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The Near Future of the Middle East: Predictions and Prescriptions

Julia Bennett, a research assistant at Tufts University’s Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, summarizes the predictions and prescriptions offered up by participants at a conference the Center held last March 27-28. 

Predictions

“A long term U.S. presence in Iraq seems inevitable and will require innovative and comprehensive planning.”“Iran’s regional hegemony is threatening to Arab states vying for power and security.”“For the Bush Administration, the Iraq War and the Iranian nuclear program have overshadowed the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

“The United States utilizes contradictory means to support democratization in the Middle East.”

“Both public diplomacy and behavior inform Arab public opinion about the United States.”

 

Prescriptions

“Employ a smart power model in Iraq that incorporates international aid, foreign language expertise, public diplomacy, military training, and higher education.”

“Make unconditional demands on Iraqi politicians, and introduce disincentives for failing to meet benchmarks and anti-corruption standards.”

“Use the robust economic model in Kurdistan as a template for the rest of Iraq.”

“Disburse international aid in Iraq with greater speed and efficiency.”

“Prepare the U.S. military to fight non-traditional threats and counterinsurgencies with dynamic operational concepts.”

“Contextualize intelligence data to prevent its politicization.”

“Erode authoritarianism by supporting grassroots community initiatives, defending bloggers, and other champions of free speech, and fostering personal relationships.”

“Recognize that overtly pressuring authoritarian regimes can be counterproductive for local reformist movements.”

“Weigh the negative alternatives to Islamist attempts at democratization, but analyze the underlying tenets of Islamist literature before legitimating its authors.”

“Guard against favoritism when forging relationships with political factions, and be consistent in endorsing political parties that win democratic elections.”

“Market formal agreements signed by heads of state to Hamas, which is a key player in the Arab-Israeli peace process.”

“Expand U.S. policy toward Iran beyond its narrow focus on the nuclear issue.”

“Rely upon empirical evidence to better understand and address the priorities and grievances of Arab populations.”

“Ensure that U.S. interventions in the region correspond with U.S. policy and align with American values.”

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دسته‌بندی شده در: Iran, Middle East, palestine

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