Talks last week between Iran and world powers in Geneva—and the first public, bilateral negotiations between the United States and Iran in 30 years—yielded unexpected progress. Iran has been forced onto the defensive by its loss of legitimacy, exacerbated by the gains President Obama made by demonstrating resolve to negotiate a peaceful accommodation with the Islamic Republic.
Representing 40 non-government organizations at today’s UN conference, Jessica Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment, urged key governments to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
Afghanistan’s weak central government and limited resources make the informal networks employed by local warlords a viable option for governance. The country’s former warlords, made powerful governors by President Hamid Karzai, use both formal and informal powers to achieve security objectives and deliver development in their provinces.
Critics of President Obama’s move to reconfigure the proposed missile shield in Europe have accused the administration of kowtowing to Russia in the naïve hope of increased pressure from Moscow on Iran. Kimberly Misher contends that the president’s decision was the right one based on technical, financial, political, and security considerations.
The languishing Doha Round of global trade talks elicits questions about the limitations of the World Trade Organization, just as economic crisis and burgeoning protectionist pressures demonstrate the urgency of strengthening trade rules.
Lahcen Achy, a noted economist on the Middle East and North Africa, has joined the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, Lebanon. His work will focus on socioeconomic issues and development policies in the region, with a particular emphasis on labor markets and regional integration.
The imbalance of power in Arab countries allows regimes to stay in control virtually unchallenged by non-violent opposition groups. Without a break in the stalemate between the key players—ruling establishments, moderate Islamist movements, and secular parties—democratization is impossible.
A confluence of looming challenges—economic ruin, an emerging water shortage, violent extremism, and a growing secessionist movement—threaten to overwhelm the Yemeni government, provide a breeding ground for terrorists, and destabilize the region.
The international community’s inability to respond quickly and effectively to safeguards violations is the principal weakness of the nonproliferation regime today. At the upcoming Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference in May 2010, member states should address this problem by recognizing that safeguards non-compliance constitutes a violation of the NPT.
The widening division between Fatah and Hamas threatens any chance for a diplomatic breakthrough on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. Neither Palestinian faction is moving closer to reconciliation with or capitulation to the other side.
Taiya Smith, former deputy chief of staff and lead negotiator for the U.S.–China Strategic Economic Dialogue for Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, has joined the Carnegie Endowment.
Alejandro Foxley, formerly Foreign Minister, and earlier, Finance Minister of Chile, has joined the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace as a member of the Endowment’s International Economics Program.
There is no single solution to the effects of the financial crisis on middle-income countries, but, introducing fundamental labor markets reforms to create high-paying jobs will be the key to restarting economic growth.
Kuwait must enact further electoral and constitutional reform to break the country’s political paralysis. Continued gridlock could lead the emir to override the constitution and dissolve the parliament, dealing a major setback to democracy in Kuwait and the region.
To prevent losing control of Afghanistan, the International Coalition must shift resources to reverse the Taliban’s progress in the North, while reinforcing the Kabul region.
The accelerating pace of climate change, increasing competition over resources, and new territorial claims demand that greater attention be paid to the Arctic.
Indonesia announced that it would ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty immediately after the United States does.
Claremont McKenna College announces the appointment of Minxin Pei as the Tom and Margot Pritzker ’72 Professor of Government and Roberts Fellow, and the director of the Keck Center for International and Strategic Studies.
Efforts to move the Israeli–Palestinian peace process forward will fail if the U.S. continues to marginalize or ignore Hamas. A national unity government—which would require a slower approach to the peace process and depends on difficult concessions—is the only promising solution.
Jessica Mathews, president of the Carnegie Endowment, announced that Richard Giordano, former chairman of the board, BG Group plc, would succeed James C. Gaither as its chairman. Stephen R. Lewis, president emeritus and professor of economics at Carleton College replaces Greg Craig as vice chairman.