The Saudi royal family acted quickly after King Fahd's death to appoint Crown Prince Abdullah his successor, and Defense Minister Prince Sultan the new crown prince. Although Abdullah had been the real ruler of the kingdom during recent years and no radical change in policy is expected, his enthronement comes amid serious challenges facing Saudi Arabia.
Western assistance should focus on catalyzing domestic reform, a strategy that has received little attention to date. Matthew J. Spence argues that reform can be successful when two conditions are present: first, a policy entrepreneur who favors reform and enjoys some political space to make efforts reality; and second, a plan to implement reforms already part of the policy debate.
For decades, Arab regimes have used scare tactics to encourage the United States and Europe to support their repressive measures toward Islamist movements by invoking the image of anti-Western fanatics taking power through the ballot box. However, today’s moderate Islamists no longer match this nightmare.
Iraq's leaders have affirmed their plan to move forward with the Iraqi constitutional process to produce a draft by the August 15th deadline. But rushing to meet the deadline could result in a draft constitution that embodies the varying interests of Iraq’s contending groups but fails to resolve their differences.
Critics who scoffed at Bush's attempt to put ethics at the heart of U.S. foreign policy were misguided, because such considerations have been a crucial part of policy debates since the country's founding. What they should have criticized instead was Bush's narrow focus on one particular principle, political freedom, in isolation from other components of the American creed.