A sustainable political settlement to end the multiple conflicts in Syria will not be possible without a real focus on the challenges of refugee returns.
Many Arab governments are fueling the very extremism they purport to fight and looking for U.S. cover. Washington should play the long game.
Egypt is at a perilous juncture in a decades-long journey of change. Washington should focus on supporting the Egyptian people more than whoever is currently in power.
The United States must focus more on promoting political and security sector reforms in the Gulf that are critical to long-term regional stability by better integrating its use of military and diplomatic tools.
The Syrian crisis is entering its fourth year without a clear resolution in sight. The West should look beyond the Geneva II conference and implement a comprehensive strategy to push the conflict toward a settlement.
To participate effectively in the political process, new, largely secular parties must overcome their institutional challenges and improve their long-term capacity to deliver what the people need.
To achieve lasting peace and stabilize the democratic transition, the Libyan government, with international support, must build an accountable, inclusive security sector.
The best hope for reconciliation and democracy promotion in the Arab world comes from a focus on economic reform and other concrete issues.
The success of Turkey's foreign policy depends on the ability of the country's leadership to manage the tension between its proclivity for unilateralism and the proven benefits of multilateralism.
The unrest that has swept through Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya resulted in large part from the inability or unwillingness of the ruling regimes to make significant improvements in the lives of the general public. The departure of the heads of these regimes, however, does not necessarily signal an end to the revolutionary process.
The uprising that started in Tunisia in late 2010 was not a completely new development, but rather a more dramatic example of the unrest common across the region, particularly in Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, and Jordan.
Arab moderates must realize that they cannot limit their moderation to the Arab-Israeli peace process if they hope to remain credible in the eyes of a public demanding serious domestic reforms.
Turkey and the EU both face urgent foreign and security issues that cannot wait. As a result, they need a new, more effective channel for strategic dialogue to complement the accession process.
While the conditions necessary for a Palestinian-Israeli settlement do not exist today and further negotiations between the two parties are unlikely to change the situation, a regional settlement is both possible and desirable for both sides.
Democratic transition continues to elude Arab countries and Arab republicanism has lost much of its meaning, as presidential power is increasingly being bequeathed from father to son.
The Obama administration must engage in a new type of dialogue with the Middle East, one modeled after the process used to improve relations with the Soviet bloc, if it wants to have any chance of impacting political reform in the region.
The Obama administration can find a positive new way forward on democracy promotion by changing how the United States supports democracy abroad rather than what emphasis to place on it relative to other interests.
Barack Obama's election was celebrated throughout the Middle East. But enthusiasm could quickly turn to hostility if the new administration does not back up its rhetoric with concrete changes to U.S. Middle East policy on three key issues: Palestine, Iraq, and political reform.
President-elect Obama emphasizes the need for greater diplomacy and a willingness to engage with hostile regimes. This commitment to “return to diplomacy” will not be enough to end the deadlock in the Middle East. Obama should break from traditional U.S. posture and support peace initiatives originating with Arab countries.
An Israeli–Syrian peace deal is a real possibility and would have a positive effect on the Middle East and U.S. interests there. But the two sides will not reach an agreement without U.S. leadership. The incoming administration should use a balance of pressure, incentives, and robust diplomacy to make the agreement a reality.