• Commentary

    Living with Palestinian Democracy

    By isolating the new Hamas government diplomatically and financially, the US and its allies have succeeded in bringing the Palestinian Authority to the brink of collapse. In addition, government and opposition leaders in the Middle East regard the West's reaction to Hamas as a test of its sincerity in the push for regional political reform.

    • Commentary

    The Sampson Option

    In 1958, an American U-2 spy plane flying over Israel spotted an unusual construction site near the small Negev Desert town of Dimona. The facility featured a long perimeter fence, building activity and several roads. Israeli officials initially called the facility a textile plant; they later changed their minds and described it as a "metallurgical research installation."

    • Event

    Looking Beyond Elections in Palestine

    Three speakers, all of whom were in Palestine to observe the recent elections there, discussed this dramatic turning point. Having demanded clean elections, the international commumity is now forced to deal with the consequences. As the experts discussed, Hamas' new position of power will have a range of implications for Palestine's domestic and foreign affairs.

    • Research

    Promoting Democracy after Hamas’ Victory

    The victory of Hamas in the Palestinian elections has given rise to much soul searching in Washington about who lost Palestine. The main problem, however, is not U.S. policy but the underlying conditions in the last few months that have led to the victory of Hamas and to the impressive showing by both Shia and Sunni religious parties elsewhere in the region.

    • Research

    Aftermath of the Hamas Tsunami

    • Research

    No Military Options

    Iran is moving to restart its suspended uranium enrichment program. Negotiations with the European Union have collapsed and the crisis is escalating. Does the United States -- or Israel -- have a military option?

    The same neoconservative pundits who campaigned for the invasion of Iraq are now beating the drums on Iran.  Urging us this week to keep military options open, Weekly Standard editor William Kristol said Iran’s “nuclear program could well be getting close to the point of no return.”  Writing from the same talking points, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said, “Instead of being years away from the point of no return for an Iranian bomb…Iran is probably just months away.” 

    Do they reflect the thinking of senior officials closely aligned with these political currents?  No official has indicated that they do.  But just one year ago, Vice President Cheney seemed to be thinking along exactly these lines when he told radio host Don Imus on Inauguration Day, "Iran is right at the top of the list." Cheney came close to endorsing military action, noting that "the Israelis might well decide to act first and let the rest of the world worry about cleaning up the diplomatic mess afterwards."

    There is no need for military strikes against Iran.  The country is five to ten years away from the ability to enrich uranium for fuel or bombs.  Even that estimate, shared by the Defense Intelligence Agency and experts at IISS, ISIS, and University of Maryland assumes Iran goes full-speed ahead and does not encounter any of the technical problems that typically plague such programs. 

    This is not a nuclear bomb crisis, it is a nuclear regime crisis.  US Ambassador John Bolton has correctly pointed out that this is a key test for the Security Council. If Iran is not stopped the entire nonproliferation regime will be weakened, and with it the UN system.

    But it will have to be diplomats, not F-15s that stop the mullahs.  An air strike against a soft target, such as the uranium conversion facility at Isfahan (which this author visited in 2005) would inflame Muslim anger, rally the Iranian public around an otherwise unpopular government and jeopardize further the US position in Iraq.  Finally, the strike would not, as is often said, delay the Iranian program.  It would almost certainly speed it up.  That is what happened when the Israelis struck at the Iraq program in 1981. (Read More)

    • Event

    Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy

    Discussion of Moisés Naím's new book Illicit: How Smugglers, Traffickers, and Copycats are Hijacking the Global Economy.
    VideoFeatures event video and audio.

    • Event

    Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference

    • November 07, 2005

    The 2005 Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference attracted over 800 experts, officials, and journalists from around the world. The conference provided an open forum for informed discussion on the most pressing nonproliferation issues facing the world today, including Iran, North Korea, and the nuclear fuel cycle.  Visit our conference website to catch up on anything you may have missed, including video and audio, transcripts, presentations, guest bloggers and photo galleries of this amazing two-day event.

    • Research

    Legalism Sans Frontières?: U.S. Rule-of-Law Aid in the Arab World

    • David M. Mednicoff
    • September 12, 2005

    Arabs indisputably desire more predictable, responsive, and fair laws, even as the Middle East presents acute challenges to rule-of-law reform. To achieve the most success, the United States should focus less on the performance of courts and concentrate on building a broad social understanding of legal rights and respect for the law’s authority.

    • Commentary

    China's Growing Pains Shouldn't Hurt Us

    China's economy will be bigger than America's within a few decades. In the meantime, rather than trying to block China's access to U.S. assets and markets, the task at hand is to craft, with China, an international system inclusive enough and flexible enough to enable China to grow and for the rest of the world to share the potential gains its economy has to offer.

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