Western NGO strategies for promoting democracy and human rights in the Arab world contain serious flaws. They treat the diverse Arab world as a homogeneous entity and refrain from working with some of the local organizations that have the greatest impact on the ground in Arab societies.
Not only have Sovereign Wealth Funds become a contentious issue for Western policy makers, but their risk/return profile should also be of major concern for the Arab public, since the future economic well-being of Arab societies is at stake.
Currently, no single party in Iraq has enough seats to form a new government. Any new government would need votes of confidence from multiple coalitions and ethnic groups. Even the leaders of the two coalitions with the largest number of seats may not have the support needed to become prime minister.
Three weeks after the election, the Iraqi High Election Commission announced the final vote count and the apportionment of seats among the lists. The announcement ends the suspense but opens a period of intense negotiating among parties which could be marred by violence.
Yemen’s secessionist Southern Movement threatens the country’s stability, but a military campaign against it would only further inflame its supporters and increase support for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A political solution is required.
Both the Egyptian ruling class and the opposition agree that Egypt does not need a political savior to lead the nation towards social justice and democracy. Only the Egyptian people themselves can bring about economic, social, and political progress.
Although there is no precedent for a preventive UN Security Council resolution, it should be more effective in making clear to Iran the negative consequences of its actions than any post facto curative measure.
An unprecedented war of words following Israel’s announcement of a new settlement in East Jerusalem during Vice President Biden’s trip to the Middle East threatens any hope of a successful outcome to the indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Last March, Barack Obama extended a hand to the Iranian government on the occasion of Nowruz, the country's New Year. This year, he should speak straight to the people.
If Iraq can overcome the many risks and challenges that lie ahead of it and emerge as a stable democratic nation, it could become an engine for change in the Arab and Muslim world.
The economic outlook for the Gulf Cooperation Council remains encouraging, but the crisis has revealed financial sector vulnerabilities that need to be addressed in order to limit future disruptions of economic growth.
Confronted with structural weaknesses, external shocks, and the Ahmadinejad administration's gross mismanagement of the economy, Iran is facing its bleakest economic prospects in nearly two decades.
The formal process that leads from the elections to the formation of a new government in Iraq is extremely complicated and bound to take time, even without taking into consideration the difficulty of forming viable political alliances.
Despite the new political ferment in Egypt, engendered by the return of retired IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei, major obstacles remain to the emergence of an opposition strong enough to compete seriously for parliamentary seats and for the presidency.
There are limits to how much foreign intervention can accomplish in Yemen. To overcome its daunting security, economic, and political challenges, Yemen’s political system needs to become less centralized and more inclusive.
The announcement of new construction in East Jerusalem that interrupted U.S. Vice President Biden’s trip to Israel to reinvigorate peace negotiations reflects the strained relations between Israel and the United States and how much remains to be done before Israeli-Palestinian negotiations can lead to real progress.
In an increasingly interconnected world, the collapse of one society has immediate economic, political and security repercussions on societies around it. Preventing such collapses requires a global development strategy that reflects the key challenges of the new century, including resource scarcity.
By scaling back its political engagement to focus on a traditional religious, educational, and social agenda, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is leaving behind an even greater lack of political competition in the country.
Al-Qaeda is not the only factor threatening Yemen’s stability. Water shortages, collapsing oil supplies, war, refugees, pirates, and poverty all put the country at risk of becoming a failed state.
President Mubarak has neither a vice president nor an established successor, and his increasing health problems are causing many Egyptians to fear that his illness or death could create a power vacuum that would threaten the stability of Egypt and the entire region.