two-state solution is essential to Israel’s survival as a Jewish state. ++ Maintaining the occupation of Palestine and the building of settlements in the West Bank “gnaws at the very foundations of the Zionist dream”. ++ Prime Minister Benjamin …More

April 20, 2009 | Middle East Peace: Back to Oslo - with Egypt

Memo 15: There is little disagreement among Atlantic Community members that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be prioritized on the international agenda. Our members believe pursuing a two-state solution and initiating domestic reforms are critical in securing the long desired goal of peace. …More

April 6, 2009 | Will the Armenian Genocide Issue Shape Future US-Turkey Relations?

Marie Grunert: Ahead of his visit to Turkey, there has been much speculation as to whether President Obama would carry out his intention and recognize the Armenian genocide. In doing so, whilst he would be carrying out an intention stated in his campaign, it could have a lasting impact on US-Turkey relations …More

April 3, 2009 | Bleak Economic Future for Palestinian Regions

The conflict with Israel and the inner political crisis have set back the Palestinian autonomous areas a long way. Furthermore, the promise of the international community at the most recent donor conference in Sharm el-Sheikh to …More

April 3, 2009 | Defending Human Rights Isn't Neo-Colonialism

Silence often prevails over the denouncing of atrocities that take place in the Muslim world because the fear of compromising dialogue is huge. ++ Yet, there is a limit to the threshold of acceptance. ++ Even if communication …More

April 2, 2009 | Lack of Unity Lies Behind Palestine's Sufferings

If anyone thought that the Arab League Summit in Doha would end in success, their expectations were shattered. ++ The summit did little but reflect the vast disunity among Arab states and thus, condemn any possible …More

March 31, 2009 | G20 Meeting to Determine the Global Economy's Path

The upcoming G20 meeting will determine the future path of the global economic system. ++ The camps are divided into two: Obama, Brown and the IMF (who speak of depressed demand and push for stimulus plans) vs. Sarkozy and …More

March 26, 2009 | A New Dawn for Arab Unity?

The Arab League’s annual meeting could mark the beginning of a new chapter in Arab unity as the Iranian threat brings Arab states closer. ++ But regional politics might point in a different direction as a “Cold War” is being waged: …More

March 24, 2009 | Stubborn Authoritarianism: Lessons for Central Asia

Rob Steer: There is an assumption that liberal democracy is the result of all political systems, despite detours they have taken along the way. However, the creation of regime types do not necessarily follow a simple trajectory …More

March 20, 2009 | Iran Should Imitate the EU

It is silly to think that Mr Ahmadinejad is not aware of the enormity of reprisals to which he would be exposed should he attack Israel. ++ Thus, it is by no means excludable that the sole reason behind Iran’s insistence to continue its nuclear …More

March 17, 2009 | Iran Elections Stir Concern

The upcoming Arab summit is causing a lot of diplomatic activity in the Middle East. ++ Three Gulf states have warned Qatar that if Iran attends the meeting their representation will weaken, which marks a shift from the usual …More

March 16, 2009 | The Middle East Conflict after the Gaza War

Roland Popp: The strategic effects of the Gaza War have been remarkably small. Israel’s strategy of isolating Hamas continues to focus on short-term conflict management and fails to open up new prospects for resolving the Middle East conflict. …More

March 9, 2009 | Hillary, You Won't Save Gaza by Imitating Condi

At the Sharm el-Sheikh conference the US pledged to give a generous amount of money to the Palestinian authority in Ramallah in emergency relief for the stricken territory. ++ This is not the right way to save Gaza ++ Peace …More

March 6, 2009 | A Fair Bargain Will Make Tehran Cooperate

Changing tone does not suffice, the US ought to consider Iran as a truly equal partner to reset the relationship with Tehran: “In Iran there is no willingness to co-operate with the US without being paid back,” as happened in the past. …More

March 5, 2009 | Obama Sets Out to Make New Friends

Obama decided to send two high level US officials to visit Syria and participate in “preliminary conversations.” ++ The decision is a complete shift from the Bush attitude. ++ It comes as a pleasant surprise to those who believe …More

March 3, 2009 | How to Solve the Middle East Conflict?

Editorial Team: The violence in Gaza, the elections in Israel and the choice of Netanyahu to lead government negotiations has kept the Middle East conflict on the transatlantic agenda.
Articles on this website have made suggestions which range from allowing Israel and Palestine into the EU to making Israel the 51st state of the US and Palestine its second Puerto Rico. However, we would like to narrow down the medium-range solution possibilities to three different peace plans. …More

March 3, 2009 | Iran's Tactical Foreign Policy Rhetoric

Bidjan Nashat: The use of anti-Israeli, pan-Islamic, and anti-imperialist rhetoric has been a deliberate tool in the conduct of Iran’s post-revolutionary foreign policy.


March 2, 2009 | Iran Must Be Viewed as a Multi-Ethnic Society

The reported plight of Jews in Iran has provoked consternation amongst academics in this area.++ Comparisons with totalitarian regimes such as that of Nazi Germany are not accurate.++ Today’s Iran is an open society with access to …More

March 2, 2009 | Sharm el-Sheikh Conference Key to Middle East

The focus will be on the reconstruction of Gaza. ++ It would be wrong to focus only on this problem as there are many other issues that have come out of the recent conflict. ++ Many refugees have fled to a Lebanese camp in Nahr …More

February 27, 2009 | Israel: Swap Land for Peace!

Bernhard Lucke: As a chilled peace process turned into hot war in December 2008, there was still no legitimate partner for an Israeli dialog among the Palestinians. The Hamas election victory had eliminated the last possibility for this. Thus, a three-state-solution of Israel-Egypt-Jordan should be enforced. …More

February 25, 2009 | The International Community to the Rescue

Peace in Gaza should be brought about by the international community. ++ Great idea, but opposition from the Israeli government and Hamas are difficult obstacles to overcome. ++ There are therefore two options left: the international …More

February 24, 2009 | Don't Rush to Bash Iran

The IAEA caused fury when it revealed that it had underestimated the percentage of enriched uranium in Iran. ++ Exaggerated Western media reports coupled with alarming comments about Iran’s closeness to the bomb from “anonymous” …More

February 23, 2009 | The Paradox of Jews Living in Peace in Iran

There are many paradoxes that characterize Iran, and here comes another one. ++ The Iranian-Jewish community lives in peace in Iran and Iranian tolerance towards the community reveals a lot about “its sophistication and …More

February 23, 2009 | Europe and Iraq: A Re-Connect

Markus Drake: Europe has spent the time since it was split into “old” and “new” Europe avoiding engagement with Iraq, ignoring its large interests in the country and in the region. This, according to a new publication by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, must change. For reasons of moral obligation, if nothing else. …More

February 19, 2009 | Khamenei Holds The Keys to Iran's Future

Whilst he does not possess absolute authority, on Iran’s political stage nothing can be done without the green light of Ayatollah Khamenei: “he can no more be bypassed than the Great Recession.” ++ The relevance for the US is that …More

February 19, 2009 | Time to Take a Tough Line on Saudi Arabia

The election of Saudi Arabia’s first female minister is a welcome but small step: Saudi women continue to be denied the right to vote, subjected to childhood marriage and imprisoned for being raped under the guise of religious …More

February 18, 2009 | Female Deputies Wear the Trousers in Turkey

The Turkish Parliament has voted in favor of a motion allowing female deputies to wear trousers — symbol of freedom and equality of the sexes — when working. ++ As straightforward as it may be, this must not be taken for granted …More

February 18, 2009 | Martyrdom: the Excuse for Mass Murder

The Indian-Muslim community refuses to bury the Pakistani-Muslims involved in the Mumbai terrorist attacks. ++ Their interpretation of the attacks not as an attempt at martyrdom but as an act of mass murder seeks to delegitimize the …More

February 17, 2009 | The Party is Over, Go Home

The financial crisis spares none as it rains down economic havoc around the globe. ++ Dubai, the “shrine” of capitalism, is now in the heart of the storm, and extravagant projects costing billions of dollars are quickly being …More

February 16, 2009 | Iran: Between Islam and Modernity

From the Alborz Mountains one catches sight of Tehran, a world apart in terms of political and religious liberties. ++ In the mountains “everything” is permitted, and several young people flee there to escape the physical and mental …More

February 13, 2009 | Revolution in the Middle East In Process

When the Iranian Revolution exploded 30 years ago the world entered a state of shock. ++ Was it really that unpredictable? ++ Behind the superficial tranquility, popular discontent deriving from corruption and despotism of the Shah …More

February 13, 2009 | Israel: Two Winners in Rotation?

Livni and Netayahu are like Schröder and Merkel, but may go another way. ++ Both “have won,” Livni with the largest party, Netanyahu due to the strength of the right. ++ Lieberman, leader of the secular far right, could deal with …More

February 9, 2009 | Advocate For More War

Netanyahu aims to be Israel’s PM on the promise of more war: “we must smash Hamas power in Gaza.” ++ This attitude would complicate Obama’s policy of using diplomacy to address ME conflicts. ++ While US concerns are not ungrounded — during …More

February 9, 2009 | Do Not Confront Iran

The upcoming Iranian election is a critical one: the big question is whether the new president will seek to normalize relations with the West. ++ The former reformist President Khatami disappointed reform aspirations and the current president is …More

February 9, 2009 | Pakistan Gets Its Way Again

“A Q Khan, the […] self-confessed nuclear proliferator, is walking free.” ++ After announcing that his confession was made under duress, a secret agreement was made with the Pakistani government. ++ The international community …More

February 6, 2009 | Gaza's Influence on the Israeli Election Campaign

Andrew Christian Emery: Israel’s invasion of Gaza has had a significant effect upon the contest to become the next Israeli Prime Minister. Although Kadima has made some ground in the polls, the conflict could be most instrumental in preventing a Likud landslide. …More

February 5, 2009 | A Herculean Task: Middle East Policy for the New US President

There is much more to the Middle East than Iraq, and US foreign policy must quickly widen its foreign policy focus in the region. A successful Middle East policy strategy must simultaneously address Iraq, Iran, …More

February 4, 2009 | America's Worst Nightmare Coming True

Improving relations with Iran might not be as smooth as expected for Obama. ++ Under Russia’s new security strategy, to be adopted end of February, Russia is on the way to making Iran its new strategic partner. ++ An increase in the …More

February 3, 2009 | Pushing Iran Away

The success of the election in Iraq last Saturday rewards American efforts. ++ But it also weakens “Tehran’s hand” in Iraq as voter turnout was composed of a healthy mixture of Shiite and Sunni Iraqis, making way for the possibility of …More

February 2, 2009 | Erdogan's AKP Alienates Turkey From the West

Developments in Turkey since AKP’s accession to power in 2002 are seriously compromising the special relation between Ankara and the West. ++ Activities at both the domestic — discrimination against women — and international …More

February 2, 2009 | Personal Chemistry No Solution to US-Israeli Division

The Netanyahu-Clinton relationship in 1996-99 was seen as a clash of personalities. ++ Clinton campaigned for Peres, and Netanyahu retaliated, supporting Christian conservatives in the US. ++ All this affects the elections …More

January 30, 2009 | Obama Must Maintain Flexibility With Iran

It is crucial that Obama stays true to his promise of a fresh approach towards Iran, as the country wields significant influence over the wider Middle East region. ++ Persuading Iran to end its uranium enrichment program through …More

January 28, 2009 | Fighting Talibanization of Pakistan

A ban on educating girls: one of the latest atrocities imposed by the Taliban in Pakistan. ++ “Radio announcements warned girls that they could be attacked with acid if they dared to attend school, and teachers have been threatened and …More

January 26, 2009 | Oxfam and Other Charities Guilty of Anti-Israelism

Mark Thomson, DG of the BBC, has refused to broadcast the appeal of Disaster Emergency Committee for aid for Gaza, fearing that it would ruin the corporation’s impartiality. ++ The BBC itself is actually a clear …More

January 22, 2009 | Solution Lies In "Isratine"

As difficult as it might be to believe in view of the events of the last decades and the recent activity in Gaza, hatred between Jews and Muslim is a recent phenomenon. ++ Both descendents from Abraham, they not only coexisted but due to their …More

January 21, 2009 | Europe Responsible For War in the Middle East

Is the massive reconstruction aid currently being sent by Europe to the Middle East mere compensation for having been unable to prevent the recent Gaza War? ++ If the Palestinians lived in their own state, they wouldn’t need …More

January 20, 2009 | Cheap Oil Creates Long-Term Global Energy Risks

James Cricks: A strategic examination of the recent oil decline reveals long-term challenges created by a depressed environment. As the International Energy Agency (IEA) warned recently, massive investments are needed to keep global oil supplies from declining as long-term demand for oil increases.

January 19, 2009 | India Must Measure its Actions Against Pakistan

Pakistan has captured Jamaat-ud-Dawa activists and shut down their camps and a panel is to investigate the Mumbai attacks. ++ What has been done so far should be welcomed and appreciated. ++ Still, India has not managed to make …More

January 19, 2009 | Peace in Gaza?

After 22 days of conflict in Gaza the much desired ceasefire has been reached. ++ In no way, however, does this ceasefire preface peace, as the core sources of the problem have not been addressed: Hamas is still dominant in Gaza and the various crossings are …More

January 15, 2009 | BBC Provides Persian TV Channel

Although TV makes little positive contribution to anything, the BBC’s Persian TV channel, which aims to provide Iranian viewers with objective international news, deserves nothing but praise. ++ Running the channel is not easy, given …More

January 15, 2009 | Egypt and Syria: Power Struggle Via Gaza

The struggle between Egypt and Syria over their respective negotiations with Hamas demonstrate power politics in the Arab world for hegemony in the Middle East. ++ With Egypt stand western-leaning allies Jordan and Saudi Arabia, and …More

January 14, 2009 | Peace Talks With Hamas? An Illusion

Another war in the Middle East and the same question re-emerges: To what extent should Hamas be engaged in peace talks? ++ The answer is none. ++ No discussions can be held with a group which - despite differences - views Hezbollah as a …More

January 13, 2009 | Obama's Middle East Team

Despite the war in Gaza signaling the need for an urgent change in US policy in the Middle East, Obama’s Middle East team made up of “liberal, Jewish (or half-Jewish) males’’ does not meet the cultural diversity needed for new …More

January 12, 2009 | Overactive, Mr Sarkozy?

Taking office upon a promise of “a rupture” with French national and foreign policy, Nicolas Sarkozy differentiates himself from his predecessors through the active role he assumes in the international arena. ++ The current crisis in Gaza is a …More

January 12, 2009 | Failures of Statecraft: Bush and the Middle East

A series of failures during the eight-year Bush administration are culminating in the current Gaza war. ++ Bush failed to capitalize on Arafat’s nationalistic and peace making potential; he then shunned Iran despite vital …More

January 11, 2009 | Gaza War: Could Balkan History Show Way Out?

James Cricks: The situation in Gaza is escalating into a full scale war with over 800 deaths and over 3,000 in hospitals already. The use of force can stop rockets flying from Gaza to Israel for a while, but what after that? Balkan history can provide some lessons applicable to the Middle East. …More

January 9, 2009 | In Spite of Defiance, Hamas Faces Defeat

Hamas will not receive expected support from Hezbollah. ++ Palestinians have often been instigated to fight by others promising support, only to be left alone. ++ The relative accuracy of Israel’s bombings shows intelligence from …More

January 8, 2009 | Leadership In Gaza: Craven and Dysfunctional

Manuela Paraipan: The conduct of Hamas in the ongoing conflict in Gaza is jeopardizing any prospect of peace. They betray hypocrisy, cowardice and a total lack of respect for the Palestinian people. So long as such appaling leadership persists, there can be no resolution to this bloody conflict. …More

January 8, 2009 | Palestinians Must Strategize Media Campaign

Palestinians in Gaza need international support to protect their rights and lives. ++ This support is won through media campaigns, and the Palestinians and Hamas are losing. ++ Hamas’s aggressive rhetoric consistently plays into …More

January 6, 2009 | UN Must Condemn Palestinian Abuse of Civilians

Palestine’s exploitation of its refugees and use of children as human shields are among the most shameful practices in the Israel-Palestine conflict. ++ The international community has for years sustained these abuses: the …More

January 5, 2009 | Three-State Solution Ought to be Considered

The war in Gaza is evidence that the current governance paradigm has failed the Palestinian people. ++ It is bizarre that a two-state solution continues to be advocated; “instead, we should look to a three-state approach, where …More

January 5, 2009 | Israel Must Acknowledge Futility of War On Terror

Israel, America’s protegée, assigns positive value to the policy of the war on terror. ++ Israeli FM Livni has said the country is “part of the free world and fights extremism and terrorism […] you’re with …More

December 24, 2008 | In the Name of Peace

Richard N. Rosencrance & Ehud Eiran: A Palestinian-Israeli peace settlement stands little chance, given current political realities. In the form of EU membership, Europe holds the key to the transformation and resolution of the millennia-long rivalry - both a win-win for Israel and Palestine and a boon to Europe. In the name of peace, Israelis and Palestinians should become European. …More

December 18, 2008 | A Four-State Solution Is Needed In Israel-Palestine

To settle the Israel-Palestine conflict, a four-state solution should be considered. ++ Israel would be surrounded by the West Bank, ruled by secular nationalists Fatah, and Gaza, ruled by Islamist Hamas. ++ With regard to …More

December 11, 2008 | The Middle East: A Bastion of Hope

The Middle East has been revamped since 2001. ++ Iraq has been transformed from an enemy to a friend; “from a brutal dictatorship to a multi-religious, multi-ethnic constitutional democracy” and can no longer pursue its nuclear …More

December 10, 2008 | Owing Security to Iraqi Interpreters

For months Iraqi interpreters were not allowed to wear masks to conceal their identities, although insurgent groups put enormous effort into identifying and killing them. ++ However, the security of US troops as well as American strategy …More

December 9, 2008 | The West Must Rebuild Failed States

The failure of governance in Pakistan and Somalia has given rise to both terrorism and piracy. ++ The international response to these challenges has thus far been inadequate and ineffectual. ++ Neo-imperialist intervention has the greatest …More

December 3, 2008 | "Try Tough Love, Hillary"

In view of the upcoming Israeli elections next year, PM Olmert has stated that disputes with Palestine and Syria need to be settled by giving up parts of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. ++ In return, Palestine must compromise on the right to …More

December 2, 2008 | Comprehensive Approaches to International Crisis Management

Christian Mölling: International organizations aim to overcome inefficiencies in complex crisis management by adopting “comprehensive approaches”. However, the implementation is affected by diverging security cultures and the particular interests of the member states. …More

December 2, 2008 | Understanding and Analyzing Iran's Nuclear Intentions

Oliver Schmidt: In assessing whether Iran intends to build nuclear weapons, it can be concluded that whilst no evidence or ‘smoking gun’ for an Iranian nuclear program can be found, the available clues and arguments strongly suggest that Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapons option. …More

November 28, 2008 | UK Diplomacy Should Heed British Council

The UK wasted a diplomatic opportunity as it opened a classy museum exhibition in Damascus. ++ UK Foreign Secretary Miliband begged Syrian President al-Assad for help with the Middle East peace process, but could have reached out to his …More

November 28, 2008 | "In the Name of Peace"

The current political situation in the Middle East and America doesn’t augur well for a Palestinian-Israeli peace settlement. ++ Hopelessness is becoming endemic on all fronts; a new vision is needed. ++ Europe holds the key in the form of EU …More

November 27, 2008 | Victory in Iraq but Not for Neoconservatives

Iraq’s deal with the US to end the occupation means the complete defeat of the neoconservative plan to turn Iraq into a pro-western ally. ++ Iraqis no longer see the US as the lesser threat to al-Qaeda and subsequently want US troops …More

November 27, 2008 | Crushing Corruption in Arab Lands

The UN Anti-Corruption Convention is an “elaborate and cogent” text; its virtue, however, lies in its implementation. ++ Corruption in the Arab world is rampant, mostly due to a lack of societal “transparency, integrity, and …More

November 26, 2008 | Discontent With Maliki Shakes US-Iraqi Security Pact

Iraqi PM Maliki Iraq faces tough opposition today as his cabinet scrambles to find support for a US withdrawal bill. ++ “The opposition is about Maliki” said a US official. ++ A failure of the bill would mean a US withdrawal …More

November 26, 2008 | Syrian-Isreali Peace is the Key to Success

Instead of focusing on an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, Obama should invest in Israeli-Syrian negotiations. ++ Talks between Syria and Israel will focus on “withdrawal, peace, security and water - and the gaps are clear …More

November 26, 2008 | Creative Diplomacy is Required for the Iran Nuclear Crisis

Daniel Möckli: The crisis surrounding Iran’s nuclear program is likely to intensify in the coming months. The dual strategy of diplomacy and sanctions has achieved little so far. Iran refuses to suspend its uranium enrichment activities and may become a nuclear threshold country within the foreseeable future. …More

November 26, 2008 | Use Satellites and Aircraft Carriers Against the Pirates

Somaliland is a relatively stable part of Somalia that claims independence, and might deserve it. ++ Other regions, Puntland and the south of Somalia, are bases for pirates, fundamentalists, and warlords; they should be …More

November 25, 2008 | Winning Over Tribes is the Way Out

Bernhard Lucke: The US and NATO should develop exit strategies instead of increasing their military presence in Afghanistan. Winning back tribal leaders’ allegiance is the key to successfully drawing down troops. Western policy makers can learn many valuable lessons from the Soviet failure in Afghanistan. …More

November 24, 2008 | How to Repress the Pakistani Threat

President-elect Obama’s toughest international challenge will be Pakistan. ++ To avert rising threats, financial support for Pakistan’s government and military should be limited. ++ Cutting tariffs on agricultural products would …More

November 24, 2008 | India Reconnects with the Middle East

Egyptian President Mubarak has made the first official state visit of Egypt to India in a quarter century. ++ Mubarak came with his Foreign Minister and his ministers of Trade and Communications. ++ “The two countries pledged to quadruple …More

November 24, 2008 | US Misunderstands Iraqi Politics, Withdraws

Bush’s desire for a long-term military presence in Iraq beyond 2011 has been precluded by an agreement that embarrasses the US administration. ++ The Iraqi government forced changes to the document that leaves only a complete …More

November 21, 2008 | Secretary of State: Job Description

Speculation is rife as to who will be the next Secretary of State. ++ Many have forgotten the more important question: What does America need from that post? ++ First, the “complete confidence of the president” is a prerequisite; second, …More

November 13, 2008 | Aid and Fatwas to Calm Pakistani Militants

A Washington plan to involve the Pakistani government in the War on Terror has failed. ++ To handle the situation, US General Petraeus has given Saudi Arabia control over aid to Pakistan. ++ It is hoped that a series of religious …More

November 10, 2008 | Iraq: Bon Voyage?

By the end of this year the UN mandate allowing US troops to operate in Iraq will expire. ++ Both countries have agreed to a US withdrawal and G. W. Bush has announced that troops will leave by 2011, “leaving only military trainers and air traffic …More

November 7, 2008 | A New Deal for America

This election was special; a barrier was crossed and “America’s new deal” will begin. ++ This momentous occasion “will be seen as a miracle which could happen only in America.” ++ Obama, who “embodies the America of …More

November 6, 2008 | War on Terror is Over

Obama must fulfill his promises of withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan and those of diplomacy with Iran. ++ He must close Guantánamo and declare the war on terror is over, realizing that terrorism is a technique, not an ideology. ++ Talks, not air …More

November 3, 2008 | No Deal in Sight Between the EU and Syria

Last week, the EU held talks with Syria, but refused to set a date for signing a partnership agreement. ++ After multiple attempts to please the EU, Syria is vexed by what it saw as European inflexibility; however, Syria has made little …More

November 3, 2008 | Thank you, Mr. President

Heinrich Maetzke: Here is a politically incorrect assessment: President Bush will hand over to his successor a Middle Eastern foreign policy outlook far brighter than the one he inherited from Bill Clinton. Strenuous double containment of Iraq and Iran has given way to difficult but doable containment of Iran. And Iraq looks like the most promising country in the entire region. …More

October 30, 2008 | Old Bush/Cheney Tricks in Syria

US interests, and its allies, were dealt a severe blow when US commandos attacked an alleged Al Qaeda operative in Syria, killing seven civilians. ++ The risks of such an attack include “sabotaging Israeli-Syrian peace talks, reversing the …More

October 29, 2008 | Bush 3.0 - Enter the Twilight Zone

We are entering “the twilight zone,” the interregnum period between the election and the ascendance of the new president, where president Bush could act with menacing impunity. ++ The recent raid on Syria, which killed eight, is …More

October 28, 2008 | Syria: Taking First Steps Toward Indirect Talks

The Syrian leadership has denounced attacks carried out by US forces near its Iraqi border. ++ Syria, however, is known for sponsoring attacks on its neighboring countries. ++ The “US is no longer prepared to respect the …More

October 27, 2008 | Obama and the Sunset of US Power in the Middle East

Aside from the mystical fluke that Barack Obama’s name fulfils a Shiite Muslim prophesy of the “End of Times,” his proposed talks with Iran are also seen by many there “as a sign that the US is ready to …More

October 22, 2008 | Status-of-Forces Agreement Looms Large

With the status-of-forces agreement at an impasse, policy makers are unnerved by the ominous signs in Iraq. ++ If an agreement is not reached by December 31, US troops will have to return to their bases; “Without legal authority to …More

October 21, 2008 | Reforming Education in the UAE

Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, has called for a massive overhaul in the education system of the UAE. ++ The government’s Vision 2020 plan, introduced in 2000, has failed to improve schools. ++ Last year only 11 percent of …More

October 20, 2008 | "Weblogistan" Key to Democratization in Iran

Sepideh Parsa: The Islamic Republic is strangling the media landscape, crippling the democratic pillar of free speech. Censorship has given rise to the Iranian blogosphere. These blogs pave the way for democratic progress. The West should provide technological expertise to help Weblogistan flourish. …More

October 17, 2008 | Next US President Will Determine Iran's Elections

In addition to the development of the Iranian nuclear program and the economy, the choice of the next Iranian president will be determined by this year’s US presidential election. ++ Iranians are afraid of an American or …More

October 15, 2008 | Europe on Deck In Palestine

Europe is showing willingness to take greater part in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but willingness isn’t readiness. ++ The EU must first stop treating Israel with sensitivity, while simply treating Palestine like a poor country. ++ Israel …More

October 10, 2008 | Next Steps in Dealing With Iran

Iran is at most four years away from its nuclear goals - diplomacy is needed. ++ Russia’s offer to provide Iran with enriched nuclear material and US proposals for direct talks in return for the abandonment of nuclear intentions have been …More

October 7, 2008 | "Israel and Iran Have Much in Common"

On Israel’s 60th anniversary and the Islamic revolution’s 30th, both countries are actually more similar than one may think. ++ Israel fears a loss of power from shifting demographics, and similarly Iranian conservatives fear losing …More

October 6, 2008 | What Hinders Economic Growth in the Middle East?

Economically speaking,
Arab states have developed at a strikingly slower pace in the last 20 years
than most other regions in the world. This is particularly true for the Arab Mediterranean, including Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, …More

October 6, 2008 | McCain Strong, Obama Weak

Osama Bin Laden called Iraq the “central front” in his fight against the US - he was right. ++ Obama/Biden only focus on the past; they still think invading Iraq was a mistake, a distraction from Afghanistan. ++ Their obsession misses the point: “The …More

October 2, 2008 | Economic Crisis Provides Cover for Military Blunders

By odd coincidence, or perhaps providence, $700bn is roughly the same amount of money squandered on Bush’s “preposterous war in Iraq.” ++ Ironically, the greatest economic crises since the great depression means Obama and …More

September 30, 2008 | "Putin of Arabia"

A petro-emboldened Russia is becoming resurgent in the Middle East. ++ With US power waning, Russia is seeking to fill the vacuum. ++ And they’re being well-received, as “autocratic and wealth-loving Russians” have more in common with the …More

September 30, 2008 | McCain's Policies Favor Israel

McCain’s perception of the Middle East conflict deems Israel a critical ally. ++ McCain accepts the military facet of the conflict, while Obama considers diplomacy the tool to triumph over a minority of Islamic extremists. ++ The root cause of …More

September 29, 2008 | Livni's Election may Further Peace Process

Tzipora Livni is the newly elected leader of the Kadima party and may become Israel’s prime minister. ++ She represents those who favor a two-state solution instead of a Greater Israel, because they just want to live safely. ++ It is …More

September 25, 2008 | UN Should Further One-State Solution

The peace process based on the two-state solution is stagnant and one alternative which is increasingly popular among Palestinians and some Israelis is an unitary state, providing both parties equal rights. ++ Abbas and Bush still support …More

September 25, 2008 | Iran Plays up Its Card as a Peacemaker

Ban Ki-moon lauded Tehran’s mediating role in the Caucasus, which surely is music to the ears’ of Iran’s president. ++ Ahmadinejad adopted the language of post-hegemony and portrayed Iran as the leader of a new global alliance for peace …More

September 23, 2008 | "A Peace From the Bottom Up"

The Bush administration’s attempt at reconciling the Palestinian problem has been a dismal failure. ++ The peace process is unlikely to restart anytime soon; a plethora of elections, scandals, and spoilers will preclude a substantive, …More

September 22, 2008 | EU Should Say No to Syria

The EU’s plan to reward Syria with an “Association Agreement” is worrisome for several reasons. ++ Damascus not only sponsors Hezbollah and Hamas, it also follows Iran’s approach to nuclear weapons in spite of its commitment to the Nuclear …More

September 19, 2008 | EU and Arab Gulf States: Untapped Cooperation Opportunities

Leonie Holthaus: The US cannot guarantee the security of the Arab Gulf states any longer. Therefore, these countries have started diplomatic initiatives themselves to enhance the regional security situation. The EU would be well advised to enlarge its cooperation with the GCC states, so that it not only includes economic but also security issues. …More

September 17, 2008 | Zardari's New Vision Dimishes US Role

Republicans may praise the latest series of US forays into Pakistan’s sovereign territory, but they trouble Pakistan’s new President. ++ Therefore, Zardari wants to convince the UK that it is crucial to hold the US back. ++ In addition, …More

September 16, 2008 | Brewing Palestinian Crisis, Rice's Attention Elsewhere

Negotiations are in limbo as Palestinians and Israelis attempt to endure their respective political transformations at home and in the US. ++ Mahmoud Abbas’ presidential term is set to expire in January, but …More

September 16, 2008 | The US and UN Should Resolve Election-Law Tensions in Iraq

Sarwar Amin: The Iraqi Parliament will soon embark on a daunting task of re-deliberating on the controversial Provincial Election Law. The Kurds feel like they are being treated unfairly. The US and UN must help the process. …More

September 11, 2008 | Obama and Biden: No Fundamental Change on Iraq Policy

Reidar Visser: US presidential candidates, Democrats and Republicans alike, continue to ignore the shifting political realities in Iraq. Obama and Biden consistently portray the principal dynamic of Iraqi politics as a struggle between Shiites and Sunnis, whereas the main front in Baghdad is between two essentially cross-sectarian coalitions. …More

September 11, 2008 | Do Not Ask If but When Israel Strikes Iran

Israel is known for not tolerating a deadly threat, and so it is only a matter of time before it strikes Iran. ++ The international community failed to pressure Iran, as it did not block the Strait of Hormuz thereby harming Iran’s …More

September 10, 2008 | Dubai Balances Iranian and American Ties

Dubai seems to be caught between a rock and a hard place: Iran and the US. ++ Recently Dubai has served as a critical trading partner allowing Iran to circumnavigate sanctions imposed by the US. ++ Dubai re-exports many goods it receives …More

September 9, 2008 | Bringing Iran Into the Nuclear Fold

Despite negotiations with the EU and sanctions from the US, the ultimate purpose of Iran’s nuclear facilities remains unclear. ++ A closer relationship is needed to monitor Iran’s nuclear activity. ++ This relationship should be business …More

September 8, 2008 | NATO Can't Win the War in Afghanistan, Afghans Can

The war in Afghanistan stands at a critical juncture; the Taliban-led insurgency is gaining in effectiveness and influence. ++ The US troop surge planned to counter this threat is no remedy in itself. ++ NATO should develop …More

September 8, 2008 | Libyan Human Rights Still Not on US Agenda

When Condoleezza Rice had dinner with Libya’s dictator Moammar Gaddafi on Friday, she became the first US secretary of state to visit Libya since 1953. ++ Recently, Libya has worked with the US to end its nuclear weapons program and …More

September 5, 2008 | Isolating Gaza is not the Answer - The Children Are

UNRWA completed its second annual summer camp in the Gaza strip, providing opportunities for 250,000 refugee children. ++ John Ding, UNWRA’s Gaza director, says this $4 million summer camp is the kind of policy the region …More

September 4, 2008 | Saturday's Election Could Save Democracy in Pakistan

Asif Ali Zardari is committed to a democratic, moderate and progressive Pakistan. ++ If elected president, he promises to return the constitutional balance the powers of the presidency that were altered by Zia ul-Haq and …More

September 4, 2008 | Sarkozy Treads in Bush's Absence

Sarkozy’s decision to engage with Syria at the time when the US influence declines is telling. ++ He wants France to play a pivotal role in the negotiations between Syria and Israel. ++ It has been Turkey, however, that served as an …More

September 3, 2008 | Pakistan's Future Depends on India, China and the US

Pakistan is often called a failed state it is more accurately labeled as a flailing
state. The PPP-PML coalition cannot solve every problem alone but needs help
from India, China and the US. These nations, which …More

September 2, 2008 | Pro-Western Candidate is no Good News for Pakistan

Mr. Zadari is expected to win the presidential election in Pakistan. ++ He portrays himself as a pro-Western candidate, but he is merely a caricature of the country’s immoral Westernized elite. ++ Therefore, he serves as a …More

September 1, 2008 | US Policy on Pakistan Needs to Change

There is no quick fix for Pakistan. ++ Policies need to put the Pakistani people ahead of public figures, and institutions ahead of simplistic solutions. ++ The economy needs to be stabilized and an international plan to improve …More

September 1, 2008 | Sectarianism Still Endangers Iraqi National Unity

It is sectarianism, not religion, which threatens national unity. ++ The US repeated in Iraqthe mistake that the French made in Lebanon: they imposed a system that highlights sectarian differences, turning Iraq into a “fragile …More

August 29, 2008 | Pakistan's New Commitment to the War on Terror This Article contains Flash-Video

Interview with Hussain Haqqani: Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States reaffirms his country’s democracy and promises better cooperation with the United States and Afghanistan in an interview with Steve Clemons of the New America Foundation. …More

August 29, 2008 | Biden's Diplomatic Approach is Only Hope for Iran

If Obama is elected, a VP Joe Biden will likely mean positive developments for troubled US-Iran relations. ++ Biden’s experiences with Iranian diplomacy legitimize Obama’s call for direct contact with Tehran. ++ However, …More

August 28, 2008 | Palestinians Should Challenge Hamas, not Israel

It is the Hamas’s illegitimate rule that prevents progress between Israel and the Palestinians, not Israel itself. ++ However, Palestinian protesters stick to the anti-Israel dogma and do not question the extremists’ …More

August 27, 2008 | US Should Take the War on Terror into Pakistan

The US has to realize that it cannot fight terrorism in Afghanistan successfully without expanding the war on terror into Pakistan. ++ The US should revitalise the coalition of the willing, enhance the cooperation with the Afghan …More

August 27, 2008 | EU Must be Interim Supervisor for the Middle East

Before the new US administration is approved and in full operation, there will be a pause in early 2009 in US involvement in the Middle East. ++ Even though EU cannot complete the job for the US, it can act as a trustee to keep …More

August 27, 2008 | Biden Would be Good News for the Middle East

After nearly eight years of Bush’s haphazard and ill-advised actions and his contempt for the Arab-Israeli peace process, for most Arabs change cannot come soon enough. ++ Senator Joe Biden is known for his foreign policy …More

August 26, 2008 | NATO is Trapped in Afghanistan

Marek Swierczynski: The Georgian war diverted the world’s attention from Afghanistan. But events on the ground, implications of the conflict in the Caucasus and political turmoil in neighboring Pakistan make imminent the perspective of NATO snared in a war that cannot be won. A new strategy is urgently needed. …More

August 22, 2008 | US Is Better Off Without Musharraf

Musharraf’s resignation as president allows the country to move toward full democracy and this process should not be seen as a threat in Washington. ++ With Musharraf’s exit the “war against terror will in fact be pursued with much more vigor …More

August 20, 2008 | Arab States must Integrate Iraq

There is a trend among Sunni Arab states to revitalize diplomatic ties with Iraq. ++ The growing Shia influence backed by Iran may have alarmed them. ++ But instead of pressuring the US to ensure the Sunni’s reinsertion into Iraqi politics, …More

August 18, 2008 | Burnish Legacies with Intensive Peace Effort

There is a wide gap between declarations that a two-state solution is vital for Israel’s security, and actually doing something about it. ++ Both Olmert and Bush have a few months left in offices: they will not go down in …More

August 18, 2008 | Iran Gambles with Russia-Georgia Conflict

Iran remains mute on Georgia crisis. ++ US-Russia rift could spoil Iran Six negotiations; or increase Russia’s engagement. ++ Historical ties to Georgia and more recent fears of Russian aggressiveness should lead Iran to condemn this …More

August 15, 2008 | "Iraq May Be Stable, but the War Was a Mistake"

Recent progress in Iraq does not excuse the war as a whole. ++ It was good to get rid of Saddam Hussein, but the hasty invasion encouraged terrorism and hostility around the world and recent US criticism of Russia’s …More

August 15, 2008 | Pakistan's New Leaders Fake Democracy

Sharif and Zardari, who lead the governing coalition, use President Musharraf’s impeachment to portray themselves as representatives of democracy, but in truth, neither of them were elected. ++ They head the two most corrupt parties, …More

August 14, 2008 | Flip-flopping on Iran Encourages Deception

Now that the Bush administration has reneged on its hard line against negotiations, Iran does not take US ultimatums seriously. ++ Where progressives see flexibility, Iranian officials see weakness.++ As long as there are no sanctions, …More

August 13, 2008 | US Withdrawal in Sight for Iraq

Baghdad and Washington have set a tentative time limit for the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq in 2010-2011. ++ Both sides agreed to uphold a “declaration of intent,” which was signed last year. ++ Tensions are high over the new election law, …More

August 12, 2008 | "The New Age of Authoritarianism"

After the collapse of the Soviet Union and victory of western liberalism, the world is experiencing a revival of authoritarianism, especially in petro-states in Latin America or the Middle East. ++ Furthermore, Russia has learned its …More

August 11, 2008 | It's Time for Musharraf to Go

The Pakistani government finally decided to impeach President Musharraf. ++ The US declared the impeachment “an internal matter” of Pakistan, which demonstrates that Musharraf has lost the support of the US, his biggest advocate in the past. ++ …More

August 8, 2008 | Palestinian Civil Society is the Key to Peace

Regarding the issue of Palestine, Israel, the US, and the free world overemphasized the aim to have a strong partner in the peace process, and in doing so even supported corrupt and violent leaders. ++ But the path towards peace …More

August 6, 2008 | New Sect Widens Palestinian Dispute

As the chasm between Hamas and Fatah appears to widen, another organisation called Hizb ut-Tahrir emerges. ++ It has the aim to reestablish an Islamic Caliphate to govern the whole Muslim world under Islamic law, but opposes the use of …More

August 1, 2008 | Iraq Has the Most Promising Future in the Region

There are many reasons to believe that Iraq is going to make it: violence is declining, US soldiers are turning province after province over to the Iraqi Security Forces, and planning withdrawals for 2009. ++ These developments …More

August 1, 2008 | Olmert's Resignation Will Disrupt Peace Talks

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert unexpectedly announced he will resign from his post in September. ++ The decision was a result of corruption accusations which made it increasingly difficult for him to fulfil his duties and …More

July 28, 2008 | Iran's Political Shadow War

Sanam Vakil: Tehran’s factional disputes are rooted in the very character of the Iranian regime. They ensnare even its Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But this can also mean that these figures’ political resilience in face of criticism can be underestimated. …More

July 28, 2008 | Israel is Likely to Follow US Lead on Iran

Israel faces a dilemma: If European diplomacy fails to halt Iran’s uranium enrichment program and Americans prove reluctant to launch another war in the Middle East under Bush, should Israel strike alone? ++ An attack could dangerously …More

July 25, 2008 | A One-State Solution for Israel and Palestine

Some scholars recently advocated a single-state solution, based on the idea of justice, during a public debate. ++ The delivery of justice would require conditions in which Palestinians could lead normal lives in their homeland. …More

July 24, 2008 | Behind Maliki's Games

An anonymous Iraqi official assumes that Maliki thinks Obama will win the presidential election and is taking preemptive steps in order to collect chits that he can later call in. ++ President Bush wisely ignored Maliki’s demand for US troops to …More

July 23, 2008 | EU Should Provide Shelter to Iraqi Refugees

Zaborzka, Casini, Szymanski, Weber: EU member states should unite to offer immediate assistance in the Middle East and especially in the North of Iraq. The establishment of quotas would enable the EU to welcome the most vulnerable Iraqi refugees and prevent another human tragedy in the region. …More

July 23, 2008 | Obama is Just what the Middle East Needs

Over the last few weeks, Obama has confused both Arabs and Israelis with his notes on Palestinian suffering and the status of Jerusalem. ++ But contrary to McCain, Obama shows basic respect for the Palestinians and admits that the …More

July 22, 2008 | Iran Hasn't Earned a Détente

The Bush administration has recently shifted its approach toward Iran and is treating it with unjustified leniency: the possibility of reopening a diplomatic mission in Tehran and face-to-face meetings are gestures Iran hasn’t earned. ++ …More

July 22, 2008 | US Jews' Views about the Middle East

J Street, which emerged as a counterweight to AIPAC, released a new poll indicating that US Jews’ views about the Middle East are considerably more dovish than frequently acknowledged. ++ Large majorities of US Jews favor diplomacy with …More

July 22, 2008 | Obama's Iraq Strategy Scarily Stays the Same

Obama has not retracted from his end-the-war stance which dates back to 2003 and was the key to his success over Clinton during the primaries. ++ But in so far as “full withdrawal” from Iraq, such as Iraqis want, never belonged to …More

July 21, 2008 | Al-Qaeda in Israel

For the first time, Israelis have been arrested because it is believed that they were members of al Qaeda. ++ Scientists now discuss whether al Qaeda has become a loosely organized network or whether it still has a strong leadership. ++ The crucial role of …More

July 21, 2008 | US Attempts to Defrost Ties With Tehran

Thirty years after cutting off diplomatic ties, the US is planning the establishment of a modest diplomatic representation in Tehran for which it appears to have secured Iranian approval. ++ Though this shift from previous hard-line …More

July 21, 2008 | How to Save Karzai

There is a chorus of America’s closest allies who criticize Karzai because he is not making progress in his fight against militants and corruption in his own government. ++ But he is still the best candidate for the 2009 presidential elections, because …More

July 18, 2008 | Peace in the Middle East Still Needs the Americans

President Sarkozy invited many political leaders of the Middle East to help establish the Union for the Mediterranean. ++ But even if the French president likes to pride himself as a peacemaker, the exchange of bodies and …More

July 18, 2008 | The Syrians Take Paris

Syria is back in style. ++ The invitation to Paris is ostensibly a reward for the start of indirect peace talks between Syria and Israel. ++ But it also reveals that the West needs Syria to resolve the biggest problems in the Middle East. ++ The US and …More

July 17, 2008 | The Middle East Would be Better off With Obama

Dealing with the Middle East quagmire is going to be one of the greatest challenges for the next US president. ++ McCain may be an ill-suited candidate to tackle the situation: he seems to believe America always wins; since his …More

July 16, 2008 | Afghans Want a Peace Deal, not Force

Even if the international military presence has been expanding rapidly in Afghanistan, the country recently experienced one of its bloodiest weeks. ++ A suicide bomber struck the Indian embassy in the capital and killed 41 people. ++ US …More

July 14, 2008 | US Should Note Public Opinion in the Middle East

American policymakers in the Middle East know litte about the people there and their perception of the US. ++ A study entitled “Does the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict Still Matter? Analysing Arab Public Perceptions” prooves that …More

July 11, 2008 | Demonizing Iran Does Not Serve the West

The West is more concerned about who proliferates than whether someone degradates the Non-Proliferation Treaty. ++ A manageable relationship with Iran requires understanding its world view and equally and respectfully acknowledging its …More

July 10, 2008 | Iran's Hard-and-Soft Foreign Policy

Iranian diplomacy reflects pride, self-confidence, and a decreasing fear of the US and Israel. ++ Whereas Tehran’s hard-liners are using the argument of Western weakness to justify their rejection of compromise, pragmatic voices believe it …More

July 9, 2008 | Learning our Lessons From North Korea for Iran

“If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.” ++ The US must heed the lessons learned from North Korea in dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions. ++ Had Bush agreed to a dialogue …More

July 4, 2008 | Iraqis are Thankful for American Military Presence

Despite the West’s fear and loathing of America’s perceived overdrawn and poorly executed military initiatives in Iraq, the nation’s expats across the Middle East are singing a different, more optimistic tune. …More

July 1, 2008 | Israel Progresses Despite, Not Because of US Absence

By launching diplomatic initiatives with Hamas, Syria, and Lebanon, Ehud Olmert has demonstrated his readiness to take risks and his unwillingness to be constrained by “Washington’s indeological blinders.” ++ Yet because of …More

July 1, 2008 | Israel Threatens to Attack Iran

Israeli government claims the extent of the Iranian threat is being underplayed and that no diplomatic pressure can prevent Iranians getting nuclear weapons. ++ Shaul Mofaz, member of Israel’s security cabinet, announced last week that “attacking …More

June 30, 2008 | Switzerland's Controversial Middle East Policy

Daniel Möckli: Switzerland pursues an ambitious Middle East policy that differs from US and EU polices in major ways. This has given rise to controversies lately. There are good reasons for the Swiss to pursue a conflict resolution strategy based on mediation and dialog with Iran and militant Islamist organization …More

June 26, 2008 | A Palestinian State From the Bottom up

Representatives at the Berlin Middle East Conference reaffirmed their commitment to the US-initiated peace process in Annapolis. ++ Yet the approach has been changed. ++ The creation of an efficient security mechanism aims at setting the …More

June 26, 2008 | West Must Prevent Israel Attacking Iran

Despite positive developments between Israel and many of its adjacent neighbors, the increasing frequency with which Israel speaks of attacking Iran must not be ignored by the West. ++ Israel either truly plans to attack and “is preparing …More

June 25, 2008 | Europe's Dilemma: Accommodating Iraqi Refugees

Violence in Iraq has driven over 2 million refugees abroad, especially to Europe. ++ Several EU countries believe their current immigration policy is too lax and that responsibility is unevenly distributed. ++ Taking over the …More

June 25, 2008 | Relations With Iran Coming to a Head

Britain’s foreign secretary argues that if the new “dual-track approach” regarding Iran’s nuclear aspirations fails, it is the Iranian’s own fault. ++ Convinced that the region and the world need a cooperative, …More

June 24, 2008 | No Easing of Global Oil Prices

The global energy summit meeting in Jidda (Saudi Arabia) had no easing effect on skyrocketing oil prices. ++ The oil exporting countries did not promise to increase oil output as only Saudi Arabia disposes of free capacities. ++ Yet the major …More

June 23, 2008 | India Foresees Collective Security in the Middle East

Coercive diplomacy is America’s only remaining option as its influence declines in the Middle East. ++ Especially in the case of an Obama presidency, this “changed constellation” in the region calls for India to readjust its …More

June 23, 2008 | Saudi Arabia's Oily Secrets

Satisfying a UN request, Saudi Arabia has agreed to pump more oil. ++ Not so long ago, the Sheik would not open up the faucet for Bush. ++ The fact that if oil becomes unaffordable, markets will erode and customers will turn to alternatives, is the …More

June 20, 2008 | "Israelis Helped Create Hezbollah and Hamas"

Direct negotiations between Israel and Hamas create a new opportunity to stabilize the territory and soothe the heated fronts, but lessons of the past should not be forgotten. ++ The last year of Israel’s blockade was …More

June 19, 2008 | Germany Not Able to be Tough on Iran

Fabian Martin Lieschke: President Bush’s effort to unite the EU-3 behind an American proposal for harsher measures on Iran may be undermined by German domestic politics. …More

June 19, 2008 | The Paradox of Middle East Moderates

The guiding idea that empowering moderates in the Middle East will squelch the appeal of radicals is faulty reasoning. ++ First of all, defining a “moderate” is impossible. ++ A social “moderate” in Egypt, for …More

June 18, 2008 | Another Bad Deal for Baghdad

The parallels between the arrangement sought by Bush with the Iraq/US deal, and the defective British Iraq settlement in the 1930s, are striking. ++ The July 31st accord would free Iraq of UN sanctions and provide it with American economic and …More

June 17, 2008 | Iraq Starts to Fix Itself

Albeit reversible, the situation is improving in Iraq as the government gains confidence and increasingly asserts its independence from the US and Iran. ++ Despite the lack of jobs, clean water, and electricity, Iraqis are benefiting from high oil …More

June 16, 2008 | Prime Minister Maliki's Misery

Al-Maliki wants good relations both with Iran and with the US but ongoing tensions between the two are putting him in a difficult position. ++ The Iraqi Prime Minister cannot afford to ruffle Iran’s feathers because of the large Shia majority in …More

June 16, 2008 | Israeli-Syrian Peace Could Stabilize Middle East

Today, a Syrian-Israeli peace, which would enable Syria to recover the Golan Heights and protect the country’s interests in Lebanon, is complicated by Syria’s alliance with Iran. ++ Yet if Syria achieves peace with Israel, its …More

June 12, 2008 | Obama is the Middle East's Candidate of Choice

Perhaps by electing Obama as president, pro-American reformers in the Middle East will no longer feel so alienated. ++ According to expat experiences in Egypt, locals are hoping for an Obama victory because of his ethnicity and …More

June 11, 2008 | Upholding Sanctions Against Military Action

Attacking Iran would be disastrous, many civilians would die, the nuclear program would subsist, and Israel’s involvement would create a serious backlash in the region. ++ Iran’s threats toward Israel give reason for concern but …More

June 10, 2008 | Bush and Olmert Exploit the Iranian Threat

Bush and Olmert’s allusions to war with Iran are the result of their foreign and domestic policy predicaments. ++ Both leaders need to create a diversion to save themselves politically, and “if either - or both - should order a …More

June 9, 2008 | Europe: Trapped Between Washington and Tehran?

Europe is playing a dangerous game with Iran. ++ Supporting US-endorsed sanctions while simultaneously maintaining business ties with Iran has resulted in a “schizophrenic policy.” ++ While the US sees a nuclear Iran as …More

June 9, 2008 | Turkey's Geopolitical Importance for the West

For a long time Turkey has been a haven of geopolitical stability. ++ Yet the Iraq War has subjected Turkey’s virtually unquestioned alliance with the US to reassessment.++ Turkey’s general consensus on its EU candidacy has …More

June 6, 2008 | US Must Engage Syria Diplomatically

US cooperation with Syria - “not based on shared values, but shared interests” - should replace the policy of non-engagement to support Israel, isolate Iran, and ameliorate the situation in Iraq. ++ Waiving economic sanctions …More

June 4, 2008 | On Iraq, it's Time to Call Europe

D. Korski & R. Gowan: In Europe, a consensus is emerging that more should be done for Iraq. If Europeans satisfactorily align with US policies in the region and if the US makes the most of this opportunity, this could significantly revitalize transatlantic relations. …More

June 4, 2008 | Radical Islamism Won't Disappear Like Communism

From both the Right and the Left, Western thinkers have failed to grasp that radical Islamism’s strength in Asian countries such as Pakistan and Indonesia is a result of these countries’ general weakness. ++ Although …More

June 4, 2008 | Russia Must Join a Boycott of Iran

Since economic sanctions are the best means to cause unrest among the Iranian population, they are also the most effective tool to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. ++ However, Russia needs to be on board. ++ The Western offer to …More

June 3, 2008 | US Marginalized by its Own Policy in the Middle East

The recent easing of tensions in the Middle East, which is occurring without US mediation, reveals America’s loss of credibility and leverage. ++ Indeed, negotiations are taking place with groups and authorities the US …More

May 30, 2008 | Iran's Cooperation is Crucial in Iraq

The current propaganda campaign against Iran is similar to that against Iraq before the US-led invasion. ++
Without Iran’s cooperation peace and stability in Iraq cannot be achieved. ++ The more immediate danger is not Iranian …More

May 29, 2008 | Iraq: Winston Churchill and Déjà Vu

James Cricks: We are indebted to Christopher Catherwood for doing the homework about Iraq and the West that current policymakers should be considering. …More

May 29, 2008 | Palestinian Concerns Over Syrian-Israeli Negotiations

Although the recent negotiations between Israel and Syria give an encouraging push to the peace process in the Middle East, some Palestinian faction leaders and analysts expressed concerns about this issue. ++ They believe …More

May 29, 2008 | US Iran Policy Requires More Flexibility

Iran cannot be prevented from acquiring nuclear power capabilities. ++ The US should therefore favor negotiation with the regime over the current threats and sanctions driven policy which merely provides for hostile relations. ++ Since …More

May 28, 2008 | Gulf States do not Require US Assistance Against Iran

The US proposal of a regional nuclear defense shield against Iran is not being met with enthusiasm by its allies in the Persian Gulf. ++ As business ties with Iran deepen, the Gulf States perceive the offer of the US as a …More

May 27, 2008 | US Losing Ground in Middle East Power Game

The Qatari-brokered power sharing agreement between Lebanon’s feuding political factions puts into perspective the new Middle East power equation, in which the US is no longer a dominant factor and the rules are now being written by …More

May 23, 2008 | Hezbollah Strengthened by Deals for Factions

The recent agreement between Lebanese political factions promised to end the 18 month long political deadlock. ++ Although it amounted to a significant shift of power in favour of the militant Shiite group Hezbollah, the governmental …More

May 22, 2008 | Iranian Oil Could Loosen Russia's Energy Grip

Iran, which is the OPEC’s second’s largest exporter, has enough natural gas to alleviate Western Europe’s uncomfortable reliance on Russia’s energy exports. ++ Disputes over pipelines, political blocking, …More

May 21, 2008 | America's Paralysis in the Face of "Hezbullahization"

At the Knesset plenum, Bush’s declarations regarding America’s political and military commitment to Israel’s defense were most promising. ++ Yet the Hezbollah’s recent take over of Lebanon was met with absolute …More

May 20, 2008 | Iran: Requesting Transparency Not Suspension

While Iran’s nuclear program frustrates the West and demonstrates “the limits of American power,” feelings of satisfaction and success unite Iranians. ++ Western incentives for Iran to suspend uranium enrichment - such as …More

May 16, 2008 | Dirty Campaign Tactics on Middle East Policy

The campaigning for the US Presidential Election has gotten ugly on Middle East foreign policy. ++ In his speech to the Israeli Knesset, President Bush accused Obama of appeasing with Hamas. ++ It is “hard to remember any president …More

May 16, 2008 | Iran's Victory in Lebanon

The conflict in Lebanon is part of the larger regional struggle between Arabs and Iran over influence in the region. ++ Hizbollah military action shows that there is a new game in town. ++ While Iran armed, financed and supported Hizbollah, the …More

May 15, 2008 | Bush's Failed Policy in the Middle East

During his last Middle East Tour, President Bush will have to accept the failure of his policies in the region. ++ Since Bush undertook to revive peace negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians at Annapolis in late 2007, no …More

May 15, 2008 | Obama's Middle East Will be Business as Usual

Obama advocates leading open and direct negotiations with everyone, from Iran to Cuba. ++ His opposition to the Iraq war, his rational stance on Iran, and his “understanding of US imperialism” suggest he will reshape American …More

May 13, 2008 | No Resolution in Sight to Iranian Nuclear Stalemate

Amid escalating rhetoric about Iranian military involvement in Iraq, a new package of incentives by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany is unlikely to persuade Iran to suspend nuclear enrichment. …More

May 13, 2008 | Preventing Lebanon From Slipping Into Civil War

Recent escalating disputes and mutual suspicion between the government and the Shiite militia Hezbollah in Lebanon raise fears of a new civil war. ++ Arab countries are concerned that Hezbollah may be attempting to spread Iranian …More

May 8, 2008 | Israel at 60, and Beyond

In a sort of ‘State of the Union’ address, the Jerusalem Post marks the 60th anniversary with the struggles, triumphs, and miracles that have brought about the first geographically defined Jewish civilization since millennia. ++ …More

May 8, 2008 | Carter Accuses Israel of Human Rights Violations

After a research visit to Israel, former US President Jimmy Carter implores the international community to condemn Israel for what he considers “terrorism” against Palestinians. ++ Recent strikes against civilians, …More

May 7, 2008 | Crisis of Democracy Jeopardizes US-Turkish Relations

While Turkey’s judiciary, with support from its bureaucratic and military elite, threatens to disband the AKP, the US remains reluctant to take sides. ++ The US should realize that these anti-democratic groups are not …More

May 7, 2008 | Bleak Prospects for Peace in the Middle East

Decades of conflict have created economic, demographic, and political conditions that are compromising achieving peace in the Middle East. ++ Disincentives for the creation of two states are proving stronger than the rationale for …More

May 6, 2008 | The Threat of the New Middle East

The old Middle East and the secular nationalism that went along with it is being replaced by a new, modern Middle East in which political Islam and anti-Western nationalism play a decisive role. ++ There is now a serious threat of “a …More

May 5, 2008 | US Must Protect Lives of Iraqi Women

Since the US invasion of Iraq, the situation for women especially in the south of the country has worsened dramatically. ++ Tribal forces subdued under Saddam have been unleashed by the US occupation. ++ According to the UN, 133 women were …More

May 5, 2008 | Iran's Role in Iraq: Complexity and Confusion

According to the US, Iran is a state sponsor of terrorism causing heavy casualties in Iraq. ++ Iranian Hussein Shariatmadari denies this with the claim Iran shares Iraq’s interest in ending US occupation and armed militias. ++ …More

April 30, 2008 | Negotiation Over Isolation

Policy in Washington favors punishing and boycotting governments and political factions who do not adhere to US mandates. ++ This approach gives leaders little incentive to moderate their policies. ++ “In the Middle East, as in Nepal, the path to …More

April 30, 2008 | Israel: Peace at Home Vital for Regional Stability

Israel’s amazing development over the last 60 years into a regional leader necessitates ending the conflict at home. ++ A strategic alliance with moderate Sunni Arabs in the Middle East is contingent upon Israel’s …More

April 29, 2008 | US Should Work With Pakistan's New Government

Musharraf and Bush’s failure to calm Pakistan’s lawless border enabled Al Qaeda to take refuge and gain strength. ++ Pakistanis now think the war is Washington’s because of the civilian casualties. ++ New …More

April 19, 2008 | Smarter Instead of Carter: The Futility of Talking To Hamas

Lior Petek: Former US President Jimmy Carter on his current Middle East tour justified his controversial talks with Hamas by arguing that it cannot be ignored. Unfortunately, Carter does not see that there is nothing to talk about with Hamas. …More

April 17, 2008 | Iran Could be a Partner of the US in Iraq

Contrary to the Bush administration’s claim last week, the main interest of Iran in Iraq is not to predicate on violence but to stabilize this country. ++ To prevent the possible future aggression from the Sunnites and to stop the …More

April 10, 2008 | Annapolis: Little Time Left for an Agreement

Colette Avital: The negotiations between Israel and Abu Mazen’s Palestinian Authority need to move forward quickly and improve conditions on the ground. Failure to reach a solution within the year could trigger renewed violence and make future negotiations along similar lines impossible. …More

April 9, 2008 | Local Truces Bring Political Progress to Iraq

A top-down model of political compromise is inapt to restore order and bring peace to Iraq’s tribal society. ++ But now, a balance of truces between hyperlocalized clans and councils is generating optimism, political progress, and a …More

April 9, 2008 | Iraq: The Situation has Changed, but not the Debate

Reduction of violence in Iraq “so great as to be undeniable.” ++
Yet partisan debate over Iraq continues. ++ McCain sees success within reach, while Clinton and Obama remain locked within the “this war is lost” prism, …More

March 31, 2008 | Getting the US out of Iraq is the Smart Thing to Do

US disengagement in Iraq will increase long term stability in the region. ++ Al-Qaeda is not behind most of the insurgency. ++ Disengagement should include serious dialogues with Iraqi leaders and those of neighboring areas, …More

March 28, 2008 | Building a Relationship With Iran

Iran and the US are not doomed to remain eternal enemies. ++ The two countries share profound strategic interests such as stabilizing Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan; preventing the spread of Russian influence; and ensuring that Middle Eastern …More

March 28, 2008 | The OECD: A Response to Turkey's Challenges

The significant and growing contribution of emerging markets to the global economy demonstrates the strategic importance for the OECD to cooperate and engage with them, with an ultimate view to membership. ++ Countries like Turkey …More

March 27, 2008 | Russia is an Offender in the Nuclear Arms Race

Israel’s legitimate nuclear program is not a valuable excuse for Russia to jeopardize international security by supplying a reactor to Iran and by agreeing on nuclear cooperation with
Egypt. ++ The international community should …More

March 25, 2008 | Support Democracy and Hope in Pakistan

Taliban and al Qaeda members sheltered in Pakistan are serious threats to US and NATO troops in Afghanistan. ++  Frontier Corps need to be improved and the US should be spending more than $150 million a year on the eastern front. ++ The US should clearly support reconciliation, getting the military out of politics, a new tribal area policy, and above all, democracy in Pakistan.

March 24, 2008 | Success in Afghanistan Depends on Coordination

Most important task for the UN secretary general’s new special representative for Afghanistan, Kai Eide, is to form a relationship with President Karzai. ++ UN must be the primary coordinator for all organizations in Afghanistan. ++ Military and civilian efforts need to be coordinated, Afghanistan Compact needs to be supported, and Afghanistan’s neighbors need to help stabilize.

March 20, 2008 | The Last Days of George W. Bush and the Old Ways?

Fouad Naji Maarouf: George W. Bush was a disaster for the US. A change of attitude and government would bring good change. …More

March 18, 2008 | Iraq Five Years on: the Polish Perspective

Marek Swierczynski: Poland’s decision to join the “coalition of the willing” has left the military stretched beyond capacity, the society in serious mistrust of their leaders and perception of a joint effort for a good cause seriously damaged. It took 25 lives 5 years and 3 governments to rethink and withdraw. …More

March 18, 2008 | Germany's Position on Iran is Crucial

During Merkel’s visit, Israel needs to clarify that Germany must support tougher sanctions, break diplomatic ties, and end governmental trade subsidies with Iran. ++ Brown and Sarkozy are already supportive of more restrictive sanctions, …More

March 18, 2008 | Saudi Arabia: Between Reform and Preserving Power

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has come to play a peculiar role on the Arabian Peninsula. This country has the largest petroleum resources in the world, is the home to the most important historic holy sites of Islam, and …More

March 17, 2008 | The 5th Anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq

The Iraq war no longer raises much interest on behalf of the American and European people. ++ Raw US military presence compounded by a lack of regional policies and informed diplomacy with Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Israel has left the country in a stalemate. ++ The next American president will face two options: everlasting peacekeeping or a possible bloodbath at the time of withdrawal.

March 13, 2008 | Israel: Make Peace with Syria, Palestine Will Follow

Eventually the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be settled by the formation of two states. ++ Bringing Hamas into negotiations is one option to speed up process. ++ Making peace first with Syria would end confrontation …More

March 13, 2008 | Iran: Unpredictable Parliamentary Elections

Owing to Iran’s unique political culture combining elements of democracy and autocracy, Ahmadinejad’s hard-liners will face pragmatic conservatives on March 14. ++ Despite the pressure of the paramilitary, economic mismanagement …More

March 11, 2008 | Creating the Conditions for Negotiations and Peace

Given the current logic of violent retaliation which dominates actions of the weak and divided political systems in Palestine and Israel, there is no foreseeable end to the conflict. ++ Yet if an end to the strangulation of …More

March 11, 2008 | Iran Just Won't Stay Isolated

Charles Kupchan and Ray Takeyh: Rather than continuing to pursue strategies which isolate and attempt to contain Iran, the US needs to follow the lead of its Arab Allies, practice diplomacy, and encourage regional integration. …More

March 10, 2008 | International Women's Day in Afghanistan

March 8, International Women’s Day, illustrates the existence of non-Western feminist movements. ++ The new government of Afghanistan noted the day to some degree. ++ Religion is a significant feminist issue, opening the door to new …More

March 6, 2008 | New Moderate Centrism on the Rise in Iraqi Politics

Reidar Visser: While Western media has largely overlooked the rise of a moderate centrist force in Iraq, this new current deserves attention as it faces challenges from the Iraqi Presidency Council. …More

March 5, 2008 | The Palestinian Authority Deserves Israeli Cooperation

West Bank NGOs that channeled funds to Hamas have been brought under supervision, Hamas groups have been disarmed, and the Palestinian Authority has neutralized hundreds of radicals. ++ In return, Israel needs to remove settlements, checkpoints, and roadblocks in the West Bank. ++ This would help solve Israel’s security problems and allow for the improvement of the lives of Palestinians.

March 4, 2008 | Stronger Role for EU in Afghanistan

As Afghanistan moves from a transitional to a long-term development framework, an outside authority is needed to direct reconstruction. ++ The Afghan government cannot manage this alone. ++ The country is slipping back into terrorism reminiscent of Taliban rule. ++ The European Union would be the ideal candidate to coordinate between the government, international organisations and the NGOs.

February 25, 2008 | EU Expansion to Israel and Palestine

Leon Hadar: The EU should put its money where its mouth is and work towards inviting both Israel and Palestine to join the EU. With the election of a new US president, Europe could gain more control in the Middle East, but only if it simultaneously accepts more responsibility. …More

February 11, 2008 | Iran is Still Dangerous: The US Must Negotiate

Ralf Fuecks: The United States must offer Iran direct negotiations regarding its nuclear program. There needs to be a higher level of political and energy cooperation. …More

February 7, 2008 | NATO at Crossroads - Not Only in Afghanistan

Dieter Farwick: The NATO defense ministers’ meeting should conclude with an agreement to send additional forces to Afghanistan. The troops can win if given the necessary resources and operational freedom. …More

January 22, 2008 | The Surge: Few Answers, More Questions

Far from being the success which many have claimed it to be, the surge has actually accomplished very little according to Professor Andrew Bacevich of Boston University. Violence in Iraq has declined, but more because Sunni tribal …More

January 18, 2008 | Bush's Middle East Tour

In his visit to the Middle East, President George W. Bush, in an unusual note of diplomatic urgency, has insisted that Israel and the Palestinians conclude a peace accord before he leaves office in early 2009. Speaking with both Israeli and Palestinian …More

January 10, 2008 | Enterprise in the Arab World: Held Back by Politics

A Missed Opportunity The economic backwardness of the Arab World is striking. Its poor record is second only to Sub-Saharan Africa. In a region of 250 million people, more than 50% of whom are under 35, more than 40% of whom …More

January 9, 2008 | Time to Talk With Iran

In the wake of the US National Intelligence Estimate on Iran, the EU should continue with their diplomatic approach, despite US calls for more unilateral sanctions, says Volker Perthes of the SWP. Such an approach should be based on a broad international …More

January 7, 2008 | Afghans Respond Favorably to NATO Efforts in Afghanistan

Dr. Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg: The latest survey of Afghan attitudes toward ISAF activities stresses the need for continued German engagement in Afghanistan. …More

December 20, 2007 | US Intelligence Estimate Could Reshape Transatlantic Iran Strategy

The results of the new National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran’s nuclear program reveal nothing distinctly different from previous findings. Nevertheless, their ensuing debate could prove critical to …More

November 30, 2007 | More US Marines for a 'Surge' in Afghanistan?

General James Conway of the US Marine Corps advocates the re-deployment of a large contingent of his men into Afghanistan, which would be extracted from the Marine presence in Iraq’s Anbar province, writes Gordon Lubald for …More

November 28, 2007 | Forget Democratic Institutions. It's the Tribes, Stupid!

The kinship of tribes is key to building stability and establishing a balance of justice in areas like Iraq and Pakistan with both eroding and nascent political institutions.
The disorderly and anarchic …More

November 28, 2007 | America Holds the Key to Mideast Peace

Anatol Lieven: I put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into perspective and I argue that the greatest hope lies in American patriotism and the extent to which the US establishment takes the threat of Islamist terrorism seriously. …More

November 20, 2007 | Saudi Arabia: More Terror Sponsor Than Strategic Partner

Despite sporadic condemnation of terrorism by King Abdullah, Saudi Arabians make-up the bulk of the foreign fighters in Iraq and provide the lion’s share of terrorist finances, write Nick Fielding and Sarah Baxter for …More

November 20, 2007 | Emerging Global Finance Giants: The New Power Brokers

The McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report for October 2007 explores the rise of petrodollar investors, Asian central banks, hedge funds, and private equity funds as the “new power brokers,” so called because of the …More

November 9, 2007 | Turkish Invasion of Iraq Would Set a Dangerous Precedent

Ankara’s belligerence threatens Iraq’s fledgling democratic institutions, and encourages other neighbors such as Iran and Syria to settle disputes within Iraqi territory, writes Jamaa Alatwani for the Iraqi newspaper …More

November 8, 2007 | Survey Shows 52% of Americans Support an Attack Against Iran

Zogby International publishes results of the latest telephone poll conducted on key current issues. After tensions have risen to an all-time-high between the United States and Iran, the poll shows 52% of those …More

November 5, 2007 | Iraqi Refugees: Open Western Doors to the Most Vulnerable

Jan Bittner: The West must acknowledge the disastrous dimensions of the Iraq refugee crisis. First, the most urgent needs must be addressed; second, prospects for the refugees must be developed in the region. The most vulnerable refugees need shelter in the West. …More

October 31, 2007 | Going to Annapolis: The Challenge

Colette Avital: For the Annapolis peace conference to be successful, the outcome must focus on the substance of a permanent peace. A mechanism of negotiations should be set in motion for the issues of borders, refugees, Jerusalem, and security, among others, and the peace process should be accompanied by tangible measures on the ground. …More

October 30, 2007 | Inside Iraq: Dangerous Allies This Article contains Flash-Video

New alliances with Sunni militias have reduced attacks on American troops in Anbar and elsewhere in Iraq, but will this new strategy lead to lasting stability, or is it feeding a sectarian civil war and exacerbating a growing refugee crisis?
David Enders and Rick Rowley from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting investigate for Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria, Oktober 14, 2007.

October 30, 2007 | The Lessons of the EU's Iran Diplomacy

Sebastian Harnisch: The Europeans have been learning fast about leadership in crisis management and coercive diplomacy. But in order to convince Iran to stop the most problematic aspects of their nuclear program—uranium enrichment and plutonium production—Europe and the United States must act in unison. …More

October 29, 2007 | Route to Success in Annapolis

Henry A. Kissinger dampens hopes on the outcome of the meeting on the Palestinian peace process in Annapolis. Even if parties manage to agree on the Taba Plan of 2000—essentially Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 borders—the implementation remains …More

October 26, 2007 | Iraqi Refugees: The West Overlooks a Major Crisis

Jan Bittner: The Middle East is facing the largest refugee crisis since 1948. Syria, the country which has so far accepted the most Iraqi migrants, has now changed its policy. …More

October 18, 2007 | "The Axis of Good": Iran and Venezuela

Christian Rieck and Dustin Dehez: We argue that the growing public relationship between Iran and Venezuela is more a game of smoke and mirrors than a substantial threat. The US and EU must avoid rising to propaganda’s bait and continue dealing with Ahmadinejad and Chavez individually, bearing in mind that “if pushed too hard, even unlikely bedfellows can become a happy couple.” …More

October 12, 2007 | Full US Troop Withdrawal by 2013? No Promises.

The three leading Democratic presidential candidates all agreed it would be wrong to promise full troop withdrawal by 2013. However each remains determined to highlight their differing approaches to ending the war, write Jeff …More

October 12, 2007 | Iran: Reframing the US Case for War

Seymour Hersh: The United States government is now focusing on the Islamic Republic’s role in international terrorism, especially in Iraq, rather than on Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. The counter-proliferation effort is thus being redefined as a counterterrorism project. …More

October 11, 2007 | No Sanctions, No Strikes: Plan C for Iran

Manjana Milkoreit and Jason J. Blackstock: Economic sanctions aren’t working on Iran as Plan A, and the military Plan B is even worse. We need a plan C that provides for civilian uranium enrichment and addresses external political changes. …More

October 10, 2007 | Israel's Security in a Changing Strategic Environment

Ambassador Yaakov Levy: A major change in the nature of warfare has taken place. Israel faces a “new reality” which presents a fundamental challenge to existing norms of international law. …More

October 8, 2007 | Now Is the Worst Possible Time to Leave Basra

Reidar Visser: I criticize the British for their intention to hand over Basra to the Iraqi army as early as November. Competing Shiite parties have a strong desire to control the oil-rich region, and the potential for internal violence once the British leave is high. …More

October 2, 2007 | Surprising Election Result in Morocco Opens New Doors

Moderate Muslims in Morocco are seeking a modus vivendi with Western ruling elites, reports the ISA Consulting Group. Recent parliamentary elections yielded a surprise victory for the secular nationalist Istiqlal party over …More

October 1, 2007 | Netanyahu Breaks Bush's Silence on Israeli Air Strike

President Bush’s refusal to comment on the Israeli air strike over northern Syria has ignited even more speculation, report Steven Lee Myers and Steven Erlanger for the New York Times. Current and former US and …More

September 25, 2007 | Secret Iraqi Peace Talks Bring Unlikely Voices To the Debate

David McKittrick of The Independent reports on secret Iraqi peace talks held recently in Helsinki, where Ex-IRA commander, Martin McGuinness met in private with 16 representatives of warring Sunni and Shiite Iraqi …More

September 21, 2007 | Israel's Air Force Raid on Syria. Its Silence. And What It All Means.

Wall Street Journal columnist Bret Stephens breaks down the intrigue surrounding Israel’s military operations over Syria on September 6. “In a country of open secrets,” Israel’s customary …More

September 19, 2007 | How To Deal With Iran

Hans-Ulrich Klose: We need a new philosophy of deterrence against Iran. A tough containment policy, including Russia, and strong defense of Israel could bring about a changed security architecture in the Middle East that might finally include Tehran. …More

August 24, 2007 | Neocons Should End Dangerous Iran Obsession

Michael Ledeen —who once told me that he only supported the Iraq War because it provided momentum and pre-positioning of American military forces to then go after Iran—is not going to feel self-actualized until America unleashes a …More

August 22, 2007 | Why America Wants to Iraqize Afghanistan

Thomas Speckmann: Iraq’s label as a “second Vietnam” for the United States does not hold up to scrutiny. Recent changes to US military strategy on terrorism— building infrastructure, winning hearts and minds—come straight out of the Bundeswehr handbook, and they’re working. So why not take them to Kabul? …More

August 16, 2007 | Accept A Divided Iraq

Stansfield advises that Iraq can no longer be expected to survive as an undivided entity. This is just one of a number of realities which coalition forces in the country must accept before they can devise practical and realistic policy management plans. …More

July 28, 2007 | Turkey After the Elections: Bloggers See a Bright Future

By Tobias Bock
The main focus of discussions following the Turkish elections has been on the continuing rift between the secularists and pious Muslims; an issue which might become even more contentious in the upcoming …More

July 11, 2007 | Europe Must Stop Iran

Dirk Niebel: Britain, France and Germany should get tough on Tehran through European economic pressure. Nuclear progress has already emboldened the government, and the West must take decisive action before it is too late. …More

July 10, 2007 | How to Deal with Hamas

Matthew Levitt: I argue against reaching out to Hamas. The more pressing questions are those of humanitarian assistance, reform of Fatah, and the rule of law in Gaza. …More

June 29, 2007 | Islamic Banking Systems Growing and Spreading to Europe

Mainstream investment banks are pitching into the increasingly popular and profitable business of Sharia-compliant financial services, and the trend is moving to Europe. The industry has experienced annual growth of about …More

June 22, 2007 | Hamas: Negotiate or Isolate?

In the face of Hamas’ violent takeover of Gaza, the transatlantic community must reassess its conflict management. The Western reaction to this situation will be an important battle in the “war of ideas” that has been going on since the …More

June 15, 2007 | Middle East Must Make Its Own Peace

Rudolf Adam: I warn that US influence on Israel is not enough to make peace. Forty years after the Six-Day War, domestic Israeli politics are the key to normalizing relations between settlers and Palestinians. The United States and EU should recognize that their powers here are limited. …More

June 12, 2007 | Jacob Mundy Discusses the Challenges to Western Saharan Autonomy

Negotiating a solution to the conflict between Morocco and Western Sahara faces many obstacles, reports Jacob Mundy of Foreign Policy in Focus. An increasing sense of nationalism among Western Sahara’s …More

June 11, 2007 | Sarkozy and the Arab world: French policy at the crossroads?

New French president Nicolas Sarkozy could initiate a historic shift in French Middle East policy, says Pascal Boniface, director of the IRIS Institute for International and Strategic Relations.

For forty …More

May 29, 2007 | New Silk Road Has Global Significance

John Turner: The “new Silk Road” between the Middle East and Asia has brought major economic changes to the Persian Gulf region. Oil and trade flow between the Middle East and Asia has increased 25%, outstripping the increase in trade between Asia and the United States. Together Asia and the Middle East provide more than 50% of total net capital to the world. …More

May 23, 2007 | Iran Deadline Expires Today: What Next?

Inspectors with the International Atomic Energy Agency conducted surprise inspections in Tehran on May 13, finding 1,300 centrifuges enriching uranium and running smoothly. Together with recent aggressions toward Western nations such …More

May 17, 2007 | Quid Pro Quo is Best Deal For US and Iran

Maximilian Terhalle: I recommend that the United States offer Iran a fair deal in order to secure American interests in the Gulf region. The US needs to consider Iran’s political ambitions if it hopes to make headway with Tehran, and the international community should get involved in negotiating a mutually beneficial agreement. …More

April 17, 2007 | Juggling National Interests: Russia's New Middle East Policy

Despite a rhetoric of cooperation, Russia might constitute more of an impediment than a partner in the fight against Islamist terrorism and the promotion of democracy in the Middle East. Igor Khrestin and John …More

April 12, 2007 | Yaakov Amidror Warns Israel's Defeat in Lebanon Will Come Back to Haunt Them

Since Israel failed to declare victory in the 2006 war in Lebanon, the Shi’a axis (Iran-Syria-Hezbollah) has only grown stronger and will continue to do so once the US withdraws its troops from Iraq, …More

April 11, 2007 | Timothy Garton Ash Favors EU Engagement to Promote Democracy in the Arab World

Since the US seems to have retreated momentarily from its promotion of democracy in the Arab world, Timothy Garton Ash sees an opportunity for broader European engagement in the region. Problems in …More


You are in the archive of all articles published on from 2007 to 2012. To read the latest articles from our open think tank and network with community members, please go to our new website