An Israeli–Syrian peace deal is a real possibility and would have a positive effect on the Middle East and U.S. interests there. But the two sides will not reach an agreement without U.S. leadership. The incoming administration should use a balance of pressure, incentives, and robust diplomacy to make the agreement a reality.
The situation in the Middle East is set to deteriorate. The European policy community assessed past European action in the region, lessons learnt, and a future strategy.
The burst of diplomatic activity that the Middle East has witnessed in recent months frequently deviated from Washington's policy guidelines, underscoring the decline in American influence in the region.The new U.S. administration will need a new and more constructive approach to handling the various issues of the Middle East.
Turkey’s increased engagement in the Middle East reflects its desire to become a self-confident regional superpower. Yet, Ankara’s fraught handling of the Kurdish issue has been reactive, alarmist, and insecure. Unless Turkey learns to balance its opposing priorities, the country will witness an increase in ultra-nationalism and isolationism.
A U.S. withdrawal plan for Iraq that creates a political vacuum will invite Iraq's neighbors to shape the nation's internal evolution in accordance with their own security considerations. The U.S.-Iraq deal for combat troop withdrawal by 2011 lacks a much needed political strategy for neutralizing the influence of Iraq’s neighbors.
The status of Golan Heights remains the last major disputed land issue between Israel and its neighbors, outside of its conflict with the Palestinians. Indirect talks between Syria and Israel have set the stage for starting meaningful negotiations, but their success depends heavily on U.S. direct involvement.
Are economic and political reforms an effective way to combat corruption, or do changes such as privatizing state industries actually increase opportunities for corruption? There is not a single answer to the question, but a closer look at the types of corruption
Those anticipating the imminent (re)blossoming of the Syrian "spring" ought not hold their breath. Nearly four years after the transition of power from Hafez Al Asad to his son Bashar, Syria's much-discussed economic reform process has yielded exactly two "private banks" with suspect ownership and operating under the watchful eye of the state.
Apart from some posters and banners scattered across the streets of Damascus announcing elections on April 22-23, there are few signs in Syria of the sort of election fever seen in some Arab countries recently.Electoral platforms addressing real issues are conspicuously absent.
The Syrian media have not shown any serious signs of change since the Baath Party assumed power in a 1963 coup. Indeed, Syria's media sector is one of the most tightly-controlled in the Arab world. The vast majority of publications are state-owned, and rarely express nonconformist opinion