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.
In a special live broadcast of the BBC’s The World Tonight program, Carnegie experts assessed the foreign policy priorities facing President-elect Barack Obama. The wide-ranging discussion focused on issues from Iraq, climate change, and the Middle East peace process, to Russia and Iran.
Amid the overwhelming popular enthusiasm and unprecedented media coverage in the Arab world that accompanied the 2008 U.S. presidential elections, the Carnegie Middle East Center provided an open forum for distinguished Arab observers to share their thoughts on future American policies in the Middle East.
Islamist women, increasingly restless with their subordinate status in Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, are pushing for greater representation and a wider role. Their call for broader participation in decision-making bodies are not signs of a “rebellion of the Sisters,” but part of the normal dynamics of change.
Free trade agreements between the West (U.S. and EU) and Middle East and North African (MENA) countries, while containing beneficial elements, have strengthened negative perceptions of “western-led globalization” because they benefit unpopular elites and impose serious short term economic adjustment.
Arab governments tempered public anger at rising food prices by increasing wages and subsidies, but their approach is not sustainable without raising taxes. Instead they should revise agricultural policies, expand social safety nets, and curb excessive energy consumption, argues Carnegie Middle East Center economist Ibrahim Saif.
There is perhaps no leader in the world more important to current world affairs but less known and understood than Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran. In a unique and timely new study Carnegie’s Karim Sadjadpour presents an in-depth political profile of Khamenei based on a careful reading of three decades' worth of his writings and speeches.
France sees the ascent of Anglo-American influence as having advanced at its expense not only in Iraq, but also in North Africa, a zone long considered to be France’s backyard.
Confrontational U.S. policy that tried to create a “New Middle East,” but ignored the realities of the region has instead exacerbated existing conflicts and created new problems. To restore its credibility and promote positive transformation, the United States needs to abandon the illusion that it can reshape the region to suit its interests.
Recent economic growth and stabilization in Egypt has been largely fueled by external factors which may not be sustainable. During the same period, Egypt has failed to address pressing social and economic challenges, according to a new paper from the Carnegie Endowment.