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Abstract: This is a transcript of an event held on 5 October at Chatham House. The panellists, drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts, examined the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict.
As the latest round of negotiations aimed at resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict was embarked on in September 2010, the regional ramifications of the much-interrupted peace process have never appeared more important. State actors close to the conflict such as Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and non-state actors such as Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, all have a stake in the outcome of the peace talks. Together with the wider Arab League membership and Iran, not all of them wish the process to succeed, or succeed on the terms envisaged by the US and its allies in the European Union.
This panel drawn from the Middle East and North Africa Programme's regional experts will examine what is at stake for the regional neighbours of Israel and the Palestinians. What influence have they had over the initial progress of the negotiations? Are their actions critical in helping or hindering the outcome of the bilateral talks? What alternatives or reactions might they envisage should this latest attempt at peace fail?
Abstract: The recent political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa region have exposed growing concerns about conflict risk, political stability, and reform prospects across its societies. Given the prevalence of oil and gas resource endowments in the region, which a voluminous literature suggests can be associated with adverse development consequences, this paper examines the interplay between their associated rents and political economy trajectories. The contribution of the paper is threefold: first, to examine the quantitative evidence of violent conflict in the region since 1960; second, to provide a nuanced review of the regional case study literature on the relationship between resource endowments, political stability, and conflict risk; and third, to assess how prospective political transitions have implications for the World Bank Group's work in the region on public sector management and private sector development. The authors find that resources and regimes have intersected to provide stability and limited violent conflict in the region, but that these development patterns have yielded a set of policy choices and development patterns that are proving increasingly brittle and unsustainable. A major institutional challenge for reforms will be to consolidate a requisite degree of inter-temporal credibility and stability in these regimes, while expanding inclusiveness in state-society relations.
Abstract: The Combating Terrorism Center is an independent educational and research institution based in the Department of Social Sciences at the United States Military Academy, West Point. The CTC Sentinel harnesses the Center’s global network of scholars and practitioners to understand and confront contemporary threats posed by terrorism and other forms of political violence.
This volume contains the following articles:
- The Death of Usama bin Ladin: Threat Implications for the U.S. Homeland, By Philip Mudd
- Terrorist Tactics in Pakistan Threaten Nuclear Weapons Safety, By Shaun Gregory
- The Syrian Uprising: Evaluating the Opposition, By Mahmud Hasan
- Can Al-Qa`ida Survive Bin Ladin’s Death? Evaluating Leadership Decapitation, By Jenna Jordan
- Hizb Allah’s Position on the Arab Spring, By Benedetta Berti
- Israel, Hizb Allah, and the Shadow of Imad Mughniyyeh, By Bilal Y. Saab
- The Taliban’s Conduct of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, By Ben Brandt
Abstract: The phrase “Cherkessian Factor” usually refers to the influence exerted by the ethnic solidarity of the Cherkessian (Abkhaz-Adyg) peoples, both those located in the Russian Federation and the Cherkessian diaspora in Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Egypt. This influence is felt on political, social, and cultural processes in the Caucasus and in countries with a large Cherkessian population. It is increasingly likely that this Cherkessian factor will lead to further destabilization in the North Caucasus.
The Carnegie Moscow Center, as part of the Black Sea Peacebuilding Network, hosted a discussion on the Cherkessian factor. Alexander Skakov of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, and Nikolay Silaev of the Center for Caucasian Studies, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, spoke on this factor and its potential influence. Carnegie’s Andrei Ryabov moderated.
The speakers concluded by discussing possible avenues for resolving the tensions created by the Cherkessian factor in the North Caucasus, including full-scale privatization of land ownership; implementation of the provisions of federal law for municipalities; and effective action against corruption. They argued that such reforms would “permit a significant portion of the population to return to normal economic activity, which is currently impossible, and would thus automatically reduce the unhealthy interest in politically charged questions of ethnic identity … and in radical Islamism.” However, they warned the Russian government does not seem to recognize the necessity of such reforms to help stem the increasing violence in the region.
Abstract: Child Protection in United Nations Peacekeeping: Volume I is the first
in a series illustrating the challenges and successes of protecting
children in some of the most dangerous places on earth. In the
following pages you will learn about the work of Dee, Svjetlana, James
and Julie—peacekeepers and child protection advisers who rely on their
diverse individual experience at home and in the field to introduce the
relatively new concept of child protection to missions in distinct conflict
and post-conflict situations.
The creation of this publication was initiated by Under-Secretary-General
for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy and Special Representative
of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika
Coomaraswamy on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day when the two
United Nations officials reaffirmed their commitment to protect innocent
girls and boys faced with the brutality of war.
Abstract: The objective of this report is to provide a comprehensive, long-term and regional framework for thinking about water in the Middle East, which can be implemented with specific policy decisions, beginning in the immediate future, by individual countries or small groups of countries without waiting for all the countries in the region to move forward.
Such a framework recognises the potential of water to deliver a new form of peace – the blue peace – while presenting long term scenarios of risks of wars and humanitarian crisis.
The report takes a comprehensive view of rivers, tributaries, lakes and underground water bodies. It is based on the recognition of linkages between watercourses. It is not only impossible for any one country to manage a water body in isolation from other riparian countries but it is also impossible to manage a water body without examining its linkages with other watercourses in the region.
The report takes a long-term view. The countries that are friendly today may be antagonistic tomorrow and the ones which are enemies today may be friends tomorrow. The history of merely last ten years in the Middle East demonstrates how quickly the geopolitical scene changes. The political equations of today cannot be assumed to remain constant during the next decade and beyond. Our vision, therefore, should not be imprisoned by the current context. We have to anticipate alternative political trajectories for the next couple of decades in order to find solutions that are sustainable in the long run.
The report provides a regional perspective. Since watercourses, both surface and underground, do not understand political boundaries, it would be natural to have a regional approach to water management. The nation centric approach is unnatural and therefore unsustainable.
Abstract: The Lebanese authorities must take urgent steps to establish an independent commission to fully investigate the fates of thousands of people missing since Lebanon’s civil war, Amnesty International said today (14 April) as it published a new report on this issue. The report, Never Forgotten: Lebanon’s Missing People, documents a bitter legacy of the 1975-1990 civil war: the thousands of people whose fates remain unknown. Some went missing after they were arrested or captured by parties to the conflict, others may have been killed during battles and massacres, while others vanished in unclear circumstances.
Thousands of people who disappeared during the bitter civil war
that wracked lebanon from 1975-90 and its aftermath are still
missing. some were detained by different parties to the conflict,
others may have been killed in the fighting or caught up in the
massacres that punctuated the war and dumped in mass graves
where their bodies lay unidentified. others simply vanished. Their
relatives suffer unrelenting pain and anguish as a result; they
remain determined to find out what happened.
Abstract: National security is normally seen in terms of military strength and internal security operations against extremists and insurgents. The upheavals that began in Tunis, and now play out from Pakistan to Morocco,. have highlighted the fact that national security is measured in terms of the politics, economics, and social tensions that shape national stability as well. It is all too clear that the wrong kind of internal security efforts, and national security spending that limits the ability to meet popular needs and expectations can do as much to undermine national security over time as outside and extremist threats.
It is equally clear that calls for democracy are at best only the prelude to dealing with critical underlying problems, pressures, and expectations. It is far from certain that even successful regime change can evolve into functional democracies and governance. Countries with no political parties and experienced leaders, with no history of checks and balances in government, with weak structure of governance led by new political figures with no administrative experience, will often descend into chaos, extremism, or a new round of authoritarianism. Even the best governments, however, are unlikely to change an economy and national infrastructure in less than half a decade, and existing demographic pressures will inevitably go on for at least the next decade.
Abstract: As Iran’s fluid perceptions regarding its competition with the US have not been previously explored in-depth, such an analysis is vital if Iran’s strategic goals and intentions are to be properly understood in context. With the assistance of Adam Seitz of the Marine Corps University, the Burke Chair has compiled a series of chronological news articles from both Western and Iranian sources that seek to illuminate this perception and assess Iran’s intentions concerning its competition with the US.
Iran‟s asymmetric opposition to the US manifests itself in the following three ways: a) the development and mass production of low-tech, low-cost weapons systems to offset modern US military technology, b) Iranian-supplied and trained paramilitary proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in Gaza, and “special groups” in Iraq and Afghanistan, and c) a doctrine of striking at US economic interests in the Persian Gulf, such as oil platforms and tankers.
Abstract: China’s rise on the international stage has been accompanied by an increase in its military’s presence. Beijing’s expanding ambition is prompting calls on the country’s leaders to be more proactive in protecting its national interests. These calls by Chinese analysts have raised concerns about the military’s capability to mobilize troops to defend the country’s vast borders.
Abstract: An animated map of recent protests in the Middle East as they spread from country to country, updated with the most recent events. Particular outcomes indicated with descriptions of the progression of events for each nation.
Abstract: The Portfolio of Mine Action Projects is a resource tool and reference document for donors, policy-makers, advocates, and national and international mine action implementers. The country and territory-specific proposals in the portfolio reflect strategic responses developed in the field to address all aspects of the problem of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). This country and territory-based approach aims to present as comprehensive a picture as possible of the full range of mine action needs in particular countries and thematic issues related to mine action. The portfolio ideally reflects projects developed by mine- and ERW-affected countries and territories based on their priorities and strategies; the approaches are endorsed by national authorities. The portfolio does not automatically entail full-scale direct mine action assistance by the United Nations, but is in essence a tool for collaborative resource mobilization, coordination and planning of mine action activities involving partners and stakeholders. A country portfolio coordinator (CPC) leads each country portfolio team and coordinates the submission of proposals to the portfolio’s headquarters team. While the majority of the CPCs are UN officials, this role is increasingly being assumed by national authorities. The country portfolio teams include representatives from national and local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the United Nations and the private sector. Locally based donor representatives are invited to attend preparation meetings. Each portfolio chapter contains a synopsis of the scope of the landmine and ERW problem, a description of how mine action is coordinated, and a snapshot of local mine action strategies. Many of the strategies complement or are integrated into broader development and humanitarian frameworks such as national development plans, the UN development assistance frameworks and national poverty reduction plans. This 14th edition of the annual Portfolio of Mine Action Projects features overviews and project outlines for 29 countries, territories or missions affected by landmines and explosive remnants of war. There are 238 projects in the 2011 portfolio. Africa accounts for the largest number: 92.
Abstract: Poor conflict-affected countries tend to have large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and, in at least some cases, large numbers of refugees. But the figures should be treated with caution; in some cases, such as Angola and Sierra Leone, governments simply decided that there are no longer IDPs, even if in fact many of those displaced by the conflicts have yet to find durable solutions. It is important to note that displacement is not confined to poor conflict affected states, but it is also a characteristic of some middle income countries, some of which have stable governments, such as Georgia, Colombia, Azerbaijan, Syria and Turkey.
This report was prepared for the Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011. It explores patterns of displacement and the linkages between armed conflict and education. Some recommendations include:
• That UN agencies and civil society organizations provide necessary technical support to governments to adopt the necessary laws and policies to ensure that IDPs and refugees have access to education.
• That UN agencies, NGOs and bilateral donors ensure that programs developed to provide education to IDPs and refugees take into consideration the broader context of DACs, for example in ensuring that host and return communities are supported in their efforts to provide educational opportunities to the displaced or returnees.
• That GMR highlight the importance of humanitarian and development actors working together to develop ways to re-establish educational systems in post-conflict settings.
Abstract: This report explores issues in US-Lebanon relations. It provides an overview of Lebanese politics, major events in Lebanon since 2005 and issues in US-Lebanon relations. The author discusses Lebanon's regional relations with Syria as well as the sectarian conflict within the country. The report concludes with an overview of US economic and security assistance to Lebanon.
Abstract: This week marked the sixth anniversary of the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, killed in a Beirut bombing on February 14, 2005. Noting the solemn occasion, UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon issued a statement paying tribute to Hariri and the other twenty-two people killed that day and reaffirming the UN's "commitment to the efforts of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon to uncover the truth so as to bring those responsible to justice and send a message that impunity will not be tolerated." Meanwhile, outgoing prime minister Saad Hariri, Rafiq's son, pledged to abstain from the coalition government led by Hizballah, whose members include several of the Special Tribunal's primary suspects. Joining the political opposition, Saad called for mass protests on March 14 -- the date of the 2005 Cedar Revolution and the name of his own coalition -- and accused Hizballah and its allies of "lies, betrayal, and lack of loyalty."
Even as the Hizballah-led coalition prepares to take the reins of power, crowning the group as the dominant political force in Lebanon, a series of international criminal investigations have highlighted the organization's illicit activities at home and abroad. From money laundering and narcotrafficking to the Hariri assassination, Hizballah's track record of worldwide criminal activity may soon catch up with its political ambitions at home.
Abstract: Poverty is often identified as a determinant of terrorist group participation, but existing research reveals mixed support for this relationship. Some studies find that macroeconomic decline is associated with increased production of terrorists, but micro-level research suggests terrorists have above average socioeconomic status and educational attainment. In this article, the author argues that poverty should increase terrorist group participation only for individuals with high education. The author suggests that as a result of terrorist group selection preferences and the lower opportunity costs for militant group membership in economically depressed environments, the likelihood of terrorist group participation should be highest for the highly educated, poor members of any population. The author tests the hypotheses using data from Krueger and Maleckova (2003) on participation in Hezbollah, adding an interaction term to their model. The results support the hypotheses. Poverty increases the likelihood of participation in Hezbollah only for those with at least high school education.
Abstract: The landslide victory of the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement,
Hamas, in the 2006 parliamentary elections in the Occupied
Palestinian Territory and the movement’s military takeover of the
Gaza Strip in the following year revealed that Hamas cannot be ignored
as a key player in Palestinian politics. Hamas is well-known
for its anti-Israeli charter from 1988 and its violent attacks against
Israel. Less known is that Hamas has its own recipe for solving the
conflict with Israel peacefully. The core principle of this recipe is
the Islamic concept of hudna, the extended ceasefire. To learn
more about Hamas’s hudna proposals, PRIO research staff interviewed
Hamas leaders in Gaza, Syria and Lebanon. This policy
brief provides an analysis of those interviews, showing that where
the Oslo process failed to achieve its intended aim – the resolution
of all final-status issues – Hamas seeks to reach agreement on issues
where agreement is possible and to postpone the obstacles to
progress for the next generation to solve.
Abstract: In 2009 and 2010 no new internal displacements took place but a number of displacement
situations persisted following three periods of conflict or violence: the 1975-1990
civil war and the related interventions by Israel until 2000 and Syria until 2005; the 33-day
war of July 2006 between Israel and Hezbollah; and the armed conflict that led to the destruction
of the Nahr el-Bared camp for Palestinian refugees in 2007. Sectarian violence
also caused significant temporary displacement in 2008.
Lebanon does not have a national internal displacement policy. In successive situations
of displacement, the response has been undertaken by state institutions, national societies,
political parties, local communities and the international community; however
the lack of a national policy has led to differences in the assistance provided to different
As of September 2010, out of almost 26,000 Palestinian refugees displaced from Nahr
el-Bared camp, nearly 16,000 were living in the area adjacent to the camp. Over 10,400 of
them were still living in temporary accommodation there. A further 10,000 people were
still displaced elsewhere in Lebanon, most of them in the nearby Beddawi camp.
desk study on “The use of medical evidence
and expert opinions in international and
regional judicial mechanism and in selected
domestic jurisdictions” aims to provide an
insight into how medical evidence is viewed
and evaluated in court proceedings on alleged
torture cases today. The study looks
into the procedural rules as well as the
practice relating to evaluation of medical
evidence and expert opinions by the relevant
tribunals. The special issue further features
studies on investigations and evidence collection
in selected domestic jurisdictions
in torture cases. These studies have been
conducted in five countries from different
regions and with differing legal systems –
Ecuador, Georgia, Lebanon, The Philippines
and Uganda. In these countries the IRCT
has, for a number of years, worked with
local members and partners to promote the
value and use of medical documentation of
Our hope is that the study may serve
as a reference document for those involved
in legal cases seeking to prove allegations
of torture through the submission of medical
evidence or wishing to advocate legal
changes in this area.
Abstract: Across the globe today, you'll find almost three dozen raging conflicts, from the valleys of Afghanistan to the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the streets of Kashmir. But what are the next crises that might erupt in 2011? Here are a few worrisome spots that make our list. [Captions provided by International Crisis Group]
Abstract: This paper is a summary of an expert consultation which examined the impact of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon on Lebanon and the wider region and its contribution to international justice. The objective is to raise and
maintain awareness of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and explore its
impact on Lebanon and the wider region and its contribution to international
criminal justice. It seeks to provide a continuing analysis of the work of the
Tribunal as the latest in a succession of criminal courts and tribunals which
have been established with the help of the international community. The
project will stimulate debate, share expertise and support the Tribunal’s work.
Abstract: This paper analyzes the evolution of the Shiite political elites within the Lebanese confessional and consociational political system. It also explores the circumstances that gave rise to Hezbollah and established it as the most popular and powerful force in the Shiite community. The paper explains recent political developments in Lebanon, particularly the mounting Sunni-Shiite tensions, and offers recommendations to address the ongoing Lebanese political crisis.
Abstract: It is hard to see who can emerge victorious in Lebanon’s latest crisis. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) dealing with the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri soon will issue its first indictments. As speculation grows that its members will be named, Hizbollah has warned of firm action if the government, now led by the victim’s son, Saad Hariri, fails to denounce the tribunal. If the prime minister complies, he and his partisans would suffer a devastating political blow. If he does not, consequences for them and the country could be more ruinous still. If Hizbollah does not live up to its threats, it will lose face. If it does, its image as a resistance movement may be further sullied. There are no good options, but the best of bad ones is to find an inter-Lebanese compromise that, by distancing Lebanon somewhat from the STL, preserves the country’s balance of power without wholly undermining the work the tribunal has done so far. Saudi Arabia and Syria reportedly are working on such a scheme. It would be prudent for others to support such efforts and suggest their own ideas. The alternative is to either wake up to a solution they dislike or try to upset the only credible chance for a peaceful outcome.
Abstract: The Convention on Cluster Munitions is the only viable solution to ending the scourge of cluster munitions, Human Rights Watch said in a new book released today. As diplomats in Geneva opened discussions on a weak alternative, Human Rights Watch said that eliminating the harm caused by these inhumane weapons requires the absolute and comprehensive ban contained in the convention.
The 224-page book, Meeting the Challenge: Protecting Civilians through the Convention on Cluster Munitions, is the culmination of a decade of research by Human Rights Watch. It details the humanitarian toll of cluster munitions, analyzes the international process that resulted in the treaty successfully banning them, and presents the steps that nations that have signed the convention should take to fulfill its promise.
"The facts on the ground leave no doubt that cluster munitions inevitably kill and maim many civilians," said Bonnie Docherty, senior researcher in the arms division at Human Rights Watch. "Nations serious about stopping this suffering should join the ban convention and not settle for ineffective half-measures."
Abstract: Jaber Suleiman’s paper, ‘Trapped refugees: the case of Palestinians in Lebanon’, clearly
sets out the restricted legal, political, economic and social conditions within which
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are forced to live. More than any of the other four
populations under the UNRWA mandate, Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are deprived of
basic civil and human rights. Their rights to residency, travel and freedom of movement
are subject to arbitrary and often contradictory national legislation; their right to work and own property; is severely restricted. The temporary protection measures outlined in
the Casablanca Protocol of 1965 are barely respected. In the aftermath of the Nahr el-
Bared debates regarding its rebuilding and the possible association with tawteen,
Suleiman maintains that Palestinians in Lebanon do not wish to be naturalised or
integrated; they do not wish to give up their claims to Palestine but simply seek to
“mitigate their destitution and alleviate their day-to-day suffering.”
The paper by Nisrine Mansour and Nasser Yassin, ‘Protecting refugees and governing
spaces: the case of the reconstruction of the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian refugee camp in
Lebanon’, places the discussion of the rebuilding of the Nahr el-Bared camp in the current
concerns with the ‘global war on terror’ and the securitisation debates which link refugees
to threats to national security. The paper asks the question whether post-conflict
reconstruction is designed to restore refugee protection - as the state claims - or rather to
implement greater control, confinement and exclusion. Using Foucault’s framework of
governmentality they analyse the Lebanese state’s protection and reconstruction policy
and practice over Nahr el-Bared camp. They conclude that, while the reconstruction plan
for the camp in strictly technical and applied terms is a model of innovation and creative
use of space, it has serious implications for the rights and protection of refugees.