The strident tone of Osama bin Laden's latest videotape masks an ideological crisis for Al-Qaeda. Arab politics have transcended the legacy of Al-Qaeda. Today gradualism, participation, and democratic reform, rather than radical violence and jihad, set the agenda.
Martha Brill Olcott discusses U.S.-Azeri relations with NPR's Michelle Kelemen.
The security situation in Azerbaijan is strained because of the country’s antagonistic neighbors: Turkmenistan, Iran, and Armenia. Russian policy in the South Caucasus also threatens regional stability. Azerbaijan's long border with Iran could cause problems should the confrontation over Iran’s nuclear program escalate.
The states of Central Asia are of increasing strategic importance for the U.S., yet unfortunately the opportunities that U.S. policy-makers have for influencing developments in this region are relatively circumscribed.
Nikolai Petrov, of the Carnegie Moscow Center, analyzed the recent elections to Russian regional parliaments and looked forward to national elections in 2007-2008.
If Francis Fukuyama is right, the neoconservative movement is dying. Good riddance. Through their network within the Bush administration, these intellectuals wreaked havoc on American national security interests, ruined the international reputation of the country and drove up a staggering national debt.
Political reform in Syria is influenced not only by domestic forces but also by regional developments and the policies of Western countries, particularly the United States. At present, those policies are not helping the cause of political reform.