January 8, 2008
President Bush in the Middle East
In advance of President Bush’s Middle East visit, Carnegie experts in Washington and the Middle East offer commentary and online resources—in English and Arabic—to provide context on the current issues facing the region, including:
• Israel-Palestinian Peace Process
• U.S. Policy in the Middle East
• Presidential Stalemate in Lebanon
• Middle East Domestic Politics
• Democracy Promotion
Knowledge as Necessity
Carnegie’s Amr Hamzawy writes in Al-Ahram Weekly about the necessity of knowledge in modern society. “That some Arab ruling elites have begun to address the knowledge gap between the Arabs on the one hand and the West and emerging Asian nations on the other is encouraging,” he writes. “Unfortunately Arab dialogue on the concept of the knowledge society and the ways in which it is proposed to implement reform suggest a limited perception of the challenges posed by the information gap in today's world.”
Joining the Fold
In Al-Ahram Weekly, Carnegie Visiting scholar Riad al Khouri discusses globalization and the Arab world. “For better or worse, more Western involvement in the Arab world is part of—and will also lead to—increased globalization,” he writes. “Along with military intervention, aid programs, and various forms of support for democratization, American foreign policy in the region accentuated the strategic implications of trade liberalization with the Arab world, while EU trade diplomacy was not far behind in that respect.”
Incumbent Regimes and the “King’s Dilemma” in the Arab World
Carnegie's Marina Ottaway and Michele Dunne presented the findings of their recent Carnegie Paper on December 18. J. Scott Carpenter from The Washington Institute participated in the panel as a discussant and Carnegie's Thomas Carothers moderated the event.
U.S. Elections 2008
Get Ready for a Democratic Era
In a Washington Post article, Carnegie's John Judis and co-author Ruy Teixeira analyze the electoral prospects of Democrats in the coming decade. “Many conservatives have insisted that the Democrats' wins in the 2006 midterm elections, as well as their recent pickups in some 2007 races, were mere blips,” they write. “They wish. Political, ideological, demographic and economic trends are all leading toward durable Democratic majorities in Congress, control of most statehouses and, very possibly, the end of the decades-old GOP hammerlock on the electoral college.”
Hillary Clinton's Firewall: Will Barack Obama's Anemic Standing Among Latinos be his Undoing?
Carnegie's John Judis discusses Hillary Clinton’s chances in the Democratic primaries and her strength among Hispanic voters in the New Republic. “Hillary Clinton was once thought to have had the Democratic nomination sewn up, but if current polls are any indication, she could conceivably lose not only the Iowa caucus, but also the primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina,” writes Judis. “But even if she fails to win any of those three critical early states, Hillary Clinton still has a chance. That's because of her strength among Hispanic voters.”
Fighting Terrorism With Terrorists
Carnegie's Joshua Kurlantzick writes in the Los Angeles Times about Indonesia's success in its fight against radicalism and internal terror networks. According to Kurlantzick, "it has done so not only by cracking heads but by using a softer, innovative plan that employs former jihadis to wean radicals away from terror."
What America Must Do
Foreign Policy magazine asked a group of the world’s leading thinkers to answer one question: What single policy or gesture can the next president of the United States make to improve America’s standing in the world? Carnegie President Jessica T. Mathews explains why she believes the next U.S. president should improve relations with Syria in What America Must Do: Open the Door to Damascus. Carnegie Moscow Center deputy Director Dmitri Trenin explains that the mullahs in Tehran may be willing to shelve their nuclear plans permanently in exchange for a little face time with the United States in What America Must Do: Travel to Tehran.
A Hunger For America
In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Carnegie's Moises Naim calls for a revival of U.S. global leadership. "The demand for a new brand of American global leadership is there. Increasingly, the supply to satisfy this demand will also be there."
The Failed Policy That Won't Die
Carnegie’s Joshua Kurlantzick argues in the New Republic that it is time for the U.S. to change its policy towards Cuba. “In the past two years, it has become increasingly obvious that sanctions on Cuba cannot be written off as an absurd but costless policy,” he writes. “As a recent report by the Government Accountability Office revealed, U.S. government agencies have been distracted from essential tasks like combating terrorism by having to spend time trying to find Americans who are illegally traveling to Cuba.”
Saving the Relationship
Carnegie Moscow Center Director Rose Gottermoeller comments in the Moscow Times on the troubled relationship between the U.S. and Russia. “Discrete, tightly defined projects are the last refuge of discouraged policy makers, and sadly, this is the stage that the United States and Russia are at right now,” she writes. “Washington is not ready for grand schemes of cooperation, partnership initiatives, summitry and news conferences. It must simply press to make progress in a few key areas while the crisis between the two countries continues.”
The Myth of the Authoritarian Model: How Putin's Crackdown Holds Russia Back
Carnegie's Michael McFaul and co-author Kathryn Stoner-Weiss address the “myth of the authoritarian model” and how it is holding Russia back in Foreign Affairs. “Authoritarians have held up Putin's popularity and accomplishments in Russia as proof that autocracy has a future—that, contrary to the end-of-history claims about liberal democracy's inevitable triumph, Putin has forged a model of successful market authoritarianism that can be imitated around the world,” they write. “This conventional narrative is wrong, based almost entirely on a spurious correlation between autocracy and growth.”
Related: Time Names Putin 'Person of the Year': But Has He Really Saved Russia?
Great Shell Game in Duma
In the Moscow Times, Carnegie's Nikolai Petrov writes about the final composition of the Russian State Duma. “The authorities used the Duma elections as a means of cleansing their ranks,” writes Petrov. “The mayors of Pskov and Kaliningrad, as well as the heads of a few smaller cities and the head of the state council of the Adygeya republic, were sent to the Duma as a form of honorable discharge. They had fallen out of favor with the regional heads and left peacefully; their Duma seats served as a retirement package of sorts.”
Medvedev's Russia vs. Putin's
In the Washington Post, Carnegie Moscow Center's Sam Greene comments on Putin's choice of successor as president: Dmitri Medvedev. "Next spring, when Putin moves out of the Kremlin and Medvedev moves in, Russia will undoubtedly change," writes Greene. "Unfortunately, knowing who will be president tells us virtually nothing about the direction that change will take."
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