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July 20, 2015
Wall Street Journal
By Nicholas Burns, Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of Diplomacy and International Relations, Harvard Kennedy School
Professor Nicholas Burns, a former point man on Iranian nuclear matters, talks with The Wall Street Journal's Washington Bureau Chief, Gerald Seib, about why he advocates effort to contain Tehran’s regional ambitions.
July 17, 2015
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"The breathtaking intensity and variety of speculation on the future of the Middle East that were sparked by the signing of the nuclear technology/sanctions agreement this week between Iran and the P5+1 powers has revolved around a few key issues. Is Iran a threat to the Arab world because of its “hegemonic” aims, as some Arab states believe? Will its increased power and influence in the wake of this accord be used to “destabilize” the region? Will the United States slowly make Iran a major regional ally and recalibrate somewhat its relations with Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, and Egypt? Will the devious Iranians cheat during the years of the accord, and then sprint to build a nuclear bomb in its wake?"
July 14, 2015
By Meghan L. O'Sullivan, Jeane Kirkpatrick Professor of the Practice of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
On June 23 and 24, twenty five experts met at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government under the auspices of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The group, which included experts from academia, the financial sector, government, and the energy industry, spent an evening and the following full day discussing and debating the possible energy implications of a nuclear deal between the P5+1 and Iran.
July 10, 2015
Professor Burns and International Rescue Committee President (and former British Foreign Secretary) David Miliband co-authored this Washington Post op-ed on the desperate humanitarian disaster unfolding in Syria.
In it, they describe the extraordinary scale of violence and disorder in Syria today--over 220,00 people killed in the vicious civil war; over 11 million people--half the population- now homeless; civilians being assaulted by the brutal Syrian government and the odious Islamic State which occupies more than one third of Syria's territory. The response of the U.S. and other world powers has been woefully inadequate. Syria is clearly not a priority for Washington, Europe and most Arab countries.
Burns and Miliband recommend four decisive steps that should be taken by the U.S. and others.
July 1, 2015
By Rami Khouri, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"The most dangerous and troubling among the terror attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait, France, Egypt and Yemen in the past week are probably the Kuwait and Egypt attacks. The bombing of a major Shiite mosque in Kuwait City by a young Saudi man and the assassination in Cairo of the Egyptian public prosecutor show the ease with which ordinary citizens in those countries can move about, cross borders, and kill at will. They also affirm that heavy security and spreading the wealth by munificent governments are unlikely to check the spread of this terrible new scourge of violence by “Islamic State” and others."
June 22, 2015
"The 'Tiering' of Citizenship and Residency and the 'Hierarchization' of Migrant Communities: The United Arab Emirates in Historical Context"
International Migration Review
By Manal A. Jamal, Research Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"The local population of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) constitutes less than 11.5 percent of the total population. In response to their growing numerical minority status, many Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, including the UAE, have become more stringent about their citizenship, nationality, and employment policies. The natural questions to follow are: Why have UAE nationality and citizenship laws diverged from the anticipated “opening” of nationality and citizenship policies that some assumed would accompany globalization? In the specific context of the UAE, what factors have shaped and changed these policies over time?"
June 11, 2015
By Robert M. Danin, Senior Fellow, Middle East Initiative
"The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) recently announced that the death toll from Syria’s conflict now exceeds 230,000 people. In May 2014, SOHR had put the death toll at 160,000 people, indicating more than 70,000 people killed in Syria over the past year alone.
Since June 2012, Middle East Matters has tracked the data from Syria’s brutal conflict. Our sources include the Violations Documentation Center in Syria (VDC), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), and the Syrian Revolution Martyr Database, as well as refugee numbers from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees."
June 10, 2015
By Stephen M. Walt, Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs; Faculty Chair, International Security Program
"So what do we do if the Islamic State succeeds in holding on to its territory and becoming a real state? Posen says that the United States (as well as others) should deal with the Islamic State the same way it has dealt with other revolutionary state-building movements: with a policy of containment."
Belfer Center Newsletter
In 2011, the world watched in awe as Arab citizens poured into the streets of Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere in the Middle East, and, in some cases, managed to topple long-standing authoritarian regimes through persistent protest. The uprisings and the ensuing turbulence have forced scholars to re-examine previously accepted propositions about legitimacy, the state, civil society, religion, and regional stability.