The empowerment of the Arab public, coupled with the realization that change is possible through peaceful means, is a combination powerful enough to fundamentally change the whole region’s dynamic, even if that change does not happen quickly or smoothly.
The board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), by nearly a three-to-one margin, declared Syria out of compliance with its safeguards obligations and reported the issue to the UN Security Council on June 9.
Syrian refugees crossing the border into Turkey are forcing Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to rethink his relationship with Syrian President Assad and making it increasingly likely that he will chart a course on Syria that is more antagonistic toward Damascus.
While the International Atomic Energy Agency has passed a resolution that refers Syria to the UN Security Council for constructing a covert nuclear reactor, there are a number of significant problems with the resolution that could affect the UN’s ability to take action.
Israel destroyed a building in the Syrian desert nearly four years ago that both the United States and Israel argue was a covert nuclear reactor designed to produce plutonium. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last month shared this assessment, countering assertions by Syria.
Rather than continuing with the reform rhetoric heard in many Arab countries, rulers who wish to remain in power must engage in serious, measurable, and inclusive efforts at real reform.
Following the protests and upheaval throughout the Arab world, Syrians took to the streets beginning on March 15, demanding a more responsive and democratic government. What happens in Syria in the coming months will play a critical role in the future of the region.
The unprecedented change in the Middle East has created immediate challenges to maintaining social cohesion and macroeconomic stability. Over the longer-term, countries must define their own political, social, and economic transformations.
Five critical factors—none of which have to do with oil—explain why the United States and Europe are putting so much effort into bringing down Muammar Qaddafi in Libya and are so cautious in dealing with Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
Regardless of how the situation evolves, Syria will not revert to its previous status quo, and any new order will have to take into account the new Arab demands for more accountable and democratic governments, freer societies, and more equitable socio-economic policies.