Middle East & North Africa

3382 Items

Trump Israel Wisconsin tweet

AP

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The Messiah Hasn't Come. He Only Tweets.

| Jan. 18, 2017

"Only one thing is clear: Trump will be a one-issue president — his own personal benefit — and that this consideration will guide his entire presidency. This predilection has already been manifested in a series of statements and actions, often in tweets, that are indicative of the impending changes in U.S. policy. Policy changes are legitimate, that is what he was elected for, but the overall impression is that Trump is motivated by fleeting political and personal gain, rather than deep strategic thought."

Neve Daniel Settlement

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Surprise, Surprise: Israel Has Already Backed the Two-State Solution

| Jan. 10, 2017

"As Mr. Trump has pointed out, January 20 is fast approaching. This means the arrival eventually of the one-state solution and the end forever of the pretense that Israel is — or will ever become — a truly democratic state."

Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant

Wikimedia Commons

Policy Brief - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Iran Stockpiling Uranium Far Above Current Needs

| January 10, 2017

In a televised speech on January 1, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said that Tehran had imported 200 metric tons of yellowcake uranium and would import another 120 tons at an unspecified future date. The imports are permitted by the nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), but nonetheless significantly exceed Iran’s needs for natural (that is, unenriched) uranium over the next 15 years. Iran’s import of such high levels of uranium suggests it may be stockpiling uranium to reach nuclear breakout before the deal’s initial limitations expire in 2031.

The JCPOA permits Iran to buy natural uranium to “replenish” its stocks as it sells enriched uranium on the international market. To date, Iran has had difficulties locating a buyer for its enriched uranium stocks – unsurprising, given the current excess of commercially available enriched uranium. This, however, has not stopped Iran from buying and stockpiling more yellowcake.

Iraqi Special Operations Forces in Mosul

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions - Foreign Affairs

The New ISIS Insurgency: What Jihadists Do After Losing Territory

| Jan. 09, 2017

"In addition to militants, ISIS insurgency cells depend on nearby civilian populations, some of which side heavily with the fighters. That, the small size and mobility of the insurgent groups, and the expansiveness of the territory make it difficult for security forces to pinpoint insurgents' whereabouts. In turn, the forces have had to rely on civilian intelligence. But many locals aren’t talking—at least to anyone allied with Baghdad. Although weapons and ammunition still come from ISIS-held areas in Mosul and Hawija, local civilians provide much of the food, information, and anonymity."

A model of the Capitol Building is displayed on a giant planning map during a media tour highlighting inaugural preparations Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, at the DC Armory in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

A Conservative’s Prescriptive Policy Checklist: U.S. Foreign Policies in the Next Four Years to Shape a New World Order

| Jan. 09, 2017

Based on the rigorous definition of vital U.S. national interests, this essay proposes a prescriptive checklist of U.S. policy steps that would strengthen the domestic base of American external actions; reinforce the U.S. alliance systems in Asia and Europe; meet the Chinese and Russian challenges, while improving the quality of diplomatic exchanges with Beijing and Moscow; reshape U.S. trade policy; gradually pivot from the Middle East to Asia (but not from Europe); maintain the nuclear agreement with Iran; and confront international terrorism more aggressively, but with minimal U.S. boots on the ground in ungoverned areas and without nation building.

Jewish settler youth prepare barricades to block the entrance to a building in Amona, an unauthorized Israeli outpost in the West Bank, east of the Palestinian town of Ramallah, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016.

(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Paper - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

Time to Decide and Act

    Author:
  • Dan Meridor
| January 5, 2017

Israel’s success in the face of extraordinary odds is undeniable, writes former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor. In security, prosperity, democratic rights, innovation, and education, it is an exemplar for the region. But staying the course that Israel has followed the last 50 years, Meridor warns, entails an existential threat to Israel, because it will lead to a one-state reality.

Meridor proposes a new Israeli policy that will change the present course. It will disable the “one state solution” and enhance a “two state solution,” reviving the credibility of Israel’s declared policy of reaching a reasonable solution and returning clarity and justice to the Zionist cause.

During a festive ceremony at Nevatim Air Force Base in southern Israel, on Monday, December 12, 2016, Israel received its first two fifth-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, code-named by the Israeli Air Force as "Adir," (The Mighty One).

Creative Commons

Analysis & Opinions

Colossal, but Wise?

| Jan. 04, 2017

"The question is not whether the IDF needs the F35, it does....The Air Force is Israel's strategic arm and must be equipped with weapons systems at the very forefront of technology. Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon us that we question how many aircraft truly are needed, when, and what the possible alternative uses of the budgetary resources are."

Iranian Moves Offer Opportunity to Improve JCPOA

Iran Talks

Analysis & Opinions - Foundation for Defense of Democracies

Iranian Moves Offer Opportunity to Improve JCPOA

| December 23, 2016

Congress extended the Iran Sanctions Act earlier this month, prompting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to order retaliatory steps.  Tehran protested to the EU,  claiming the extension is a violation of last summer’s nuclear deal – the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, or JCPOA – and requesting a meeting of the joint committee  established to settle disputes over the deal’s implementation. Based on Rouhani’s same directive, Iran has also ordered its scientists to develop a plan to design and manufacture a nuclear-propulsion system and fuel for marine transportation.

Report - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

The 2016 Iranian Parliamentary Elections and the Future of Domestic Politics under the JCPOA

| December 2016

As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take office, the status of the nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers is increasingly coming under question.  Since the nuclear agreement was the product of a realignment of Iranian elites toward moderate forces, the unravelling of the agreement holds the potential to disrupt Iranian politics once again. This report, The 2016 Iranian Parliamentary Elections and the Future of Domestic Politics under the JCPOA, by Iran Project Director Payam Mohseni, provides an in-depth analysis of Iran's factional political scene and assesses the impact of the agreement on the 2016 Iranian parliamentary elections and the future of Iranian politics.

A Russian military medic inspects a patient near the village of Maarzaf, 15 kilometers northwest of Hama, in Syria, Wednesday, March 2, 2016.

AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin

News

Podcast: Humanitarian Negotiations Series: Negotiation with Non-State Armed Groups at the Frontlines

Dec. 21, 2016

A podcast from the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action produced from a Middle East Initiative event on humanitarian negotiations with non-state armed groups featuring Professor Claude Bruderlein; Ashley Jackson; Stig Jarle Hansen; and Abdi Ismail Isse.