Middle East

Iraq Is a Mess. But Leaving Was the Right Call

  • By
  • Douglas Ollivant,
  • New America Foundation
December 23, 2011 |

Let us stipulate some ugly facts up front. Iraq remains a weak state. The political institutions are—charitably—immature. The business climate is not overly attractive and corruption is endemic. Were it not for oil, there would be no real economy. There is a serious terrorism problem. Relationships with all the neighboring states are problematic. Sectarian divides remain tense, with some key fault lines unresolved. The country’s armed forces remain incapable of defending its international borders.

The Last Straw for Bedouin in Jerusalem's Periphery?

  • By
  • Jonathan Guyer,
  • New America Foundation
December 23, 2011 |

United Nations officials have issued a warning that the Government of Israel's plans for Palestinian Bedouin communities living in Jerusalem's periphery could constitute "mass forcible transfers" and "grave breaches" of international law. A pending plan in the West Bank threatens to displace Khan al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village of refugees originally from Israel's south, pushed off their indigenous land in the early 1950's. Khan al-Ahmar lies on the side of a major West Bank thoroughfare and is sandwiched between the Israeli settlement of Maale Adumin and Jerusalem.

Did We Win the Iraq War?

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
December 16, 2011 |

As the last American troops leave Iraq (a remarkable phrase, which many once doubted would ever be uttered), two questions come to mind: Was the war worth it? And did we, in any sense, win?

The two questions, of course, are related: The first concerns cost, the second benefits. But however you do the calculation, it's clear that the decision to invade Iraq was a major strategic blunder—and that the policies we pursued in the early months of the occupation tipped the blunder into a catastrophe.

Democracy Promotion: Done Right, A Progressive Cause

  • By
  • Rosa Brooks,
  • New America Foundation
December 14, 2011 |

By the beginning of the Obama Administration, democracy promotion had become a rather tarnished idea, and understandably so. Like Islam or Christianity, much blood has been shed beneath its banner. It may be true that democracies don’t go to war with one another, but they certainly go to war, and their wars kill people just as dead as the wars undertaken by illiberal regimes. Anyone on the political left can tell the story: During the Cold War, the United States fought endless proxy wars and engaged in a great deal of overt and covert mischief, all in the name of democracy.

Israel's Chilling Relations with the U.S.

  • By
  • Jonathan Guyer,
  • New America Foundation
December 6, 2011 |

The Israeli government has come under criticism from both the Obama administration and American Jewish communities over the past week – the latter focused on a bizarre advertisement campaign aimed at the US diaspora.

Battling the Global Youth Bulge: Mobile Phones are Making New Connections Between Youth and Economic Opportunity

November 30, 2011
Publication Image

Originally posted on www.youthsave.org

Born and raised in the slums of Cape Town amid poverty, drug abuse, and gang violence, Marlon Parker was like millions of youth living in hardship today.

A Troubled Revolution in Egypt

  • By
  • Katherine Zoepf,
  • New America Foundation
November 22, 2011 |

A decade ago, as a bookish schoolgirl in the southern Egyptian city of Sohag, Samira Ibrahim Mohamed was fascinated by Egyptology and yearned to see the antiquities at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo one day.

But when she finally set foot on the grounds of the landmark pink stone building, on March 9, the museum had been turned into a makeshift torture center. Ms. Mohamed, who had just been arrested by the army during a protest on nearby Tahrir Square, was given electric shocks that she said made her body twitch spasmodically for days afterward.

Stopping Iran Without Bombing Iran

  • By
  • Fred Kaplan,
  • New America Foundation
November 11, 2011 |

The “Iran problem” can be summed up as follows: The Iranians really seem to be building nuclear weapons and, while they’re not there yet (an important caveat), they have everything they need to get there soon. It would be seriously bad news if they took that final step. Yet a pre-emptive strike on their nuclear facilities would set back their program only slightly, boost popular support for their regime, and likely unleash a spree of terrorist attacks and economic retaliation with devastating effects worldwide.

Next Challenges for Tunisia

  • By
  • Leila Hilal,
  • New America Foundation
November 10, 2011 |

Last month Tunisians went to the polls to elect a 217-seat constituent assembly to rewrite the country's political and legal map. The elections were widely venerated for their transparency and efficacy, marking a uniquely positive development in the otherwise stalled Arab Spring. As the official review of the preliminary election concludes, a wide consensus prevails to move on to the next challenges in the nation's transformation.

Israelis Fight Iran War Push

  • By
  • Peter Beinart,
  • New America Foundation
November 3, 2011 |

Every time I get depressed about politics in Israel, I try to remember one salient fact: their political system still sometimes functions better than ours.

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