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Abstract: Summary points
- Yemen’s power structures are under great strain as the political elite struggles to adapt to
nationwide grassroots demands for a more legitimate, responsive and inclusive government.
- Dramatic political change in Yemen could lead to violent upheaval and a humanitarian
crisis, against the backdrop of the country’s deteriorating economic and security
conditions. It might also result in a new, more legitimate political configuration.
- In 2010, Western governments initiated a partnership with the Gulf Cooperation Council
(GCC) states to address the security risks posed by the situation in Yemen. This was
based on the recognition that these states have significant financial resources, strong
cultural ties to Yemen and important connections within its informal power networks.
- Ambivalence and limited bureaucratic capacity initially constrained the Gulf states’ potential
to respond strategically to instability in Yemen. However, growing domestic opposition to
Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh, coupled with his diminishing international support,
triggered a collective GCC response in 2011 aimed at mediating a political transition.
- Saudi Arabia maintains extensive transnational patronage networks in Yemen. Many Yemenis
believe it is trying to influence the outcome of political change and that succession dynamics
within the Saudi royal family are affecting the calculations of Yemeni political actors.
- The ‘Arab Spring’ has generated reformist pressures and divergent regime responses
within the Gulf monarchies themselves. This increases the complexity of the policy
landscape regarding Yemen.
Abstract: This policy brief focuses on a case study. It is suggested that an environmental disaster during the summer of 2010 in the Black Sea region triggered in winter 2011 a food crisis in the Arab World; in turn, this led to massive riots, revolts, political instability, a NATO operation and, alas, an oil crisis that accentuates an already suffering global economy. Coextensively, it may be suggested that an environmental crisis triggered a political crisis, which escalated in a series of conflicts that are of major concern for traditional security structures in Europe and beyond. In sum, the argument is made that as a result of this experience, the human security agenda must have a direct effect on our traditional security agenda. The question addressed at this point is how these interrelated chains of events affect the security establishment and our notions of a ‘high strategy.’
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: This paper discusses the diverging perceptions
and responses of Middle Eastern Arab states to the
issue of climate change. It shows how these states’
policies at the regional and international level have
been shaped, even conditioned, by motivations of
economic security of the oil revenue-dependent
states in the region. It also points out the problems
of this kind of an approach and gives suggestions and
justifications for a more balanced policy approach to
climate change. It is argued that the Gulf oil exporting
monarchies need to take a more constructive and
balanced approach to international climate change
mitigation, as this is the precondition for achieving
functional regional cooperation in this area. In the
future, failing to cooperate regionally will exacerbate
climate change-induced problems and instability in
the entire region. Climate change is by its nature a transboundary
problem. The Middle East is considered to be one
of the most vulnerable regions in the world to its
negative impacts. This is even more significant given
that the Middle East is also one of the most volatile
regions in the world in terms of inter- and intrastate
conflict and instability.
Abstract: As the governments of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) undertake the difficult process of enacting social and political change, the unequal status of women presents a particularly formidable challenge. In Iraq, deliberations over women's legal status have been as contentious as negotiations over how to structure the government. In Jordan, measures to increase penalties for so-called honor crimes faced strong resistance by ultraconservative parliamentarians and ordinary citizens who believe that tradition and religion afford them the right to severely punish and even murder female relatives for behavior they deem immoral. These debates are not just legal and philosophical struggles among elites. They are emotionally charged political battles that touch upon fundamental notions of morality and social order.
In order to provide a detailed look at the conditions faced by women in the Middle East and understand the complex environment surrounding efforts to improve their status, Freedom House conducted a comprehensive study of women's rights in the region. The first edition of this project was published in 2005. The present edition offers an updated examination of the issue, with a special focus on changes that have occurred over the last five years. Although the study indicates that a substantial deficit in women's rights persists in every country in the MENA region, the findings also include notable progress, particularly in terms of economic opportunities, educational attainment, and political participation.
Abstract: While much of the world has focused on Iran’s missile developments, and possible nuclear capabilities, this is only one of the risks that threaten the flow of petroleum products from the Gulf – a region with some 60% of the world’s proven conventional oil reserves and 40% of its natural gas. Far more immediate threats have emerged in terms of asymmetric warfare, terrorism, piracy, non-state actors, and other threats.
The Burke Chair at CSIS has developed a new briefing that provides an overview of these threats, showing current trends and highlighting the strategic geography involved. This brief looks beyond Gulf waters and examines the problems created by Iran’s ties to other states and non-state actors throughout the region. It highlights Iran’s capabilities for asymmetric warfare, but it also examines the threat from terrorism and the role it can play in nations like Yemen. It looks at the trends in piracy and in the threat in the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, and Indian Ocean.
The key issues addressed are: Terrorism, asymmetric Warfare, maritime and Border Security, combating piracy, critical facilities and infrastructure, role of chokepoints, and role of State and non-state actors.
Abstract: A brainstorming session on the impact of conflict-driven displacement in the ESCWA region was
held at UN House, Beirut on 9 February 2009. The session was organized by the Section for Emerging
and Conflict Related Issues (ECRI) in order to discuss and solicit inputs and comments on a
forthcoming ESCWA study on the socio-economic impact of displacement in the ESCWA region. The
session provided an opportunity to discuss the challenges posed by displaced populations on host
countries in the region, as well as possible solutions to these challenges. Other topics covered during
the session included the need to formulate clear policy recommendations for ESCWA member countries
and future collaboration between ECRI and United Nations agencies on regional responses to the
problem of displacement.
Abstract: Pendant longtemps, le Moyen-Orient a été vu essentiellement à travers les menaces qui pesaient sur l'approvisionnement des pays occidentaux en pétrole et la confrontation entre Israël et les pays arabes. Le champ géographique était ainsi localisé, les menaces et conflits étaient bien identifiés avec ds périodes de tension pouvant déboucher sur des crises ouvertes comme en 1967, 1973 ou 1979. Certes, les conflits perduraient, qu'il s'agisse du Liban ou de la Palestine, mais des gestions de crise pragmatiques permettaient d'en circonscrire la portée. Depuis le début de ce siècle - le 11 septembre 2001 étant considéré à cet égard comme une rupture -, les turbulences de cette région s'intensifient, se développent et s'étendent géographiquement vers l'est, faisant apparaître de nouveaux acteurs. Du Liban au Pakistan, les fronts de crise se multiplient.
Abstract: Once a year, the Gulf Research Center (GRC), the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP), the RAND Corporation and the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University gather in Gstaad, Switzerland, to analyze and take stock of the strategic situation of the Middle East Region. The 2008 conference focused on the various geopolitical and regional dynamics including the emergence of the Arab Gulf States as significant factors in regional relations; the changing priorities vis-à-vis the Middle East from external actors such as Europe, Asia and Russia; the evolving priorities of the United States as it deals with the continuing challenges of Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and the Arab-Israeli conflict; the economic consequences as a result of the rising price of oil; and the broader transition taking place with the rise of non-state actors, the erosion of state power and the emergence of sub-regional dynamics. Within the context, the conference also took an issue-specific view that included the Arab-Israeli Conflict, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and its relationship with the Middle East, and Iran and the Arab Gulf States. The central themes that ran through this conference included the growing interconnection between problems in the region, therefore making it more difficult to articulate an analysis along national lines; the emergence of ‘bottom-up’ or ‘micro’ politics in Lebanon, Israel (among the Arab population), and the Kurds in Northern Iraq and Turkey; the continuing need for the US in the Middle East; the confusion between transactional and transformational policies; and, finally, the idea of “wildcards”, i.e. unpredictable events which could change the dynamics of the region. The conference concluded with the following assessment: “Regardless of the uncertainty surrounding what the future holds for the Middle East, one thing is certain. We are living a transitional period. In the past, outside powers dealt with one leader, who assumed control over all coercive parts of the states (the security state). This was easier to a certain extent, though the West bemoaned the lack of democracy. Now, the West is regretting the weakness of states and the often --too- lively, and unpredictable politics. Iraq and Lebanon appear to be losing control, but perhaps because a different political culture is emerging. We are experiencing the end of the autocratic, authoritarian period, and heading towards a new era. In the meantime, however, we see something stirring and unpredictable taking place. Perhaps, we should therefore look at it without judgment?”
Abstract: Australia’s withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq should not signal a
withdrawal of Australian security engagement in the Gulf region.
Australia’s ongoing economic, political and security interests in the
region require a coherent approach rather than one of benign neglect
interspersed with occasional bursts of self-interested attention.
Abstract: A new report by the Burke Chair at CSIS focuses on the range of uncertainties that will shape events before the new President takes office. It is not enough, however, for a President to take the oath of office, It takes time to put a new team in place and to take effective action. In the real world, the next President will not be able to fully shape a policy for either war, and gather real momentum in implementing it, until the fall of 2009. That is two military campaign seasons and a host of political developments from now.
This means pragmatic, realistic policy has to be based on how events have changed between this spring and mid to late 2009. If things get steadily better in Iraq in the interim, it would be irresponsible to withdraw without recognizing that fact and seeking some form of victory. If things fall apart in ways that make Iraq security and stability impossible to achieve, it would be equally mindless to irresponsible until 2013.
Abstract: Le Moyen-Orient est, depuis longtemps, une priorité stratégique et économique pour les puissances internationales qui s’y impliquent de différentes manières: négociations politiques, accords commerciaux ou encore investissements divers.
Les transferts d’armes représentent une autre facette de cette implication. Depuis la fin de la Guerre froide, le Moyen-Orient est une des régions du monde qui a importé le plus d’armements. En effet, l’approvisionnement militaire de la région semble être une réponse automatique des puissances étrangères aux défis auxquels leurs alliés locaux doivent faire face.
Sur les cinq dernières années, la région a concentré plus d’un cinquième des importations mondiales, principalement en raison des achats effectués par 5 États : les Émirats arabes unis, Israël, l’Égypte, l’Iran et l’Arabie saoudite.
Du côté des exportateurs, les contrats sont également conclus par un petit nombre de pays. Les États-Unis, qui comptent pour la moitié des exportations, fournissent les pays du CCG et Israël. Ils sont suivis par les États membres de l’Union européenne dont les armes ont généralement les mêmes destinations. Enfin, les transferts de la Russie et la Chine se dirigent vers les pays délaissés par Washington et Bruxelles.
Abstract: Despite increased European foreign policy coordination and presence in most areas of the world the Gulf region and more specifically the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) continue to represent an area of neglect. One need only compare policies towards the Gulf with policies towards the North African and Middle Eastern states included within the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (EMP) to witness this deficit. Despite the shortcomings of the EMP this initiative represents a coordinated and embedded European strategy towards the southern Mediterranean that has not been extended to the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This is all the more surprising given the fact that the Arabian Peninsula concentrates several pivotal issues of international concern, including energy security, Middle Eastern regional security, counterterrorism and debates over Arab democratic reform. European weight in this region remains negligible, and the EU as a collective entity has failed to develop a comprehensive and coherent policy towards this crucial part of the Middle East. This neglect is explained by two European judgements: first, that the Gulf does not present the kind of acute geopolitical urgency that would merit paying the costs associated with a greater engagement in the region; second, that the EU has negligible capacity to affect social, economic or political change in the Gulf and that its interests are thus best served by stability-oriented caution. Such judgements might contain a healthy dose of realism; but the EU may also pay a price for its passivity in the
Abstract: While Qatar is a member of the Organization of the Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC) and is a significant oil producer, the government has devoted more resources to the development of natural gas in recent years, particularly for export as liquefied natural gas (LNG). In 2006, Qatar reportedly surpassed Indonesia to become the largest exporter of LNG in the world. Together, revenues from the oil and natural gas sectors amount to 60 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). Domestically, the vast majority of Qatar's total energy consumption comes from natural gas (79 percent), while the balance is supplied by oil.
Abstract: Freedom House welcomes the vote by the United Nations General Assembly to elect Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina for the two open seats for Eastern European States in yesterday's election to the UN Human Rights Council. Belarus, the third candidate for the East Europe vacancies, was defeated in a tight race following a vigorous campaign by numerous human rights organizations and countries opposed to the candidacy of a country with one of the world's most abysmal human rights records.
WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean consists of four technical divisions headed by directors reporting to Deputy Regional Director/Regional Director. They are: Health Protection and Promotion (DHP), Health Systems and Services Development (DHS), Communicable Disease Control (DCD), General Management (DAF). There are two departments in the office of the Assistant Regional Director and they report directly to the Assistant Regional Director. The two departments are Knowledge Management & Sharing and Policy & Strategy Support. Five priority programmes are supervised by the Regional Directory/Deputy Regional Director while reporting through their respective divisional directors. The priority programmes are the Tobacco Free Initiative, Roll Back Malaria, Stop TB, Community-based Initiatives, Women in Health and Development. Further, the regional office runs a special programmes on Polio Eradication, which reports directly to the Regional Director. Another is the UNAIDS Inter-Country Programme. It gives support to the development of an expanded response to HIV/AIDS through the coordinated action of the UN theme groups on HIV/AIDS as well as the process of national strategic planning; collaborates with EMRO in the joint response to HIV/AIDS at the regional and country level; strengthens partnerships with UNAIDS cosponsers through joint regional initiatives in HIV/AIDS priority areas.
Abstract: With the world's attention focused as never before on political reform and democratization in Arab countries, giving rise to often highly politicized debates, it is important to provide accurate, factual information about Arab political systems and reforms being introduced in the region. This webpage represents a joint undertaking of the Democracy and Rule of Law Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington and the Fundacixc3xb3n para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Dixc3xa1logo Exterior (FRIDE) in Madrid. It provides easily accessible baseline information about the political systems of Arab countries, with links to official documents and websites, and will be frequently updated to provide information about reforms being introduced.
Abstract: The Gulf monarchies - Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi
Arabia and the United Arab Emirates - stand to become
increasingly important for European foreign policy concerns.
These states are a primary focus of the European Union's new
energy security policy, European counter-terrorist efforts and a
new programme of NATO security cooperation. In the wake of
several leadership successions and with elections either having
recently been held or imminent in several Gulf states, it is
essential for European foreign policy interests that the extent
and form of political change in the region be fully understood.
While the obstacles to far-reaching reform remain formidable,
Gulf polities increasingly have revealed themselves to be less
static and more complex than regularly assumed. This
Backgrounder looks at some of the detailed aspects of - and
limits to - the Gulf's reform processes in order to help shed
light on debates over the future evolution of its monarchies.
Abstract: Debates over democracy continue to occupy not only U.S. and European policymakers but Arabs as well. Arguments rage about the merits of top-down versus bottom-up democratization. In coffeehouses and in taxis, Arabs discuss the issue. Can democracy take root in Arab countries? How can democracy's supporters move democratization forward? Is civil society a precursor for democracy, or can civil society thrive only once democracy is achieved? How do each country's internal and external dynamics affect the process? In order to gauge progress, it is necessary to measure democracy. Comparisons of such measurements taken in seventeen Arab states between 1999 and 2005 suggest not only is progress lacking in most countries, but across the Middle East, reform has backslid.
Abstract: This article considers the prospects for Islamist groups gaining power in Middle Eastern countries. It begins with a brief glance at the past quarter century since the Islamic Revolution in Iran, examining why--despite predictions to the contrary--Islamists throughout the region have had only very limited success in taking power so far. It then goes on to identify the various strategies Islamists have employed so far in their quest for power, considering the likelihood that these strategies will succeed in the future in accomplishing their goals. The article also appraises the chance that success in one country will ignite an avalanche of Islamist takeovers.
Abstract: Ten years ago, the idea of writing a substantial paper about NATO's role in the Greater Middle Eastxe2x88x97 would have been implausible. Indeed, at that time NATO was only tentatively involved in southeast Europe - let alone southwest Asia - and the organization's own future remained highly uncertain. In August 1995, after four years of hesitation and debate over the issue of extending the zone of operation of what had once been a strictly defensive alliance, NATO intervened militarily for the first time in Bosnia. However, this only occurred after organizations like the United Nations (UN) and the Western European Union (WEU) were seen to have failed, and the mission was not regarded as a precedent for Alliance action in the Middle East or Asia. At the time, few could have envisaged that a decade later NATO would be deploying over 10,000 troops to Afghanistan, training Iraqi military forces in Baghdad and increasing its political and military cooperation with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). That, however, is precisely the situation today.
Abstract: On June 26-28, 2005, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy and the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy held their sixth annual conference in Gstaad, Switzerland. The conference was devoted to a dialogue on "The Middle East: Changing Strategic Environment." Participants discussed democracy and stability in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Palestine, and Israel; the situation in Iraq; Iran's nuclear program; the roles of #the United States, the EU, and the UN Security Council in promoting stability and change in the region; strategies for countering Islamic terrorism; and developments in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Abstract: Le contenu du programme de l'UNHCR au
Moyen-Orient est déterminé par quatre grandes
crises: le flot incessant des demandeurs d'asile et
des migrants qui quittent la Corne de l'Afrique pour
rallier le Yémen, la crise au Soudan et ses répercussions
en xc3x89gypte, en République arabe syrienne
(Syrie) et en Jordanie, la situation en Iraq et son
impact sur les pays limitrophes qui accueillent des
Iraquiens, et enfin les effets produits, dans les pays
hxc3xb4tes, par la présence de réfugiés palestiniens qui
subissent un exil d'une longueur exceptionnelle.
Pendant des décennies, les pays du Moyen-Orient
ont généreusement prodigué leur hospitalité aux
réfugiés. Aujourd'hui, néanmoins, les problxc3xa8mes de
sécurité nationale qui se posent dans la région
mettent Ã rude épreuve la tolérance que les xc3x89tats
témoignai#ent traditionnellement aux réfugiés et aux
demandeurs d'asile. Dans le mxc3xaame temps, les pays
oxc3xb9 les réfugiés sont habituellement réinstallés ont
quelques réticences Ã accepter les candidats en provenance
du Moyen-Orient depuis les événements
du 11 septembre 2001.
Abstract: Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arabian Peninsula leader Abdulaziz Al-Muqrin issued calls for the Saudi royal family to be overthrown. Conquering Saudi Arabia would be the first step towards establishing a Caliphate that would liberate the third holy place [Jerusalem] and unite all the Muslims of the world. The nightmare scenario for the West in one in which Saudi oil production (10% of world output) is taken out by terrorist attacks or by regime change. The Saudi ruling family is stuck between two contradictory policies: appeasement of puritanical Islam and alliance with America.