Marina Ottaway assesses the significance of the January 30 elections for the longer term process of building a democratic Iraqi state. No matter how flawed, the voting will force the various ethnic, religious and political groups in Iraq to confront each other and decide whether they can stay together in one country.
Highly touted in both Washington and Moscow as a "strategic partnership" in 2001, the relationship has drifted and the gap between glowing rhetoric and thin substance has grown. When major policy differences emerge, as over war in Iraq in 2002-2003 and recently over Ukraine, all too easily the U.S.-Russian relationship spirals into "crisis," and the threat of a "new Cold War" looms.
The Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), part of the Bush’s policy of promoting reform, is falling short and should be relaunched as a private foundation funded by the government. Such a relaunch would permit MEPI to develop greater expertise in the region, use more flexible, effective aid methods, and gain some independence from other U.S. programs and policies that serve conflicting ends.
The Russian state is incapable of following Ukraine's path toward democracy, marked recently by the "Orange Revolution," due to rising authoritarian tendencies, marginalized human rights movements, and co-opted civil society.
President Vladimir Putin of Russia has made "three enormous mistakes" in the last year that have underscored his obsession with complete political control.
A discussion forum featuring Anatol Lieven, Daniel Byman, Michael Scheuer, and W. Patrick Lang on the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and the progress of the the "War on Terror."
Listen to audio from the launch of Uncharted Journey: Promoting Democracy in the Middle East.
Carnegie Endowment and UNDP co-hosted a breakfast meeting on “Next Steps in Ukraine.” Click here for audio.