November 1, 2010 James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy, Rice Univeristy
In the past 10 years, the rehabilitation of Muslim radicals has become a pressing issue. Great
numbers of radicals have passed in and out of various incarcerating institutions and are returned
to their societies where they frequently rejoin radical groups, sometimes more radicalized and
technically proficient than they were prior to their incarceration. Both Muslim and non-Muslim
governments have sought different methods to rehabilitate radicals, ranging from arranging
debates between radicals and mainstream Muslim religious elite to confronting them with
betrayals and denunciations by relatives, friends, and associates. There are also full-scale “reeducation”
camps. This policy paper will seek to evaluate these methodologies and propose for
the United States a workable policy for re-integrating radicals into society, thus defusing the
power of recidivism....
October 5, 2009 Institute for National Security Studies // Jaffe Center for Strategic Studies
The Middle East remains one of the world’s stormier regions, with fault
lines running across ethnic groups, nation-states, communities, and
religions. Even a cursory overview of the region yields a long list of active and nascent strength in the nuclear realm as the most severe threat to their security.
Over the course of 2008 Iraq witnessed an improvement in security, but
there is still no guarantee that this achievement is stable or that it will be
possible to maintain it once American forces leave the country. At the same time, the conflict in Afghanistan is intensifying anew, and the growing involvement of NATO and US forces is expected to increase even further.
Over the last three years, Israel was involved in two armed confrontations
that were characterized as wars, both against sub-state organizations and
elements supported by Iran. The weight of non-state players in military
confrontations is growing, and military confrontations between countries
are becoming rarer.
Against this background, there is little wonder that the Middle East
remains a region characterized by ever-growing national armed forces
and non-state militias, and remains one of the largest customers of various
types of weaponry....
January 4, 2008 Strategic Studies Institute // U.S. Army War College
The United States and Jordan have maintained a valuable mutually-supportive relationship for decades as a result of shared interests in a moderate, prosperous, and stable Middle East. In this monograph, the author highlights Jordan’s ongoing value as a U.S. ally and considers ways that the U.S.-Jordanian alliance might be used to contain and minimize problems of concern to both countries. Although Jordan is not a large country, it is an important geographical crossroads within the Middle East and has been deeply involved in many of the most important events in the region’s modern history. In recent years, the importance of the U.S.-Jordanian relationship has increased, and Jordan has emerged as a vital U.S. ally in the efforts to stabilize Iraq and also resist violent extremism and terrorism throughout the region. Amman’s traditional role in helping to train friendly Arab military, police, and intelligence forces to its own high standards is a particularly helpful way in which Jordan can enhance efforts to achieve regional security. The United States needs to support efforts to continue and expand this role. Additionally, Jordan maintains a key interest in Palestinian/Israeli issues and has made ongoing efforts to play a constructive role in this setting. Helping Jordan survive, prosper, and modernize correspondingly has become an urgent priority for the United States in its quest for a secure Middle East....
July 12, 2007 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Since its economic crisis in the late 1980s, Jordan has pursued an economic reform program with several inter-related objectives: controlling inflation, cutting the government's budget deficit, fostering exports, supporting private sector development, and rebuilding foreign reserves. Jordan largely succeeded in achieving these goals until the outbreak of the Iraq war in 2003. Since then, however, ripple effects of the war have caused rising inflation, undermining efforts to cut the deficit and promote exports.
September 7, 2010 Combating Terrorism Center // West Point
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. 1. Are the Afghan Taliban Involved in International Terrorism? by Anne Stenersen. 5. The Insurgent-Narcotic Nexus in Helmand Province, by Captain Michael Erwin, U.S. Army. 8. The Expansion Strategy of Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula, by Gregory D. Johnsen. 11. A Profile of Pakistan's Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, by Arif Jamal. 14. The Failure of Salafi-Jihadi Insurgent Movements in the Levant, by Bilal Y. Saab. 18. The Dangerous Ideas of the Neo-Zarqawist Movement, by Murad Batal al-Shishani. 20. The July 17 Jakarta Suicide Attacks and the Death of Noordin Top, by Noor Huda Ismail. 22. Recent Highlights in Terrorist Activity....
October 5, 2010 Integrated Regional Information Networks // UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
The refugee and displacement problem is one of the most complex humanitarian issues facing the Middle East, aid workers say.
Elizabeth Campbell, senior advocate at US NGO Refugees International, believes it is likely the Middle East hosts the highest number of refugees and asylum-seekers in the world. She underlined the need to find lasting solutions: "Any time that people remain uprooted and have not been afforded basic rights or pathways to durable solutions, it is a humanitarian crisis."
IRIN takes a look at the number of refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the region, and the main issues they face....
December 8, 2006 Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
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....
May 26, 2006 United Nations // Electronic Mine Information Network
The mine problem in Jordan is a serious public safety concern and presents an economic challenge, not just for those communities directly affected by the mines, but to the entire country. Jordan has experienced a number of military conflicts and skirmishes, each leaving behind a legacy of landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO).
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.
The Obama administration's emphasis on "smart power" is by now well known. To most observers, that has meant the need to "balance and integrate all elements of our national power" in order to deter and defeat emerging threats, as President Barack Obama himself put it in a speech at National Defense University in Washington on March 12.
Many have focused on Obama's insistence, in the same speech, that "we cannot continue to push the burden on to our military alone" and his commitment to "comprehensive engagement with the world." What has gotten less attention is the central role Obama foresees in this approach for "strengthened partnerships with . . . foreign militaries and security forces that can combat . . . common enemies."
The principle underpins Obama's new, "cooperative" strategy for the Afghanistan war, announced last week. But it also applies to the Middle East, where Washington is quietly building an alliance of heavily armed, pro-U.S. nations meant to contain Iran.
This plan relies on record levels of arms sales to friendly Middle Eastern governments, particularly of missile-defense systems. "Bilateral active missile-defense measures underway are vital elements of regional deterrence and of defensive cooperation, and they should be expanded," Gen. David Petraeus, commander of all U.S. forces in the Middle East and Central Asia, said at a December summit in the United Arab Emirates.
U.S. government-brokered Foreign Military Sales doubled to more than $20 billion between 2005 and 2006. By 2008, proposed FMS deals had reached a record $50 billion. Three-quarters of the sales were requested by Middle East allies. Washington subsidizes around 20 percent of the weapons deals to the region....
A poll of seven majority Muslim nations finds people conflicted about the United Nations. On one hand there is widespread support for a more active UN with much broader powers than it has today. On the other hand, there is a perception that the UN is dominated by the US and there is dissatisfaction with UN performance on several fronts, particularly in dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These are the findings from a WorldPublicOpinion.org survey in Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Iran, Indonesia, the Palestinian Territories, and Azerbaijan. Muslims in Nigeria (50% of the general population) were also polled. The survey was conducted in two waves in 2008. Overall, 6,175 respondents were interviewed in the first wave and 5,363 in the second; a total of 11,538 respondents participated in the study. The first wave was conducted January 12-February 18, 2008 though in two nations it was completed in late 2006. The second wave for all nations was completed July 21-August 31, 2008.Margins of error range from +/-2 to 5 percent. Not all questions were asked in all countries....
A new WorldPublicOpinion.org poll of 17 nations finds that majorities in only nine of them believe that al Qaeda was behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. In no country does a majority agree on another possible perpetrator, but in most countries significant minorities cite the US government itself and, in a few countries, Israel. These responses were given spontaneously to an open-ended question that did not offer response options. On average, 46 percent say that al Qaeda was behind the attacks while 15 percent say the US government, seven percent Israel, and seven percent some other perpetrator. One in four say they do not know. WPO_911_Sep08_graph.jpgGiven the extraordinary impact the 9/11 attacks have had on world affairs, it is remarkable that seven years later there is no international consensus about who was behind them," comments Steven Kull, director of WorldPublicOpinion.org....
When the United Arab Emirates announced in June it was forgiving billions of dollars in Iraqi debt (Al Arabiya), President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed vowed to alleviate "the economic burden faced by the brotherly Iraqi people." But some observers saw the move more as an investment in security than an economic bailout. "The bottom line is that the Iraqi crisis can spill over to impact the political, security, and strategic scene" in Gulf Arab states, writes Abdulaziz O. Sager, chairman of the Gulf Research Center in Dubai. Arab diplomacy may be " a first step" to containing that threat, Sager writes....
In February, journalist Noah Merrill went to Amman, Jordan and spent six weeks interviewing Iraqi refugees there. Most of the 750,000 to a million refugees now living in Jordan have come in the last four years, but the number includes refugees who arrived prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. The Iraqi diaspora must be seen within the perspective of 30 years of Iraqi suffering, beginning with the Iran-Iraq war that killed more than a million, Merrill said.
The following are stories of five refugees now living in Amman.
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.
The Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) was established in 1984 as an academic unit of the University of Jordan concerned mainly with research in the fields of regional conflicts, international relations and security. With the initiation of the country's democratization process in 1989, the center expanded its scope of activities to inclu#de planning and research in such new fields as democracy, political pluralism, the economy and the environment. Over the past few years, the CSS has organized numerous conferences, seminars and workshops, and has conducted several opinion polls aimed at providing researchers and decision-makers with valuable material and data....
The Human Security Network (HSN) is a group of like-minded countries from all regions of the world that, at the level of Foreign Ministers, maintains dialogue on questions pertaining to human security. The Network includes Austria, Canada, Chile, Greece, Ireland, Jordan, Mali, the Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland, Slovenia, Thailand and South Africa as an observer. The Network has a unique inter-regional and multiple agenda perspective with strong links to civil society and academia. The Network emerged from the landmines campaign and was formally launched at a Ministerial meeting in Norway in 1999....
June 14, 2007 Fédération Internationale des ligues des droits de l'Homme // International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims
The so-called "war on terrorism" has seen democratic governments resort to torture and ill treatment of persons suspected of involvement in terrorist activities and has reignited the age-old debate about whether torture can be justified if the purpose is to save innocent lives. In this context, prominent opinion and decision-makers as well as members of the general public in leading democratic countries have argued that new forms of transnational terrorism necessitate a revision of existing legal and moral norms related to torture and ill treatment. At the same time, authoritarian rulers around the world have exploited this climate to step up their oppression of political opposition groups.
In February 2007, with funding from the European Commission, the Fédération International des Droits de l'Homme (FIDH) in partnership with the #IRCT launched the three-year project, "Preventing Torture within the Fight against Terrorism". The overall objective is to contribute to re-establish international respect for the absolute prohibition against torture and ill treatment embedded in international law. The project will do this through a wide range of complementary activities covering research, awareness raising, advocacy and capacity building....
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?...
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....
July 27, 2011 International Centre for Black Sea Studies
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.’...
This report is the culmination of a six-month project commissioned
by the Women’s Refugee Commission and co-funded by the United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to address the
rights and needs of displaced persons with disabilities, with a
particular focus on women (including older women), children and
youth. Based on field research in five refugee situations, as well as
global desk research, the Women’s Refugee Commission sought to
map existing services for displaced persons with disabilities, identify
gaps and good practices and make recommendations on how to
improve services, protection and participation for displaced persons
with disabilities. The objective of the project was to gather initial
empirical data and produce a Resource Kit that would be of
practical use to UN and nongovernmental organization (NGO) field
staff working with displaced persons with disabilities....
This report studies the various means Israel uses to ensure its control of the Jordan Valley
and the northern Dead Sea area: the land, the water sources, the tourist sites, and the
natural resources. Chapter One provides statistics on the area and its residents. Chapters
Two and Three analyze the mechanisms Israel created to control large swaths of land and
the water sources. Chapters Four and Five deal with the restrictions Israel imposes on
Palestinian movement in the area and on building and development of Palestinian
communities. Chapter Six discusses other aspects of economic exploitation – agricultural
development, exploitation of Palestinian labor, control of tourist sites and natural
resources, and placement of Israeli environmental-nuisance disposal facilities in the area.
The last chapter of the report describes the prohibitions established in international
humanitarian law on exploitation of the resources of occupied territory....
September 29, 2008 Minorities at Risk Project // Center for International Development and Conflict Management // National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism
The Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior (MAROB) dataset is a subsidiary of the
Minorities at Risk (MAR) Project. The purpose of this project is to answer fundamental
questions focusing on the identification of those factors that motivate some members of ethnic
minorities to become radicalized, to form activist organizations, and to move from conventional
means of politics and protest into violence and terrorism. Focusing initially on the Middle East
and North Africa, the MAROB project provides information on the characteristics of those
ethnopolitical organizations most likely to employ violence and terrorism in the pursuit of their
perceived grievances with local, national, or international authority structures. The project has
identified 118 organizations representing the interests of all 22 ethnopolitical groups in 16
countries of the Middle East and North Africa, operating between 1980 and 2004. The project developed a set of criteria for the inclusion of organizations into the MAROB dataset. These are as
• The organization makes explicit claims to represent the interests of one or more ethnic groups and/or the
organization’s members are primarily members of a specific ethnic minority.
• The organization is political in its goals and activities.
• The organization is active at a regional and/or national level.
• The organization was not created by a government.
• The organization is active for at least three consecutive years between 1980 and 2006.
• Umbrella organizations (coalitions/alliances) are NOT coded. Instead, member organizations are coded.
Organizations were selected on the basis of their basic longevity. This was operationalized in the following manner:
The first year that an organization is mentioned in a source as being active, it is put on a “watchlist” for potential
inclusion. Once the organization is mentioned in sources for three consecutive years, it is included in the dataset,
coded from the first year of the three consecutive years. If an organization included in the dataset disappears from
source material for five consecutive years, it is no longer coded for following years. If after that time, it is again
mentioned for three consecutive years, it is again included but as a separate organization....