- Virtual Reality for Social Good, with Jeremy Bailenson
In this fascinating conversation, Jeremy Bailenson, director of Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab, describes how virtual reality (VR) can be used as a force for good. By immersing people in experiences they wouldn't otherwise have, such as the disastrous effects of climate change or the struggles of refugees, they can be galvanized to tackle problems that previously seemed remote and abstract.
- "Modern Slavery" with Siddharth Kara
In his third book on slavery, which took 16 years of research, Siddharth Kara calculates that there are roughly 31 million slaves worldwide, at least half of them in South Asia. We need to apply much more resources and compassion to end "this horrible indignity."
- Iran: A Modern History, with Abbas Amanat
There are few countries in the world that are more misrepresented in the West than Iran. By exploring the imperial rivalries that played out there, the dynastic changes and revolutions, the population explosion, the role of religion, and Iran's relations with other nations in the Middle East, Abbas Amanat provides a context that helps us to demystify present-day Iran, one of the most powerful nations in the Middle East.
- Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2018 with Eurasia Group's Ian Bremmer
Probably the most dangerous geopolitical environment in decades-China, AI, Trump, end of Pax Americana--yes, it's very bad. But all these challenges energize political scientist Ian Bremmer to do his best work! Don't miss this great talk.
- Deciphering the Middle East and Trump's National Security Stategy, with Asha Castleberry
Asha Castleberry, Fordham professor and U.S. Army veteran, describes her "mixed reaction" to Trump's National Security Strategy--touching on China and Russia, cybersecurity, and climate change--and what effect it will actually have on the military's operations. Plus, she details an increasingly complicated Middle East, with the Saudi crown prince on a warpath and a dangerous transitional period in Syria and Iraq after major victories against ISIS.
- Humanitarian Ethics and the Red Cross, with Hugo Slim
"I would say that the principle of humanity, and humanity in war even, is a global ethic. We can trace it through human history," says ICRC's Hugo Slim. Don't miss this in-depth discussion about the work of the Red Cross and its core humanitarian ethics as laid out in the Geneva Convention: humanity and compassion; the principal of a clear distinction between combatants and noncombatants; and proportionality in the weapons and the force used.
- Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly with Safwan M. Masri
Did you know that Tunisia started championing women's rights in the eighth century, and is still far ahead of most Arab and Muslim-majority countries? Indeed Tunisia's trajectory on many fronts has been radically more progressive than that of other Arab nations. So while it it may serve as an inspiration, its unique history probably makes its success impossible to duplicate, says Safwan Masri.
- Slowing the Proliferation of Major Conventional Weapons with Jonathan D. Caverley
Although today's hot topic is nuclear proliferation, let's not forget that wars like Syria are being fought with conventional ones, such as aircraft and artillery. Jonathan Caverley has an intriguing and practical proposal to slow down the spread of these deadly weapons.
- Rescue: Refugees and the Political Crisis of Our Time, with David Miliband
Today there are 65 million people who have fled their homes because of conflict or persecution, says the International Rescue Committee's David Miliband. These are refugees not economic migrants, and half of them are children. It's a long-term crisis that will last our lifetimes. Why should we care? And what can we do about it, both at a policy level and as individuals?
- Digital World War: Islamists, Extremists, and the Fight for Cyber Supremacy, with Haroon Ullah
Despite defeats like Mosul and Raqqa, ISIS and other extremist groups are thriving, says Ullah. For them, the most important battlefield is not the physical one but the information one, and there they are winning. They are nimble, moving from open-source platforms to encrypted ones and are not afraid to fail, getting instant feedback on what propaganda works best. We need a much more concerted effort--a "Manhattan project"--to combat this.
- Don't Be Fooled by Cosmetic Changes: The West-Saudi Alliance Is More Morally Dubious Than Ever
"Aside from inertia and vague promises of support in fighting terrorist groups, there is little to justify the continuation of the close relationship between self-professed liberal democratic nations and Saudi Arabia," argues Carter Vance.
- Over 60 Organizations in 30+ Countries Celebrate Global Ethics Day, 2017
October 18, 2017 marked the fourth annual Global Ethics Day, with participation from over 60 organizations and individuals from 31 countries on five continents. Founded by Carnegie Council in 2014 to celebrate its centennial, Global Ethics Day is a global teach-in, an opportunity for institutions to explore the role of ethics in a globalized world. From Gambia to Nicaragua to Romania, everyone celebrated in their own way.
- False Dawn: Protest, Democracy, and Violence in the New Middle East, with Steven A. Cook
Half a decade after Arabs across the Middle East poured into the streets to demand change, hopes for democracy have disappeared in a maelstrom of violence and renewed state repression. How did things go so wrong so quickly across a wide range of regimes? What role can and should the United States play? Don't miss this conversation with Steven Cook, an expert on Arab and Turkish politics as well as U.S.-Middle East policy.
- The Future of War: A History, with Lawrence Freedman
"Though most of the literature you will read on the future of war certainly talks about war as between regular armies, as proper fights, now with drones or with autonomous vehicles or robots or whatever, or even painless--cyber and so on--yet actually the reality of war is as it has always been: it is vicious, and it is nasty, and it kills the wrong people, and it does so in considerable numbers."
- What the Qur'an Meant: And Why It Matters with Garry Wills
How can we engage with Muslims around the world without really understanding what they believe? On studying the Qur'an, religious scholar Garry Wills found that many of our perceptions of Islam are false or distorted. Most surprisingly, Islam is a very inclusive religion, more so than Judaism or Christianity. What's more, the Qur'an gives women more property rights than early Christian women had. Don't miss this important talk.
- An Uncertain Ally: Turkey Under Erdoğan's Dictatorship with David L. Phillips
"We need to face the fact that Turkey under Erdoğan has become a rogue regime," declares David L. Phillips. It's a corrupt, repressive, Islamist dictatorship. The U.S. should no longer regard it as an ally, but as a strategic adversary.
- Scott D. Sagan on the Nuclear Necessity Principle
Major changes must be made if U.S. nuclear war plans are to conform to the principles of just war doctrine and the law of armed conflict, declares Stanford University's Scott Sagan. He proposes a new doctrine: "the nuclear necessity principle." In sum, the U.S. will not use nuclear weapons against any target that could be reliably destroyed by conventional means.
- General Donald Bolduc on the U.S. War in Afghanistan
In this inspiring interview, Brig. Gen. Bolduc discusses his time in Afghanistan and his assessment of the situation there as well as in Africa, where he was in charge of countering violent extremism. He also reveals his experiences with PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and multiple other physical injuries, explaining how he finally got help and how he is working hard to help others with the same issues.
- Democracy and its Discontents: Resources from Carnegie Council
Carnegie Council presents a collection of recent talks and interviews on the workings of democracy; the decline of the liberal order and the rise of populism; illiberal and partial democracies; and new threats to democracy in this digital age.
- Top 10 Carnegie Council Podcasts for the 2016-17 Program Year
Carnegie Council presents the top 10 most downloaded podcasts from our program year, July 2016-June 2017. Topics include Japan and the Philippines; the potential effects of new technologies; and the troubled state of U.S. and global politics.
- Sea Power: The History and Geopolitics of the World's Oceans
"Oceans dominate the world," says Admiral Stavridis. After all, 70 percent of the globe is covered by water. In this masterly overview of the seven seas, he touches on the maritime battles that changed history; current geopolitics from the South China Sea to the Mediterranean; and the fact that environmentally, the oceans are "the largest crime scene in the world."
- James Traub on Immigrants and Refugees
What happens when Sweden, one of the most welcoming countries on Earth for migrants, simply runs out of beds? What are the unpleasant (and politically incorrect) truths about the difficulties of assimilation in Europe? How can we have honest policy discussions about this? Author James Traub has been spending time in Sweden, France, and Germany and has given these sensitive issues much thought. Don't miss his unflinching analysis.
- Asha Castleberry on Trump's Generals and the Fight Against ISIS
Asha Castleberry, Fordham professor and U.S. Army veteran, gives detailed updates of the campaigns against ISIS in Mosul and Raqqa and the endlessly complicated Syrian Civil War. She also discusses the ups and downs of Trump's strategy in the Middle East and the influence of Secretary Mattis and National Security Advisor McMaster.
- Crisis of the Liberal Order
What explains the global resurgence of populism and the rise of political actors on the right? And what are the effects on longstanding alliances, international institutions, and accepted norms? Don't miss this lively conversation with Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, and international affairs expert Walter Russell Mead.
- Terror in France: The Rise of Jihad in the West
From January 2015 to July 2016, 239 people in France died in terrorist attacks. In this gripping talk, leading French scholar Gilles Kepel explains the causes behind this new wave of violent jihad and discusses why Europe is the main target.
- Syrian Women: Peace Will Come only with Accountability
There can be no lasting peace in Syria without justice for detainees and accountability for war crimes. says Syrian Women's Committee Member Mariam Jellabi. Syrian women are championing these causes. It's time for the international community to follow suit.
- Limiting Civilian Casualties as Part of a Winning Strategy
"Limiting civilian casualties is always morally and ethically the right thing to do," declares Joseph Felter, speaking from both his research and personal military experience. "But in some situations, it is also part of winning."
- The Lockerbie Bombing: The Search for Justice
In 1988, a bomb detonated on Pan Am 103, killing all on board and devastating the Scottish town of Lockerbie. A Libyan was convicted of the crime. His subsequent release from prison and deportation to Libya caused an international controversy. Kenny MacAskill explains his decision to release him and the complex intrigues involved in this case.
- Indonesia's Jihadists, and the Rise of Female Terrorists
Indonesia is sometimes described as "the smiling face of Islam," but the reality is much more complex. Naraniyah explains the shifting landscape of Indonesian Islamic extremist groups, and notes that women are playing an increasingly important role, many of them inspired by images on social media of female ISIS supporters around the world.
- No Place for Eritreans
Eritreans are fleeing their repressive homeland at the rate of 5,000 a month. Yet once they manage to leave, new dangers await these hapless refugees, from extortion to violence and death. How can the world turn its back?
- A World in Disarray: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis of the Old Order
Concerned about where the world is heading? Don't miss this measured and comprehensive overview from Richard Haas, in which he lays out the global situation facing President Trump and what may lie ahead. Topics include the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Russia, NATO, the UN, and the main factor behind job losses.
- A Conversation with Robert Quinn on Scholars at Risk
Scholars at Risk provides temporary teaching positions and advisory services to hundreds of threatened scholars around the world. Quinn describes how its caseload has doubled recently, largely because of Syria and Turkey. He also discusses challenges for U.S. colleges, from fake news, to Trump's immigration policies, to free speech on campuses.
- Virtual Citizenship for Refugees: A Proposal
At last, a practical, humane, and cost-effective proposal to help cope with the nearly 20 million refugees and asylum seekers worldwide, from philosophers Christian Barry and Philip Gerrans.
- Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2017
The world is entering a geopolitical recession, i.e. an unwinding of the old global order, says political scientist Ian Bremmer, in his grimmest forecast ever. Topics include the potential challenges from a Trump administration, President Obama's legacy of a more fractured world, human rights in the Middle East, and the fate of liberalism.
- Foreign Fighters, Homegrown Terrorism, and the Prevention of Violent Extremism
What are the driving forces behind the increase in homegrown terrorism and what can be done to stop it? Ali Soufan and Seamus Hughes, veterans in preventing violent extremism, explain the complexities and challenges of this global threat.
- Donald Trump. . . . . Commander-in-Chief
Donald Trump is now president-elect. Despite the bitter opposition that occurred throughout the campaign, all Americans should want him to be successful. This is particularly true for his most important role as commander-in-chief, as he must deal with a variety of significant threats.
- Perceptions of Muslims and Islam in the U.S. in Light of Trump's Victory
What will Trump's victory mean for American Muslims? How have attitudes towards them changed over the years? (The answer may surprise you.) How does this moment compare to the "Red Scare" of WWI and after? And how can U.S. Muslims counter any hate that may arise? Don't miss this enlightening discussion.
- Honoring Those who Served:
Veterans Day 2016
For this Veterans Day, we present a collection of resources recognizing the tireless and often thankless work of the U.S. military. There are legitimate arguments about ethics and policies when it comes to war, but nobody can deny the commitment and patriotism of the men and women who serve and the debt that is owed to them when their service is over.
- Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle over Islam Is Reshaping the World
Many liberals hope that Islam will follow the same trajectory as Christianity and the West: a reformation and eventually secularization. But we should beware of assuming that all societies will follow the same path, says Shadi Hamid. Indeed, he has come to the reluctant conclusion that Islam will be resistant to secularization for a long time to come.
- Managing Resource Conflict with a Human Rights Approach
Earth Institute research scientist Joshua Fisher explores the links between natural resource management, conflict, and climate change in this conversation with Senior Fellow Devin Stewart. With a focus on gold mining in Papua New Guinea, how can governments, corporations, and citizens work together to build trust?
- Karen Greenberg on Terrorism and "Rogue Justice"
What attracts young people to terrorism? Targeted killings, indefinite detention, mass surveillance--have Americans allowed too much power to be vested in the presidency? How are different governments grappling with the tension between civil rights and security? Security expert Karen Greenberg discusses these difficult questions.
- Major Security Challenges for the Next President
Afghanistan, terrorism, U.S.-Russia relations: Col. McCausland gives an expert analysis of all these security challenges and more. Yet he concludes on a hopeful note: "We need to remember that we are a great country. There are a lot of reasons to be optimistic. We endured in the past and by golly, we're going to endure in the future."
- How to Achieve Military Victory and Maintain National and Personal Ethics
Moshe Yaalon: "Military excellence has handed us an advantage on the battlefield, but this edge can only be maintained if we preserve our ethical superiority. And as the war on terror develops and intensifies, so must our determination to deliver an unequivocal moral response to the challenges it brings."
- Free Speech: Ten Principles for a Connected World
In today's connected world--a "cosmopolis" dominated by the "four superpowers" Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon--what we need is to have more but also better free speech, declares Garton Ash. The West, particularly the U.S., should strive to promote global free speech, and we must foster a "robust civility" despite our differences.
- The UN's Peter Sutherland on the Migrant Crisis
In the run-up to the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, Joanne Myers talks with Peter Sutherland about the challenges of implementing the 1951 Refugee Convention, which states that the obligation to provide for refugees is not simply an obligation for countries in proximity to the refugees. It's a global responsibility that should be shared.
- Robert Kaplan on the Underlying Forces that Drive our "Post-Modern" World
"To understand the events of the next 50 years, then, one must understand environmental scarcity, cultural and racial clash, geographic destiny, and the transformation of war." Robert Kaplan wrote these prescient words back in 1994. In this fascinating discussion, he analyses how his predictions are playing out and where we are headed.
- Asha Castleberry on the 2016 Election and the Fight Against ISIS
U.S. Army veteran Asha Castleberry discusses veterans' reactions to the 2016 presidential campaign, and also the ongoing U.S. anti-ISIS military campaign, which is preparing to liberate Mosul in Iraq. "This is definitely a big push from the Obama administration before President Obama leaves office--he wants to liberate Mosul."
- Foreign Affairs & U.S. History Materials, Curated for High School Teachers by a Teacher
The new Worksheets & Excerpts section of Carnegie Council's online educational resources includes material useful for comparative government, world history, and U.S. history courses, and is specially designed for high school teachers.
- Strangers in Strange Lands: Migration
In 2015, the number of international migrants worldwide—people residing in a country other than their country of birth—reached a record-breaking 244 million. And 65.3 million of these migrants were refugees, the largest number since World War II. We present a collection of useful resources on the ethical and practical challenges of migration.
- Instagram Take-Over #9: Jalal Shams Azaran, the 2012 Earthquake in Northwestern Iran
Jalal Shams Azaran's haunting photos were taken after the catastrophic earthquake that struck Northwest Iran in 2012. Despite assistance provided by the government, the survivors continue to live in extreme hardship. The photographs showcase both the survivors' hardship as well as their resilience, in coping with what might be intolerable to many.
- Welcome to Canada: the Ryerson University Lifeline Syria Challenge
In just under a year, Toronto's universities raised more than CAD$4.3 million and helped 19 Syrian families (99 people) settle in Canada, with many more on the way. And it all began at Ryerson University. Cukier and Jackson tell the inspiring story of how they mobilized support. Jackson even cancelled her wedding reception and donated the funds to RULSC.
- Instagram Take-Over #8:Troy Enekvist, Impact of ISIS on Daily Life in Iraqi Kurdistan
For its eighth Instagram take-over by photographers from around the world, Carnegie Council presents work by Troy Enekvist, a Swedish freelance photojournalist who currently works for the Swedish newspaper "Sundsvalls Tidning."
- The Needs of Refugee Women and Children in the Global Humanitarian Crisis
In this powerful talk, executive director Sarah Costa explains the work of the Women's Refugee Commission, and discusses the current crisis. The numbers are staggering: one in 122 people across the world have been forced to flee, and the majority are women and children. The average length of displacement is 20 years. What can be done to help?
- Integration and the European Migration "Crisis"
How we treat the millions arriving in Europe will affect all our futures, writes migration expert Jenny Phillimore. "We can genuinely welcome people, accept them as part of our world, support them to have the same opportunities as us, and adapt to our increased diversity, or we can exclude them and await the social and economic consequences."
- The Progressive's Paradox
Can left-wing ideologies ever co-exist comfortably with military intervention? U.S. foreign policy over the past two decades has failed to align squarely with the two major domestic political parties—is the liberal/conservative distinction here a myth?
- "We Love Death as You Love Life": Britain's Suburban Terrorists
What drives people in the UK to become terrorists or jihadist fighters? Pantucci's years of research into this problem has implications for all Western countries. Most disturbingly, he concludes that there is no single profile. However, there are three factors to look for: a sense of grievance, social mobilization, and ideology.
- The Symbiotic Relationship between Western Media and Terrorism
Mass media and terrorism have become ever more intertwined in a mutually beneficial relationship often described as 'symbiotic.' This column examines that dynamic and outlines the need for news organizations to balance the public's right to know against the ability of militants to exploit news coverage to promote their beliefs.
- Chuck Hagel on U.S. Challenges in Today's "Complicated, Interconnected World"
Drawing on decades of experience, Secretary Hagel gives a masterly and frank analysis of world events. He discusses current U.S. politics--he's confident that the Constitution will see America through--the nuclear deal with Iran, the melting in the Arctic and resulting "Great Game of the North," China's power play in the South China Sea, and much more.
- A Rage for Order: The Middle East in Turmoil, from Tahrir Square to ISIS
In this memorable conversation, "New York Times" journalists Robert Worth and Roger Cohen discuss Worth's latest book about the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Was its collapse inevitable? Could/should the U.S. have done more, especially regarding Syria? Despite all, Worth concludes the talk on a hopeful note.
- The Fifth Annual Moscow Conference on International Security
David Speedie attended this important three-day conference and reports that "a global array of speakers articulated a corresponding range of country/area-specific concerns, much of which was familiar but nevertheless important to hear." There were more than 600 official delegates from 83 countries--the most notable absentees being the U.S. and the UK.
- Us and Them? Bridget Anderson on Migrants and Nation-States
Underlying people's economic fears about migrants taking their jobs are much deeper anxieties about nationality, culture, and race, says Bridget Anderson, professor of migration and citizenship at Oxford. The nation-state is simply not working for a lot of humanity, and we need to come up with new ways of thinking about political communities.
- The Last Supper: The Plight of Christians in Arab Lands
There are 7.5 million Christians in the Middle East, who live under constant threat of death and humiliation. Danish journalist Klaus Wivel (not a Christian himself) asks: What is the story on the ground and why are so few journalists covering it? Why aren't we in the West doing more to defend the human rights of this beleaguered minority?
- Islamism: What It Means for the Middle East and the World
Until the mid-19th century, Islam was the sole basis of both political legitimacy and social identity across the Middle East. Islamists--a term that doesn't exist in Arabic--believe Islam should continue to be the region's primary identity. In opposition are nationalists and secularists who view Islamism as a serious threat. What will be the outcome?
- New Paradigms for Refugee Camps and for Humanitarian Aid Itself
Kilian Kleinschmidt describes how he, together with the refugees themselves, transformed the Zaatari refugee camp from what the media called a "hellhole of humanitarian aid" into a lively living space with shops and even fountains. Indeed, the entire aid paradigm needs to be transformed, says Kleinschmidt, and he offers innovative ways to do it.
- The Geopolitics of the Iran Deal: Winners and Losers
In the short term, one of the biggest winners in the Iran deal is China, and the biggest loser is Saudi Arabia. But 10, 15 years from now, we may see that the deal was a seminal factor in reintegrating Iran into the global political economy and strengthening civil society--making the U.S. and Europe the winners and countries like Russia and Syria the losers.
- Instagram Take-Over #5: Rob Pinney, "The Jungle" Migrant Camp, Calais
For its fifth Instagram take-over by photographers from around the world, Carnegie Council presents photos by Rob Pinney. For the past six months he has focused on the unfolding crisis in "The Jungle"—the migrant encampment outside Calais, France, which has become a temporary dwelling spot for migrants waiting to enter other parts of Europe.
- Refugees on Turkey's Borders: Consequences of Chaos in Syria
Over 4.8 million Syrians have become refugees, mostly in neighboring countries, and this is not the only displacement crisis around the globe, says Kirişci, an expert in Turkish foreign policy and migration studies. This troubling and informative talk raises both practical and ethical issues, not only for Turkey and its neighbors but for the entire world.
- Blood Year: The Unraveling of Western Counterterrorism
ISIS consists of three interlocked threats and is quite different from al-Qaeda, says counterterrorism authority David Kilcullen. To come up with a workable strategy going forward, we have to understand exactly what went wrong in the years since 9/11 and admit that everyone bears part of the blame, from "reckless" Bush to "feckless" Obama.
- Instagram Take-Over #4: Rena Effendi; Migrants, Greek-Macedonian (FYROM) Border
For its fourth Instagram take-over by photographers from around the world, Carnegie Council presents Rena Effendi's moving photos of migrants along the Greek-Macedonian (FYROM) border. Effendi grew up in Azerbaijan and living through her country's path to independence during the chaotic '90s has strongly influenced her work.
- A Conversation with Sarah Chayes on Corruption and Global Security
Around the world from Afghanistan to Nigeria, systemic corruption is fueling instability, declares Sarah Chayes in this electrifying conversation. And the United States and other enablers are part of the problem. "If we don't prioritize corruption more—and that means here as well as there—the world is going to become an increasingly dangerous place."
- The Refugee/Migrant Crisis
The migrant/refugee crisis is a defining moral issue for our generation, declares Peter Sutherland, UN special representative on international migration. And proximity should not define responsibility. It's a global responsibility.
- What Went Wrong in the Arab Spring?
In the early days of the Arab Spring, non-violent civil resistance helped topple authoritarian governments in Tunisia, Egypt, and Yemen. Yet these apparent triumphs were followed by disasters. What went wrong? Was the problem rooted in the popular movements themselves, or in their societies? And what's the best way forward now?
- Values and the Ethics of International Order
At a time when U.S. primacy is in doubt, when many are concerned that China might become a global political power, when the threat of radical Islam goes hand in hand with anti-Western attitudes, the question of the right repertoire of values, along with the legitimacy and ethics of the international order, could not be more important.
- International Holocaust Memorial Day, January 27: What We Can Still Learn
Holocaust survivor Gene Klein: "On Holocaust Memorial Day we remember the suffering, death and destruction of the camps. This year I also ask you to make a human connection to today's refugees. When you see them on your television or in your community, try to walk in their shoes."
- The Unprecedented Jihadi Threat in Europe
"At this very moment, ISIS is recruiting probably 100 people a week from all over the world, including this very country. So it is not a European problem, it is not an Arab issue; it is a global threat and global challenge. That is why I insist on the fact that the threat has to be dealt with at the source, which is basically Syria."
- Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2016
Eurasia Group's Ian Bremmer discusses the top political risks for 2016 and gives a stark warning for the year ahead. Touching on the Saudi-Iranian tensions, China's footprint, and the eroding trans-Atlantic alliance, Bremmer says, "This is very likely to be the most dangerous year of geopolitical risk we have experienced since we started this process."
- Bearing Witness to War and Injustice: Ron Haviv, Photojournalist
From the Balkan Wars to both invasions of Iraq to the current refugee crisis, photojournalist Ron Haviv has been at the center of many of the world's most dangerous conflicts over the last three decades. In this fascinating talk, Haviv walks us through some of his most striking photographs and discusses the complicated ethics of being a journalist in a war zone.
- Violence All Around
What is terrorism, and how is it different from other violence? How does technology affect rates of violence? How and when can nonviolence be effective? John Sifton of Human Rights Watch reflects on these issues and more, including the intersection between nonviolence and Christian Realism, as exemplified by his grandfather, Reinhold Niebuhr.
- Will China Promote Autocracy along its New Silk Road?
China's ambitious "One Belt One Road" project is planned to span across Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. It's estimated that it will affect the lives of 4.4 billion people and generate $2.1 trillion in gross production. Is this the beginning of a sinocentric "New Asian Order"--and would that be such a bad thing?
- Sinai: Egypt's Linchpin, Gaza's Lifeline, Israel's Nightmare
The Sinai, this crucial land bridge connecting Asia and Africa, has become a haven for transnational crime, fostering arms trafficking, smuggling through the tunnels into Gaza, and Islamic militancy. Courageous Egyptian journalist Mohannad Sabry gives us an inside look at the current situation, both in the Sinai and in Egypt as a whole.
- Suchitra Vijayan on the Politics and Rhetoric of the Refugee Crisis
The co-founder of the Resettlement Legal Aid Project in Cairo during the Iraq War, Suchitra Vijayan discusses the refugee crisis from a legal, political, and humanitarian point of view. She details the remarkable empathy needed to work in the field and why the United States and Europe have an ethical responsibility to respond to the situation.
- Afghanistan and Pakistan: The Re-emergence of the Taliban and the Arrival of ISIS
Ahmed Rashid and Barnett Rubin dissect the complicated situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan--a region of many competing terrorist groups--and also comment on ISIS in the Middle East and Europe. ISIS is actually a war within Islam, declares Rashid, and the West's main task should be to help mobilize and unite the Muslim world to fight it.
- Perspectives from Inside a Tumultuous Middle East: Syria-Iraq-ISIS-Russia and Iran
The majority of the Arab World seeks justice, accountability, and democracy, says Beirut-based Rami Khouri. What we are dealing with now is bad governance in the region combined with the terrible consequences of continuous foreign military intervention: American, Russian, European, Iranian, Israeli, and inter-Arab.
- Beyond Paris: The Refugee Crisis in Europe
"Closing borders in the West will not only worsen the already unimaginable human rights disaster that asylum seekers are facing, but it will also add fuel to the Eurosceptics' fire as they work to destabilize the European Union. And this is all compounded by the fact that closing borders doesn't work."
- Addressing Root Causes of Unrest in Arab Countries
What's the best way to create stability in the Middle East and North Africa? Get more young people into the workforce, says Ron Bruder, founder of Education for Employment. EFE programs are all run by locals; training is carefully matched to real job opportunities; and for maximum social impact, EFE trains mainly women.
- Why France Should Not Close Its Borders
Since September 11, 2001, both the U.S. and Europe have merged anti-terrorism strategies with immigration policy, and with little success.
- The Global Refugee Crisis
How can Christian leaders help Europe cope with the flood of refugees? Renowned Czech theologian Father Tomàš Halik argues that Christianity, especially the Catholic Church, can be an effective mediator between Islam and Europe's secular humanists, as it has many values in common with both.
- The Putin Worldview, Russia in Syria, and the Ukraine Elections
Professor Nicolai Petro was one of a few American experts to attend the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference in Moscow on Russia's foreign policy attended by President Vladimir Putin. Here, Petro discusses Putin's worldview and the Russian military intervention in Syria and analyzes the recent elections in Ukraine.
- Clip of the Month: Michael Weiss on the Morality of the American Fight Against ISIS
Daily Beast senior editor Michael Weiss discusses the complexities of the U.S. fight against ISIS, including how it has fed into a conspiracy theory that Obama wants to "disenfranchise Sunnis," with the help of Iran and Russia.
- Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama
Today, America's ties to Israel are so close that when there are differences, they tend to make the news. But it was not always this way. Ambassador Ross deftly lays out the surprising history of the U.S-Israel relationship. He goes on to answer questions on U.S. policies and the current worrying situation across the Middle East.
- ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror
ISIS is often portrayed as a mysterious force that came out of nowhere. It's nothing of the kind. This grim, unforgettable talk gives us the full, terrifying story, from the initial mistakes made in Iraq to the carnage going on now in Syria. (The TV show made from this talk won a Telly award.)
- Russia's Intervention and the Fight against ISIL with U.S. Army Veteran Asha Castleberry
The good news is that ISIL has lost one-third of the key areas that it took over, both in Iraq and Syria, says Castleberry. But the Russian intervention in Syria has complicated things; she explains just how.
- Messrs. Obama and Putin: Put Syria and Syrians First
While the U.S. and Russia disagree over the fate of Assad, they share a self-interested resolve to defeat the ISIL forces that now control large swathes of eastern Syria. It is frustrating to look on as the two leaders snipe at each other over how to accomplish this--rather like two Neros fiddling while Rome, or in this case Damascus, burns.
- NATO in the 21st Century: Addressing New and Urgent Challenges
NATO is now in its third historical phase, says U.S. Ambassador to NATO Douglas Lute in this informative, useful talk. "There is now a sense that NATO faces maybe not just one threat, a newly aggressive, newly assertive Russia, but also concerns from the Southeast with ISIS and potentially from instability in the South across the Mediterranean as well."
- Reconciliation, not Revenge for Israelis and Palestinians
In this emotional and inspiring interview, Israeli Robi Damelin and Palestinian Bassam Aramin discuss their work with the Parents Circle Families Forum, an organization of bereaved Israelis and Palestinians. Having both lost a child to the struggle, they say reconciliation is the necessary step to end conflicts in the Middle East and beyond.
- INTERNATIONAL PEACE DAY, 2015
"We need to be aroused to our duty and banish war." Andrew Carnegie, 1914, on the founding of the Church Peace Union (now Carnegie Council). Continuing Carnegie's mission, the Council presents a selection of resources on the struggle for peace.
- No Peace in Syria without Justice
"Only when the culture of impunity in Syria is addressed will the prospect for a political solution become genuinely viable, and can we begin to stop the flow of refugees from pouring into Europe," declares Dr. Najib Ghadbian, special representative to the UN and the U.S. for the Syrian National Coalition.
- Refugee Mass Exodus: Need for a UN-led World Conference
"Only a UN-led world conference with adequate research and prior broad discussion can meet the challenges of worldwide migration and continuing refugee flows. This year's UN General Assembly would be a most appropriate time to pass a resolution to organize such a UN-led world conference."
- Talking Peace in Person
Middle East peace talks have stalled. The 2014 war in Gaza caused the deaths of more than 2,000 people. Yet a group of 600 Palestinians and Israelis who have lost family members during seven decades of conflict have turned their backs on thoughts of revenge, and campaign for reconciliation. Peter Singer spoke to some of them.
- Let's Be Realistic About the "Military Option" Against Iran
Three dozen retired generals and admirals recently signed a letter supporting the agreement with Iran and declaring it a better option than military action. Why? Because they know that the benefits of such a campaign are doubtful while the costs are certain, says Gulf War veteran Col. Tom Davis, who cogently lays out the pitfalls of using force.
- Bridging the Civilian-Military Gap with Veterans4Diplomacy's Jayson Browder
"I think there's a new breed of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who are very entrepreneurial. A lot of the missions that they had in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the world really lent to this entrepreneurial spirit."
- Compromise and Rotten Compromises: A Reflection on the Iran Deal
Ultimately, will the Iran nuclear deal be a good compromise or a rotten one? For an ethicist, one question lingers. Why did the American-led negotiators de-link the nuclear issue from every other issue? If the agreement enables Iran to pursue its most malign policies by other means, the deal may prove rotten after all.
- Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on Iran: Assessment and Prospects
Professor Gary Sick, Iran expert at Columbia University and lead White House negotiator during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, assesses the merits of the recently negotiated agreement on Iran's nuclear program and the prospects for the upcoming vote in Congress.
- To Sow the Wind: An Argument Against the War on Terror
The just war tradition--a tradition that once thought war tragically endemic and sometimes justified, but never simply, unambiguously just--has lost its profound Augustinian political skepticism and moral realism, argues David Widdicombe. Wasn't the restraint of force always a better (foundational) idea than the pursuit of justice?
- When CEOs Become Activists
Corporate leaders' influence reaches beyond the walls of their businesses. How do they use that power, and what are the ethical, business, and political consequences? Discover how BP's John Browne and Shell's Mark Moody-Stuart influenced politics in oil-producing countries and how Browne and Apple's Tim Cook weighed in on LGBT issues. *This podcast was amended on August 3, 2015; see transcript.
- Iraqi Unity & the Fight Against ISIL with U.S. Army Veteran Asha Castleberry
"The most important thing right now is that the Iraqis have to defeat ISIL, and in order to do that, they have to achieve national unity," says Castleberry, who recently returned from the Middle East. She also discusses the roles of Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf Cooperation Council in this important and complex mission.
- Ethical Leadership: A Conversation with Chuck Hagel
The one constant in Chuck Hagel's varied and pressure-filled career has been ethical leadership. How have his experiences--in war, the boardroom, Congress, and as secretary of defense--shaped his leadership style?
- Europe's Muslims: Challenges and Misconceptions
Months after the "Charlie Hebdo" attacks, questions remain about Europe's Muslims. How strong is the lure of al-Qaeda and ISIS for youth in France or the UK? Why do so many, including those born and raised in affluent European states, feel disconnected from society? For a nuanced analysis of these misunderstood communities, watch this video.
- Innocents Abroad? Liberal Educators in Illiberal Societies
Is anything in liberal education nonnegotiable? With numerous expansions abroad, American universities are testing these limits.
- Agenda for the Future: Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights
"Our planet is indivisible. There is no longer such a thing as a small, faraway country. No such thing as an acceptable level of discrimination, against any group." Don't miss this moving speech by UN High Commissioner Al Hussein, which covers all aspects of the universal principles of human rights, including the current refugee crisis.
- Migrant Deaths Worldwide
There is no going back to a world in which migration can be prevented. The only solution to the global crisis of migrant deaths is to merge humanitarian efforts to aid and rescue migrants with coordinated, cooperative efforts to open safe, long-term migration channels throughout regions, and even the world.
- Ethics in U.S. Foreign Policy: Spymaster Jack Devine on the CIA
"The thing that attracted me to the Agency was a sense of mission," says 32-year CIA veteran Jack Devine. In this discussion he talks candidly about Allende's fall, Iraq, Iran, Edward Snowden, torture, drones, and more. And when asked if he were young would he join today's post-9/11 CIA, he replies without hesitation: "You betcha!"
- Job Creation in the Arab World: Education for Employment's Mariel Davis
The Middle East and North Africa is a particularly challenging region to create employment for young people and women, says Mariel Davis. Yet Education for Employment helps generate opportunities in unexpected and creative ways.
- Crisis in Yemen: Instability on the Arabian Peninsula
In this grim, masterful talk Bernard Haykel explains the complex historical background and current realities of the crisis in Yemen. In doing so, he analyzes key foreign players: the Saudis, now with a new king, whose favorite son is playing a major role; the Iranians and their proxy, Hezbollah; and the Americans, whose policy he describes as "catastrophic."
- Israel, Iran, and ISIL: A Report on Security Challenges for the Greater Middle East
Charles Freilich, former Israeli deputy national security advisor, speaks on a wide-ranging set of topics, from Israel's post-election domestic politics to external threats from ISIL--and why the May 2 preliminary agreement between the P5 + 1 and Iran may be seen as a positive development for Israel.
- Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution
The Middle East needs a double revolution--not just a political one, but a social/sexual one as well, says fiery, courageous feminist Mona Eltahawy. It's time to destroy the oppressive patriarchy of "the trifecta:" the state, the street, and the home. But Arab women don't need "rescuing." Misogyny exists everywhere in varying degrees. Fight it at your own, local level.
- Teaching About Intractable Conflicts: The Olive Tree Initiative
How can students learn to think more critically about conflicted regions and to engage people with different views in constructive dialogue? The Olive Tree Initiative combines a short study trip to a conflicted region, rigorous study both pre- and post-trip, and close mentorship that focuses on leadership development.
- Clip of the Month: Mona Eltahawy: A Muslim and a Feminist or Islamic Feminism?
Mona Eltahawy, author of "Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution," says that for change to come for women in the Muslim world, both "secular feminism" and "Islamic feminism" need to be embraced.
- Are We At War With Islam?
In Europe, both non-Muslims and Muslims need to honestly confront and contend with the stereotypes, anxieties, and resentments they have about each other, says Professor Cesari in this probing conversation on Muslims in Europe.
- Juan Cole on Europe's Muslims and More
In this enlightening conversation, Professor Cole, an expert in relations between the Muslim world and the West, gives an on-the-ground perspective on the Iran nuclear talks and the reaction to them in the Arab world, Muslims in Europe, Yemen, ISIS, and much more.
- P5 + 1 + Iran: Report on the Ongoing Nuclear Talks
Speaking on the very day of the nuclear framework, Ambassador Mousavian explains why he believes the agreement is positive progress for both sides. And in a candid and forthright discussion with the audience, he explains the Iranian perspective on Israel, the U.S.-Israel relationship, ISIS, and also the workings of the Iranian government.
- ISIS is the Product of Muslim Humiliation and the New Geopolitics of the Middle East
Since the end of the Cold War, a third wave of geopolitics is starting to take hold in the Middle East, one that will be characterized by failed states, political chaos and revolt, inter-state conflict, and foreign interventions. Yet this is not inevitable. The course of these disastrous developments can and must change.
- American Energy Challenges and Global Leadership in the Years Ahead
Thanks to new technologies for extracting oil and natural gas, such as hydraulic fracturing ("fracking"), the United States is now the biggest producer of energy in the world. What do plummeting energy prices mean for sellers and consumers around the world--and what will be the likely consequences for climate change?
- It's the Fears not the Fear Mongering that We Should Focus On
"Instead of focusing on Netanyahu's fear mongering, let's focus on trying to assuage Israeli fears. Only then will Israelis vote for someone who really supports Palestinian statehood."
- The Eleventh Hour: The Legacy and the Lessons of World War I
One hundred years after the First World War, boundaries established after the armistice at the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month" still shape many of today's conflicts, from ISIS's invasion of Mosul to Boko Haram's kidnapping of schoolgirls. What lessons have we learned from WWI? Just as important, what have we still not learned?
- The Kurdish Spring: A New Map of the Middle East
In this stirring, information-filled talk on the Kurdish people, David Phillips recounts centuries of abuse and repression against the world's "largest stateless people." But he also illuminates the vitality of today's Kurds, who are "pro-Western and secular" and have proven to be America's most capable regional partners in the fight against ISIS.
- Killing and Cartoons
This year Paris and Copenhagen learned that there are still people willing to kill for cartoons. The dilemma of what to think about their publication remains. What to do? Moral philosopher David Rodin tackles the difficult questions surrounding free speech in liberal societies.
- Ethics on Film: Discussion of "Timbuktu"
An extraordinary film, "Timbuktu" chronicles a brief period during the 2012 occupation of the ancient Malian city by the militant Islamic group Ansar Dine. What do these stories tell us about how extremism plays out on the ground, for both the occupied and the occupiers?
- Secularism and Liberalism in the Middle East: Conversation with Ahed Al Hendi (Syria) and Faisal Al-Mutar (Iraq)
How can the international community help human rights activists on the front lines? David Keyes and two dissidents discuss practical steps individuals can take.
- Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2015
"The world in 2015 looks a lot more dangerous, a lot more vulnerable," says global political risk specialist Ian Bremmer in his annual forecast. He notes that while the United States and China, the world's largest and second-largest economies, are doing better economically, the global environment is geopolitically much worse.
- The Rise of ISIS: Implications for U.S. Strategy, Interests, and Values
How did ISIS grow so quickly? What is the best strategy to overcome it and how long will it take? How should the U.S. deal with Syria and Iran? Is this the beginning of a complete restructuring of the Middle East? This in-depth analysis from an expert panel shows that there are no easy answers, and a long struggle lies ahead.
- A Conversation with Lieutenant General H. R. McMaster
How can U.S. soldiers be trained to maintain ethical and legal standards in today's complex and often brutal environment? How is the Army preparing for current and future conflicts, in terms of military hardware, technology, and even social media? In this wide-ranging talk, Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster discusses these challenges and more.
- America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder
America is not in decline, but it's certainly in retreat, says Stephens, and this is a mistake. He argues that the United States is the ultimate guarantor of a relatively decent, stable, liberal world order, governed by a sense of rules and the knowledge, both among its friends and adversaries, that it has the will and the wherewithal to ensure its interests.
- Strategies for Countering Violent Extremists
Jean-Paul Laborde, executive director of the UN Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED) discusses the role of the UN in countering terrorism worldwide.
- Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy
Former ambassador Hill has worked on some of the most dangerous and difficult problems in U.S. diplomacy, from the Balkans, to North Korea, to Iraq. In this astute and often funny talk, he gives an inside look at his work as a diplomat, and also discusses the latest crises, from ISIS and Syria, to Ukraine and dealing with Russia.
- From "Indispensable Nation" to "Realism-Based Restraint": Reconsidering U.S. Engagement with the World
Former ambassador Chas Freeman has had a wide breadth of diplomatic experience, from the Middle East to Africa, East Asia, and Europe. In this conversation he eloquently speaks his mind on the negative effects of sanctions, the folly of U.S. unqualified support for Israel, the U.S. strategy and diplomacy deficits, and much more.
- Clip of the Month: Chas W. Freeman, Jr. on Wrestling, the Ottoman Sultan, & Fighting ISIS
Chas Freeman, former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, says that Arab countries need to provide the moral response to ISIS, or Da'ish. He also compares national security to sports and America to the Ottoman Empire during the Thirty Years' War.
- Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms: Journeys Into the Disappearing Religions of the Middle East
Despite its reputation for religious intolerance, the Middle East has long sheltered many distinctive faiths. How are groups such as the Mandaeans and Yazidis of Iraq, the Zoroastrians of Iran, and the Copts of Egypt hanging on to their ancient traditions? How can we combat religious hatred?
- A Conversation with David Keyes on Advancing Human Rights
In the Soviet era, it was difficult to alert the world of what was happening to dissidents, says David Keyes. Today, however, there's an overload of information from YouTube and other sources and the challenge is how to overcome "human rights fatigue." He explains how crowd-sourcing and other means can get the word out.
- A Conversation with General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
In this candid and thoughtful conversation, General Dempsey tackles the difficult questions, from ISIS to Ebola to cyber threats. And throughout, he stresses the importance of ethics, education, and service.
- Clip of the Month: General Martin Dempsey on ISIS
General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, describes how the U.S. Military is fighting ISIS in Syria, amidst the brutal civil war.
- The Middle East in Crisis: A View from Israel
Chuck Freilich, former Israeli deputy national security adviser, speaks from Tel Aviv on turbulence across the greater Middle East, including the ISIL threat, Iran and the P5+1 negotiations, and prospects for the peace process.
- Political Order and Political Decay: From the Industrial Revolution to the Globalization of Democracy
What are the requirements for a liberal democracy? It's not just voting, says Fukuyama. It needs a distinction between public and private interest; rule of law; and accountability. Although the U.S. started off as a weak, corrupt state, it became a liberal democracy. Yet all political systems are subject to decay, and that's what's happening to the U.S. today.
- The Ottoman Road to War: Mustafa Aksakal on the Ottomans' Fateful Decision
Why did the Ottoman Empire side with Germany in World War I? It was a rational decision, given the circumstances at the time, argues Aksakal. But it brought down the empire and violently reshaped the region's borders at horrifying human cost. Indeed, WWI informs national identities even today.
- Foreign Fighters in Syria
How is ISIS structured? Why are young Muslims from many countries going to Syria to join it? What is the nature and extent of the threat and how can it be overcome? Counterintelligence expert Richard Barrett (formerly with MI5, MI6, and the UN) gives an informative, balanced, and perceptive report. Don't miss it.
- A Clear and Present Danger: Why We Need the UN Security Council to Help Defeat ISIL
The relentless advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant poses an existential threat to countries of the region and a grave challenge to the world at large. The curbing and crushing of ISIL requires extraordinary measures, a "coalition of the concerned," led by the United States and working through and in cooperation with the UN Security Council.
- Iran Nuclear Threat: Fact or Fiction?
Senior Fellow David Speedie interviews Dr. Gareth Porter, scholar, journalist, and skeptic concerning U.S. claims of an Iranian nuclear weapons program.
- Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East
How did the Arab Revolt and Lawrence of Arabia shape the Middle East? And how are Lawrence's actions of a century ago still being felt today?
- A Conversation with Law Professor and Columnist Rosa Brooks on Obama's Foreign Policy
With an insider's perspective, Rosa Brooks candidly discusses U.S. foreign policy, from Kosovo to Afghanistan, Syria, and Ukraine, along with her views on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Would Clinton have made a better president?
- Sectarian Politics in the Gulf: From the Iraq War to the Arab Uprisings
It's tempting to see today's Middle East conflicts as the continuation of centuries-old sectarian divisions, but Frederick Wehrey cautions against it. "Sectarianism is really a local institutional governance phenomenon that needs to be addressed through political reform in the Gulf, through ending discrimination, through greater participation in governance."
- Attacks on the Press: Journalism on the Front Lines
Journalists have always faced attacks on their freedom to report stories and often on their physical safety as well. Now they face a new threat: digital surveillance. Electronic spying means that journalists cannot protect their sources, and undermines the public's confidence in the media's ability to operate without government interference.
- The Awakening of Muslim Democracy: New Book by Global Ethics Fellow Jocelyne Cesari
Why and how did Islam become such a political force in so many Muslim-majority countries? Cesari investigates the relationship between modernization, politics, and Islam in Muslim-majority countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Pakistan, Tunisia, and Turkey--countries that were founded by secular rulers and have since undergone secularized politics.
- Iran and Nuclear Proliferation: Update with Joseph Cirincione
Joseph Cirincione, president of the Ploughshares Fund, discusses the status and prospects for the ongoing P5+1 talks in Vienna on Iran's nuclear program, and the importance of successful negotiations for the global nuclear nonproliferation agenda.
- Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East
What if a group decides democratically that they don't want to be liberal--that they want an "illiberal democracy"? Shadi Hamid argues that repression originally compelled Islamists to moderate their politics. But ironically, democratic openings pushed them back to their original fundamentalism, leaving no space for liberal norms such as women's rights.
- The Story of the Jews: Finding the Words (1000 BCE–1492)
Never at a loss for words, the inimitable, erudite, and very funny Simon Schama free-associates his way through Jewish history: the Old Testament, Jewish dancing masters in 16th century Italy, Passover recipes, the future of Israel--it's all here, and more.
- Iran's Nuclear Program: Status and Prospects for the P5+1 Negotiations
Discussions among the Iran and the P5 countries and Germany on the Iranian nuclear energy program are ongoing in Vienna. William O. Beeman, professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota, who has written extensively on these issues, discusses the current state of affairs and possible outcomes.
- The Struggle for Iraq's Future: How Corruption, Incompetence and Sectarianism Have Undermined Democracy
In this bleak and revealing talk, Iraqi lawyer Zaid al-Ali provides an insider's analysis of Iraq's many failures of governance, from creating a constitution to providing Iraqis with jobs, electricity, and most of all safety.
- The Secret of Political Jiu-Jitsu
"While oppression may appear to be a display of the government's power, skilled activists know that it's actually a sign of weakness."
- "War on Terror," an Insider's View: A Conversation with Harold H. Koh
As legal adviser to the State Department from 2009 to 2013, Harold Koh was responsible for making judgments about the most difficult issues in the "war on terror": drone strikes, military tribunals, preventive detention. This fascinating and revealing conversation explores Koh's moral convictions and the inner workings of government.
- The Future of American Warfighting: Lessons of the Contemporary Battlefield
What are the ethical and legal questions raised by unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, and surveillance? How do they affect combatants, decision-makers, and civilians? An expert panel explores these crucial issues.
- The Fog of Peace: The Human Face of Conflict Resolution
The courageous Gianni Picco played a central role in negotiating the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, met with Saddam Hussein to bring an end to the Iran-Iraq War, and traveled to both Beirut and Tehran to rescue 11 hostages and 91 other prisoners. How did he do it? By treating adversaries as individuals, not just government representatives.
- Differing Perspectives on Iran and the Middle East Peace Process: Is there a Crisis in U.S.-Israel Relations?
Do the public disagreements between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government over Iran's nuclear program and the current peace talks with the Palestinians signal a growing rift between the United States and Israel? How strong is the alliance between the countries? What does the future hold for Israel?
- Rules of Engagement: The Legal, Ethical and Moral Challenges of the Long War
Can the drone campaign be legally and morally justified? What are the limits to the president's authority when it comes to targeted killing? Don't miss this discussion with Robert Grenier, former CIA counterterrorism director; Charles Blanchard, former general counsel of the U.S. Air Force; and Kenneth Anderson, professor of law at American University.
- The Second Arab Awakening and the Battle for Pluralism
Jordanian diplomat and scholar Marwan Muasher surveys the situation across the Arab world. He sees reasons for optimism in the long run, particularly in Tunisia, and makes a passionate call for pluralism, which he says is essential for democracy and prosperity.
- Ethics Matter: Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2014 with Ian Bremmer
So what should we look out for in 2014? "The economic risks are receding. The geopolitical risks are becoming more important," says political risk guru Ian Bremmer. Don't miss this entertaining but fact-filled talk for insights on global affairs, from U.S. foreign policy, to the Middle East, Asia, Russia, Europe, and emerging markets.
- The Future of Transatlantic Security Cooperation after 2014
2014 may be a turning point for transatlantic security cooperation. This paper identifies the three most relevant "drivers" in this regard: financial and resource constraints, a turn towards a more inward-looking perspective in EU and NATO capitals, and shifting power relations in the international system. The paper concludes with policy recommendations.
- Ethics Matter: The Future of War, with Andrew Exum
Andrew Exum is a scholar, author, and former U.S. Army officer. In this revealing talk, he describes, in vivid detail, his days leading platoons in Iraq and Afghanistan; insights gained while working at the Pentagon; the successes and failures of America's counterinsurgency efforts; and the growing civilian-military divide, especially in the Northeast.
- Nuclear Nightmares: Securing the World Before It Is Too Late
The threat of a nuclear nightmare is still real, says Joe Cirincione. With unsecured stockpiles in Russia, the ever-present threat of terrorists getting hold of a bomb, and the possibility of a nuclear Iran, America and the world need to pay attention to this potentially catastrophic issue.
- My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel
Speaking just after the November 23 nuclear deal with Iran, Ari Shavit is skeptical: "The question is: Is it an act of creating the time to wake up and see what's there; or is it a process of deluding ourselves one last time, which will be the very last time?" He also discusses his homeland, Israel--its history, its deep-rooted problems, and its vibrancy.
- The Constitution Project: Task Force Report on Detainee Treatment
In many instances, U.S. forces used interrogation techniques which constitute torture; the nation's most senior officials bear ultimate responsibility; and there is no evidence that torture produced significant information of value. These are the unanimous conclusions of the task force on detainee treatment, as discussed here by two of its members.
- Mass Flourishing: How Grassroots Innovation Created Jobs, Challenge, and Change
"America has strayed pretty far from the pioneer spirit captured by Willa Cather and the movie 'Shane,'" says Nobel Prize-winner Edmund Phelps. What happened? Phelps argues that since the 1960s, there has been a resurgence of certain traditional and anti-modern values. This has resulted in "a new corporatism," which stifles innovation.
- Important Choices: Foreign Policy and Defense Spending
How much does the U.S. actually spend on defense and where does that money go? Lawrence Korb, an expert on the federal budget, the military, and national security, discusses the tough choices the U.S. needs to make on defense spending; relations with Iran; Syria; NATO; and nuclear weapons.
- U.S. Policy on Iran and the Middle East: Where Do We Go From Here?
Are we on the brink of a new era in Iran-U.S. relations? Maybe. Iran expert Gary Sick discusses President Rouhani's UN speech, which took place just before this event, plus previous missed opportunities and the current possibilities of rapprochement. While condemning the regime, he sees an opening for constructive negotiations.
- Syria and the Just Use of Force Short of War
The Obama administration has spoken of punishing the Assad regime, of deterring future attacks, of reinforcing the norm against chemical weapons use, and of diminishing the regime's military capabilities. Consistently, these threats have been framed in the language of force short of war. How do we judge if such an action is morally justified?
- Hezbollah: The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God
Created and armed by Iran, Hezbollah's reach stretches around the world, including inside the United States. Matthew Levitt traces its terrifying activities and discusses how Iran/Hezbollah might retaliate in response to a U.S. strike on Syria.
- The Fate of Cultural Property in Wartime: Why it Matters and What Should Be Done
Cultural property protection in conflict is often neglected as people argue that the lives of individuals in warzones are far more important than old buildings, pots, and books. However, it is not a question of prioritizing. We must not dismiss cultural property protection in conflicts as secondary to humanitarian tragedy, but as part of the effort to save humanity.
- A Lifeline for Peace in Syria--and for Obama
Why are we so reluctant to say the following? The overriding priority is to end the killing; defanging the Syrian chemical weapons complex will be difficult and long-term, although the U.S.-Russia agreement offers a bold, if challenging, timetable; and Russia has come up with a better idea than we could, and we are prepared to follow and support its lead.
- How to Save the Syrians
"Keeping open the threat of a limited, targeted strike on Assad, while negotiations over the chemical weapons program continue, is essential both for reaching a chemical weapons agreement and for sustaining the momentum necessary for an eventual cease-fire," argues Centennial Chair Michael Ignatieff in this piece for the "New York Review of Books Blog."
- What to Remember in Syria from Iraq’s Sectarian War
In this piece for "The Washington Post" on U.S. plans to intervene in Syria, Global Ethics Fellow Jocelyne Cesari warns that "like in Iraq, any external intervention will affect the balance of powers between the different groups on the ground and intensify the sectarian war without ending the conflict."
- Arise TV: Review, September 08
Senior fellow David Speedie appeared on "Arise Review" to discuss the developing crisis in Syria, as well as efforts to garner support for a limited strike against Bashar al-Assad. "Lobbing a few hundred Tomahawk missiles in a very restricted military exercise," he argues "will potentially ... aggravate the situation rather than resolve everything."
- Finding Our National Moral Compass on Syria
The U.S. received aid from other nations during its own Revolutionary War, and so despite all, "as America debates the pros and cons of U.S. assistance to the people of Syria who are fighting against their own tyrant, we would do well to remember what we owe to the willingness of others to do what was morally right, however inconvenient."
- On Law, Policy, and (Not) Bombing Syria
The question of whether the U.S. should use its military against Assad is separate from the questions of legal interpretation. The legal question does not address the likely consequences of the use of force.
- Seven Scenarios for the Future of Syria
"Now that the country has imploded, there is no easy way out." Seth Kaplan outlines possible futures for Syria, followed by a list of recommended international options.
- Syria: The Case for Punitive Intervention
"If framed in terms of punishment for a wrong committed, and if undertaken in a way that respects the rule of law at the global level, a military strike against the Assad regime makes moral, legal and even strategic sense."
- Seven Reasons U.S. Intervention in Syria is a Bad Idea
In this opinion piece adapted for "The Christian Science Monitor," senior fellow and program director David Speedie argues that the view that the U.S. is morally obligated to get involved in Syria, while understandable, "is wrong for seven key reasons, both moral and pragmatic."
- Syria: "To Jaw-Jaw Is Always Better than to War-War"
The mantra of those who are pro-intervention in Syria is that while there are no good options, in the face of tens of thousands of deaths, something must be done. But according to David Speedie, while understandable, this is wrong for a number of reasons, both moral and pragmatic.
- Egypt Post Morsi: Why There Is No Reason to Hope for a Real Democratic Transition
"The army is currently using the protests against Morsi to their benefit as they did in 2011 with the protests against Mubarak.... The only way out ... would be the creation of an emergency government of national unity in which all political protagonists would agree to partake," argues Global Ethics Fellow Jocelyne Cesari in the "Huffington Post."
- Globalization Is the Unsung Champion of the Protests Happening Around the World
Through the late 80s and 90s, protests everywhere from Berlin to Seattle revealed a common target of public unrest: globalization. Now, however, globalization has become an unsung champion of an empowered, rising global middle class that is more connected and has higher expectations politically. The June protests in Brazil are a good example.
- Ethics Matter: Jeremy Scahill on the World as a Battlefield
In the name of the "war on terror," the U.S. is conducting covert warfare and targeted killings, and it dismisses the resulting deaths of innocent civilians as "collateral damage." What are the ethical and practical repercussions of these policies? Jeremy Scahill's blistering talk ranges from Iraq to Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia.
- Global Ethical Dialogues: Concept Paper
How can Carnegie Council, an organization with a global mandate but based in New York, contribute to generating egalitarian dialogue within and between unequal societies? We hope to do so by organizing an inter-connected series of global dialogues on the ethical roots of problems we face in common and what we need to do together to solve them.
- Thought Leader: Brent Scowcroft
"More and more of the things that countries, nations, governments want to do for their citizens can't be done nationally. They have to reach out to others. So I think we're in a process of the uneasy interaction of these two. That gives me some hope for the future."
- The World Through Arab Eyes: Arab Public Opinion and the Reshaping of the Middle East
While domestic injustices and the information revolution were key factors, Dr. Telhami argues it's impossible to understand the Arab uprisings without also referring to foreign policy. "The dignity that they sought to restore in these uprisings was not only about their relationship with the rulers, but was about their relationship with the rest of the world."
- The Arab Spring Two Years On: Reflections on Dignity, Democracy, and Devotion
The demise of long-standing dictators has shaken the foundations of authoritarianism in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order
We have been guilty of overreaching abroad and underachieving at home, says Richard Haass, and these sins are really two sides of the national security coin. After all, "our capacity to act abroad is obviously directly limited and affected by the capacities we have created here at home, whether the capacities are military or economic or human."
- Legal Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of National Security
"In the post-9/11 world, the job of being the senior legal authority for the Department of Defense is the perfect storm collision of law, national security, and politics," says Jeh Johnson. He describes 13-14-hour days working on such thorny issues as "Don't Ask Don't Tell," Guantanamo, and weightiest of all, the conflict with al-Qaeda and its affiliates.
- The Takeaway with John Hockenberry: European Union Ends Arms Embargo on Syrian Rebels
Program Director David Speedie appeared on WNYC's "The Takeaway With John Hockenberry," commenting on developments in the EU's Syria policies
- "'Can' Is Not the Same as 'Should'"
Regarding U.S. intervention in Syria: just because the U.S. 'can' doesn't mean it 'should,' writes program director and senior fellow David Speedie in a letter to the "Financial Times."
- The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2013)
Andrew Bacevich argues that militarism now permeates U.S. society. These attitudes emerged in the decades after the Vietnam War, and are at odds both with U.S. interests and with its founding traditions.
- Why Dictators Don't Like Jokes
Pro-democracy activists around the world are discovering that humor is one of the most powerful weapons in the fight against authoritarianism.
- Ethics Matter: Zainab Salbi on Women, War, and Self-Empowerment
In this fascinating conversation, Zainab Salbi discusses her personal journey from growing up in Saddam Hussein's Iraq to becoming a global champion of women's rights. She also focuses on the realities of women's lives across the Middle East and proposes constructive ways to change negatives to positives.
- Why Dictators Don’t Like Jokes
Grant Manager Mladen Joksic's co-authored piece "Why Dictators Don't Like Jokes" was featured in "Foreign Policy" magazine. The article was picked up by "Slate," "The Sydney Morning Herald," Heraldonline, and iPolitics, and was translated into Vietnamese, Portuguese, and Serbian for various publications.
- Ethics on Film: Discussion of "Argo"
"Argo," which tells the story of a creative and daring escape from revolution-era Iran, won the Oscar for Best Picture and was a resounding commercial and critical success. Yet the film has angered diplomats and governments from New Zealand to Iran. Was "Argo" too well done for its own good?
- TEN YEARS AFTER: A RETROSPECTIVE ON THE IRAQ WAR
On the tenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, we look back on the ethical debates surrounding the war, and the conflict's tragic results. Millions of Iraqis—along with many others in the Middle East, plus Americans and their European allies—are still struggling with the consequences of March 19, 2003.
- Ethics on Film: Discussion of "Zero Dark Thirty"
A fictional adaptation of the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden, this blockbuster has reignited the debate surrounding the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques"--i.e. torture. The movie has also sparked a discussion over the ethical responsibilities of filmmakers.
- Book Review: "China and Africa: A Century of Engagement"
Now more than ever, the world is influenced and affected by all things Chinese, especially its relationships with developing countries. And there is much to learn through studying the country's dealings with Africa, which are of great enormity and complexity. This book is, therefore, an important resource for anyone concerned with international relations.
- Thought Leader: Robert D. Kaplan
"I see a world driven by a loss of central authority, which creates its on moral problems as a consequence."
- Behind the Headlines--After the Israeli Elections: A New Chapter or More of the Same?
Why were the recent Israeli elections results so different from expectations? Why were the main issues domestic ones, with little attention paid to Iran or the Palestinian situation? For answers to these questions and more, look to Yoram Peri's expert analysis of the complexities of Israeli politics and concerns.
- Report from the Middle East
Chuck Freilich's knowledgeable talk gives us an overview of the primary forces at work today in the Middle East--and some potential outcomes. He also provides an insider's analysis of Israel's politics and prospects.
- The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate
With a breadth and depth of knowledge spanning not only current geopolitics but centuries of history, Robert Kaplan shows us the crucial importance of geography in shaping our destinies. Geography still matters, and always will.
- Going to Tehran: Prospects for U.S.-Iranian Engagement
Americans' view of Iran as an illegitimate system in imminent danger of overthrow is wrongheaded, wishful thinking, say the Leveretts. The U.S. needs to come to terms with the Islamic Republic of Iran, not as a favor to Iran, but to save its own position in the Middle East and avert another war. Nixon went to China. Obama needs to go to Iran.
- Ethics Matter: Top Risks and Ethical Decisions 2013 with Ian Bremmer
"There are three big things happening right now in the world: China rising, Middle East exploding, Europe muddling through. Those are the things that truly matter, in the sense that they have potentially very different kinds of trajectories and outcomes depending on where they go."
- Of Africa
In this masterful talk, Nobel-Prize winner Wole Soyinka focuses on Nigeria and Mali. Mali must be taken back, he declares. "To permit an enclave of extreme, violent fundamentalism [in Mali] is letting the door wide open to fundamentalist violence, not merely in Nigeria, but throughout West Africa."
- Prospects for U.S.-Iran Relations
Iran and the U.S. have a long list of common interests, including Afghanistan, stability in Iraq, and fighting drug trafficking. A good way to start creating trust between the two nations would be to cooperate on these issues, instead of always focusing on divisive ones like nuclear capability.
- Israel and Hamas: Time to Talk?
Hamas is unlikely to ever become a partner for peace with Israel, but it can be a partner for coexistence, albeit a limited and uneasy coexistence. For Israelis and Palestinians this is surely better than no peace at all, which is, alas, the most likely scenario at present.
- The Second Nuclear Age: Strategy, Danger, and the New Power Politics
In the Cold War, the path to nuclear war always led through Moscow and Washington. In the second nuclear age the triggers to nuclear war are in Tel Aviv, Islamabad, Pyongyang, and in the future possibly Tehran, and possibly in other places too, because you can start a nuclear war even if you don't have nuclear weapons.
- Ethics Matter: Srdja Popovic on Creating Successful Nonviolent Movements
Successful nonviolent movements need three things: the cool factor, memorable branding, and humor, says Popovic. He cofounded the Serbian youth movement Otpor!, which played a major role in toppling Milosevic, and his work training activists in Egypt and Tunisia is widely credited for inspiring Arab Spring protesters.
- Hard Questions for Humanitarians
Do international laws intended to constrain war and uphold human rights unwittingly legitimate violence? Zach Dorfman of Carnegie Council reviews Eyal Weizman's book, "The Least of All Possible Evils."
- On Saudi Arabia: Its People, Past, Religion, Fault Lines--and Future
Drawing on over 30 years of experience of reporting on Saudi Arabia, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Karen Elliott House takes us behind the scenes in this secretive Kingdom--a country ruled by a coterie of princes with an average age of 77, where 60 percent of the population is under the age of 20.
- Human Rights Watch: Promoting Ethical Behavior When It's Contested
It's the job of Human Rights Watch to shine a spotlight on human rights abuses worldwide, including in the U.S., says its executive director Ken Roth. We speak not for the public conscience, but to it, "and if we have hit that conscience accurately, it’s reflected in shame, and governments then have to respond to that."
- Exit the Colonel: The Hidden History of the Libyan Revolution
The real story of the Libyan Revolution began not with the Arab Spring, but in 2003, when anti-Qaddafi sanctions were lifted. Former U.S. diplomat Ethan Chorin was posted to Libya in 2004 and was in Benghazi when Ambassador Stevens was killed. He gives an insider's perspective on this complex tale.
- Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad
David W. Lesch has traveled to Syria repeatedly since 1989 and met President Bashar al-Assad several times in the mid-2000s. He discusses the conflict in the influential Middle Eastern nation, why an American intervention is a dangerous idea, and why Assad has cracked down so absolutely.
- MEK: When Terrorism Becomes Respectable
The Iranian group Mujahedin-e Khalq [MEK] has been on the U.S. global terrorist list since 1997. So just why has the U.S. State Department removed it from the list?
- Public Affairs: America in the 21st Century: A View from Asia
The good, the bad, and the ugly: distinguished Singaporean Kishore Mahbubani politely but firmly tells Americans how Asians see them, and warns, "the world that is coming is a world outside your comfort zones."
- Is the World Becoming More Peaceful?
In this vigorous discussion, two leading thinkers in global affairs--Harvard professor Steven Pinker and "Atlantic" correspondent Robert D. Kaplan--take on the subject of world peace, a core interest of Carnegie Council.
- From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia
Pankaj Mishra explores the little-known history of the first generation of Asian intellectuals, such as China's Liang Qichao and the Persian political activist al-Afghani, and discusses how their ideas influenced Asia's postcolonial state-building programs.
- America in the 21st Century: A View from the Arab World
The key is still the Arab-Israeli conflict, says Muasher. "The U.S. is not going to be able to regain its credibility in the region if it tells the Arab public that 'If you are Egyptians or Tunisians or Syrians or Libyans yearning for freedom, we are with you, but if you are Palestinians yearning for freedom, it's complicated.'"
- Thought Leader: Emily Lau
"I hope that world leaders will really sit down and think about the circumstances of those people who have been suffering for many years. Why can't we all try to sort it out and give them something better to look forward to?"
- Global Ethics Corner: Are Grand Bargains Overrated?
With the crisis in Syria escalating, many analysts think a lasting resolution will be found in an internationally negotiated comprehensive settlement. Is a grand bargain possible in Syria? Is this idea overrated, in any case?
- Syria and the Arab Spring: Unintended Consequences?
It is easy to seek to add Assad to the list of toppled despots, from Tunisia to Egypt to Yemen to Libya. But it would be advisable to take a cautionary look at some recent developments, both directly linked to the crisis in Syria, and/or fallout from the earlier regime changes in the Arab world.
- U.S.-Iran Relations: Exiting the Cul de Sac?
Leading a coalition in a relentless campaign of sanctions against Iran, the U.S. has the upper hand. Therefore it should make the first move to break through the current impasse, says David Speedie. As first steps towards normal relations, he suggests some things that the U.S. ought NOT to do.
- The Arab Spring: Unfinished Business
What should we make of Egypt's new president? What should the United States do in Syria? What is the future of the Palestine-Israel conflict? International Crisis Group's Robert Malley tries to make sense of a confusing time in the Middle East and North Africa.
- Dealing with "Enablers" in Mass Atrocities: A New Human Rights Concept Takes Shape
Because mass atrocities are organized crimes, crippling the means to organize and sustain them--money, communications networks, and other resources--can disrupt their execution, writes George Lopez.
- Every Nation for Itself: Winners and Losers in a G-Zero World
What's a G-zero world? It's when no one takes a global leadership role, when no one is willing to, and no one is capable of doing it--and that's the world we're living in now, according to political scientist Ian Bremmer. So what does this mean for both now and the future?
- Global Ethics Corner: Is a "Kill List" of Terrorists Ethical?
After a recent "New York Times" story on Obama's "kill list" of terrorists, many are questioning the president's counterterrorism strategy. Is it ethical for President Obama to be selecting targets? Should the United States be doing more to keep civilians from becoming collateral damage?
- Global Ethics Corner: Vigilante Justice: Have Libyans' Demands for Retribution Gone Too Far?
Libya's civil war is over, but many victims of the Qaddafi regime are still violently meting out justice to their former oppressors. Will this just lead to a vicious cycle of abuse in the North African state? How can Libya balance the victims' needs with the perpetrators' basic human rights?
- Global Ethics Corner: A Warrior Ethic: Can Military Ethics be Taught?
After the recent highly publicized stories of American military members desecrating the remains of Taliban soldiers, many in the U.S. armed forces are learning about the ethics of war through workshops. Will these lessons work? Can warfare morality be learned in a classroom?
- Heaven on Earth: A Journey Through Shari'a Law from the Deserts of Ancient Arabia to the Streets of the Modern Muslim World
In the wake of the terrorist attacks and wars of the last decade, for many non-Muslims "shari'a" has become both a loaded word and an all-encompassing explanation. But the history and practice of shari'a is actually complex and varied, as Sadakat Kadri discovers.
- Human Rights Watch World Report 2012
How have governments responded to the recent events in Libya, Syria, Egypt, and other countries such as Bahrain? Ken Roth of Human Rights Watch gives a masterly analysis of international reactions, including those of the U.S., France, India, China, Russia, Turkey, and the Arab League.
- No One's World: The West, the Rising Rest, and the Coming Global Turn
How do we manage a world where no one power is dominant, and emerging powers have their own views about how to organize political, social, and commercial life?
- The Race for What's Left: The Global Scramble for the World's Last Resources
As we run out of resources, the human race is at a pivotal point. We have two options: We can continue along the same path, leading to much of the planet becoming uninhabitable. Or we can create an alternative future where we use resources in a much more sustainable and frugal way.
- Iran: A Diplomatic Solution
In this knowledgeable and detailed talk, Ambassador Pickering cuts through the current hysteria about Iran, stressing that we still have time for diplomacy. In fact it may finally be the right moment for both sides to engage in constructive talks.
- The Responsibility to Protect: A New International Norm?
What is Responsibility to Protect exactly? Dutch Ambassador Herman Schaper gives an expert talk on how it developed, how it is defined, how it was implemented in Libya, and what are the implications for the future.
- The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Wealth Shapes the Development of Nations
According to Michael Ross, it's no coincidence that major oil-producing countries have less democracy, fewer opportunities for women, more frequent civil wars, and more volatile economic growth than the rest of the world.
- Ethics Matter: Policymaker and Scholar Anne-Marie Slaughter
Anne-Marie Slaughter on the responsibility to protect: "I believe in a values-based foreign policy and looking to cooperate as often as I can. I also think that's basic self-interest. We don't do well when we go in without the support of other nations."
- Russia Bulletin, Issue 3
What lies behind Russia's veto and its opposition to the U.S.-led hard line on Damascus? Whether or not we agree with them, Russia has its reasons.
- Global Ethics Corner: Should the International Community Intervene in Syria?
It's been almost a year since demonstrations started in Syria and the government crackdown gets bloodier every day. With sanctions not producing results, is it time for a military intervention? Or do conditions on the ground and possible civilian deaths make this option too risky?
- Why Are We Surprised at Egypt's Backlash against Foreign NGOs?
The outrage over Egypt's arrest of 43 NGO workers, at least 16 of whom are American, is understandable and well deserved. But it also speaks to a little acknowledged paradox: These organizations are conducting democracy-building work that would never be tolerated in the U.S.
- The Varieties of Protest Experience: How Accountability Gaps Link the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street
Can the recent eruption of protests be interpreted as a single phenomenon, even though spread out across great distances and separated by barriers of language and culture? Can we locate a common strand of thought or purpose that binds them together?
- Global Ethics Corner: The Arab Spring Turns One Year Old: What Next?
As the Arab Spring celebrates its one-year anniversary, the West is cautiously awaiting the next step. Will democracy flourish in the Middle East and North Africa? Or will authoritarianism and fundamental Islam be the basis for the new governments born from the revolutions of 2011?
- Russia Bulletin, Issue 2
David Speedie examines Russia's position on Iran; the upcoming Russian elections, including the Moscow demonstrations and the West's attitude towards them;and Jackson-Vanik and U.S.-Russia trade.
- All the Missing Souls: A Personal History of the War Crimes Tribunals
David Scheffer was at the forefront of the efforts leading to criminal tribunals for the Balkans, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Cambodia. His quest has been to "to discover the right formula, in ever-changing international circumstances, to confront monstrous evil and to do so in the courtroom."
- Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis
We are already in Currency War III, says Rickards, who sees four possible outcomes--none of them good--that he calls "the four horsemen of the dollar apocalypse." Here's a tip: keep your eye on gold.
- A Single Roll of the Dice: Obama's Diplomacy with Iran
Trita Parsi recounts the previously unknown story of American and Iranian negotiations during Obama's early years as president, and the real reasons for their current stalemate. Contrary to prevailing opinion, Parsi contends that diplomacy has not been fully tried.
- A Global Look at Migration
Global migration is a key part of our economic future and one that is often overlooked. Three experts offer very different takes on migration, spanning Europe, the USA, and lastly the Gulf States, where migrants make up the majority of the population and citizens are in the minority.
- The Dictator's Handbook: Why Bad Behavior Is Almost Always Good Politics
Cynics or realists? Just follow five rules and you can be a successful dictator, say Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith--at least until old age or sickness catch up with you. They go on to argue that these precepts apply to all systems of governance, including U.S. democracy.
- Ethics Matter: Economist and Development Expert Jeffrey Sachs
Jeffrey Sachs discusses America's economic and moral crisis; development aid; the Occupy Wall Street movement; and the mobilization of youth around the world, fighting for the basic principles of freedom, justice, and equality.
- The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade
In 2010, global military expenditure was roughly $1.6 trillion--that's $235 for every person on earth. This has profound impacts, from the perpetuation of conflict, to the corrosion of democracy, to massive socioeconomic costs.
- Ian Hurd on International Law and Security
"I would disagree with those who suggest international law doesn't really matter. If we look at what states do, they work very hard to marshal legal resources behind their foreign policy choices. They clearly care very much about being seen as following international law."
- Report from Iran
Dr. Larijani, Iran's secretary general of the High Council for Human Rights, describes Iran's system as a "democratic structure based on Islamic rationality," and engages in a sometimes heated discussion with the audience on nuclear weapons and human rights in Iran.
- UN Population Fund Report
Now that the population has reached seven billion, most of the focus is on the numbers. In this report, however, Crossette explores individual stories around the world to shed light on such issues as aging populations, migration, and the desire of women for family planning.
- Justin Harlow on Political Risk and Investment in Emerging Markets
Justin Harlow discusses investing in the energy sector in emerging markets. He is the founder and managing partner of Tau Energy Partners, an energy investment advisory firm dedicated to emerging markets.
- Towards a More Robust Public Policy Environment in the Middle East
Dr. Alterman describes the principal challenges for the Arab Middle East states as "developing human capital and strengthening public policy environments." In aspiring to these, he calls for patience and long-haul commitment, even restraint, from Western donor sources.
- Global Ethics Corner: How Should the U.S. Handle Islamic Terrorists?
The fact that Guantanamo remains open, although the number of prisoners has been greatly reduced, shows how difficult it is to handle Islamic militants. Meanwhile, targeted killings have increased. Are we killing our high-profile enemies to avoid sending them to military prison?
- Illusions of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism
"It's time that we got ourselves out of this false sense of insecurity and realize that terrorism is here to stay, it will never pose an existential threat to this country, and the biggest threat it poses to us is that we will work ourselves into overreacting to the threat that it poses us."
- Global Ethics Corner: Child Soldiers and Counter-Terrorism: Should the U.S. Aid Countries that Recruit Child Soldiers?
Child soldiers and foreign aid raise an important ethical dilemma: Should allies that use child soldiers receive U.S. military aid, even if it compromises our opposition to the practice? When--if ever--should concerns about security trump concerns for human rights?
- Global Ethics Corner: Iran and the United States: Is Military Conflict Inevitable?
Recent allegations of an Iranian assassination plot in the United States have once again raised doubts about the effectiveness of sanctions. As confidence in a diplomatic solution wanes, can U.S. officials avoid military intervention without looking soft on Iran?
- Freeing Gilad: An Ethical Conundrum
The relief that so many feel at Gilad Shalit's release must be tempered by an acknowledgement that the deal Israel made with Hamas to secure Gilad's release is, at best, morally problematic, if not actually unethical. It involves difficult moral questions for both Israelis and Palestinians.
- The Unraveling: Pakistan in the Age of Jihad
U.S. Foreign Service officer John Schmidt explains how the complex, dangerous relationship between the leaders of Pakistan and various jihadist groups came about, and how it all began to unravel after 9/11.
- Ethics Matter: Economist and Foreign Aid Specialist William Easterly
The best system for discovering new approaches is not to have one planner at the top trying to decide what are going to be the successful innovations, says Bill Easterly. It's to have lots and lots of people at the bottom experimenting and finding their own innovations.
- Global Ethics Corner: Blocking the Bid: Is the U.S. right to veto Palestinian Membership to the UN?
As the UN Security Council weighs the Palestinian bid, is the U.S. right to oppose UN membership? Would Palestinian membership to the UN threaten future peace or could it provide a foundation for future negotiations?
- Yahoo! and YouTube: Balancing Human Rights and Business
How do companies such as Yahoo! and YouTube decide on whether disturbing material should be banned from their sites? What are the free speech and human rights issues involved? What guidelines do they use? This fascinating workshop discusses specific cases.
- Does the Elephant Dance?: Contemporary Indian Foreign Policy
Former Canadian High Commissioner to India David Malone gives a comprehensive survey of contemporary Indian foreign policy. He begins by focusing on India's geography, history, and capability, and covers relations with the U.S., China, Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.
- Global Ethics Corner: Ten Years After 9/11: What Have We Learned?
As we take stock of the decade since 9/11, the lessons we have learned are still unclear. Ten years on, analysts impart contentious lessons that may even be irreconcilable. As you reflect on the past decade, what did you learn from 9/11?
- What Should be the Next Phase in U.S.-Russia Relations?
Reflecting on U.S.-Russia relations, Thomas Graham and Nikolas Gvosdev agree that there is an urgent need to find a common strategic purpose that suits the interests of both the U.S. and Russia.
- Global Ethics Corner: Libya After Qaddafi: Redefining our Responsibilities
As Libya prepares for its future, do NATO member states have a moral responsibility to protect peace and stability? Or should Libya's future be of its own making? What do you think?
- Libya and the Responsibility to Protect: The Exception and the Norm [Abstract]
Where it was once a term of art employed by a handful of likeminded countries, activists, and scholars, but regarded with suspicion by much of the rest of the world, RtoP has become a commonly accepted frame of reference for preventing and responding to mass atrocities.
- The Ethics of Humanitarian Intervention in Libya [Abstract]
The moral permissibility of the intervention in Libya largely turns on two fairly tricky assessments: whether the situation was sufficiently serious at the time the intervention was launched and what the predominant purposes of the intervention were.
- RtoP Alive and Well after Libya [Abstract]
If the Libyan intervention goes well, it will put teeth in the fledgling RtoP doctrine. Yet, if it goes badly, critics will redouble their opposition, and future decisions will be made more difficult. Libya suggests that we can say no more Holocausts, Cambodias, and Rwandas--and occasionally mean it.
- Civilian Protection in Libya: Putting Coercion and Controversy Back into RtoP [Abstract]
While it is unclear how the crisis in Libya will affect the fortunes and trajectory of the principle of the responsibility to protect, Libya will significantly shape the parameters within which the debate over what RtoP entails, and how it might be operationalized, will occur.
- Introduction [Abstract]
Three central questions lie at the heart of this roundtable. First, what are the implications of Libya for the RtoP doctrine? Second, how should we judge the intervention in Libya morally and politically? Third, what is the likelihood of future action under RtoP?
- Tragedy, Then Farce: Israel, Palestine, the United States, and the UN Vote for Palestinian Statehood
When it comes to the question of a Palestinian state, anything is possible. Which, given the frustrating and enduring problems attendant to the issue, is almost tantamount to saying that nothing is possible. Yet nothing, not even blood and memory, is written in stone.
- Education for Employment Foundation: New Opportunities for Middle East Youth
Carnegie Council's David Speedie and Ronald Bruder, founder of the Education for Employment Foundation, discuss the Foundation's work in providing job training for at-risk youth in Arab Muslim countries, and also the impact of the Arab Spring.
- Global Ethics Corner: Libya and the Responsibility to Protect
The intervention in Libya is the first major action authorized by the Security Council under the "responsibility to protect." Should we take military steps when leaders attack their own people? Or does this violate the state's right to self-determination?
In this thoughtful and very personal talk, Junger ponders what attracts young men to war, the difference between friendship and brotherhood, the question of when nations should intervene, and lastly, the issue of his own mortality.
- They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children: The Global Quest to Eradicate the Use of Child Soldiers
Child soldiers are a weapons system that is effective, cheap, and complete. How do we counter that? How do we make the use of children a liability? How do we stop people from reverting to using children as the primary weapons system of a conflict?
- Awakening Islam: Religious Dissent in Contemporary Saudi Arabia
Stephane Lacroix gives a penetrating account of the political and religious dynamics of Saudi Arabia, one of the most opaque of Muslim countries and the birthplace of Osama bin Laden.
- Leif Wenar on Natural Resources and Clean Trade Policies
Consumers in countries that import natural resources are often unwittingly in business with dictators, corrupt officials, and armed groups, says Leif Wenar. Yet we could change our laws to make powerful groups in exporting countries more accountable to their own people.
- Rise of the Rest IV: Critical Regions in Crisis
Optimistic and bleak by turns, a panel of experts analyzes the dilemmas facing the rising and existing powers--from protests across the Middle East, to the earthquake and nuclear disaster in Japan, to rising food and oil prices across the world.
- President Obama's Middle East Speech: Actions Speak Louder than Words
Ultimately, it will be Obama's actions, not his words, that will determine whether the U.S. will be seen as truly supporting the Arab Spring, and so far the actual record has been decidedly mixed. Actions rather than words will also decide what happens in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
- Blood Brothers
A work of taut and absorbing beauty, Christopher de Bellaigue's "Rebel Land" documents the author's journey to and exploration of the area known as eastern Turkey--a.k.a Western Armenia, a.k.a. northern Kurdistan.
- Ethics Matter: Political Scientist and Economist Francis Fukuyama
How does Francis Fukuyama view state formation, normative issues, and human behavior? Does he believe (as Andrew Carnegie did) that history moves in an upward direction and we can eventually put an end to war? This fascinating interview explores these questions and more.
- The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution
How did human beings succeed in creating the ideal of strong, accountable governments that adhere to the rule of law? Francis Fukuyama provides a sweeping account of how today's basic political institutions developed.
- Higher Education in the Middle East: America's Legacy
For generations, American universities have been educating students in the Middle East. President of Lebanese American University Joseph Jabbra makes an impassioned case for the American values that students absorb in these institutions, such as tolerance, philanthropy, and service.
- Global Ethics Corner: Assisting Political Parties in the Middle East
In the aftermath of popular uprisings in the Middle East, Western aid-donors are confronted by a difficult dilemma. Should they work with anti-democratic or politically extreme domestic groups? Is excluding some parties in the name of democracy justified?
- The Arab Uprisings: The View from Cairo
As president of the American University of Cairo, Lisa Anderson was a witness to the recent protests in Tahrir Square. In this fascinating talk, she analyzes the upheavals taking place across the Arab world and explains the differences between them.
- April 2011 or April 1994? Seventeen Years Later, Libya is to Ivory Coast as Bosnia was to Rwanda
While all eyes are focused on Libya, we may be headed towards a bloodbath in Ivory Coast similar to that in Rwanda in April 1994. The Middle East is of vital strategic importance and Sub-Saharan Africa is not. Yet how can we allow history to repeat itself?
- Rahim Kanani Interviews Joel Rosenthal
Joel Rosenthal gives his assessment of President Obama's foreign policy, the Middle East and North Africa protests, the WikiLeaks revelations, U.S. leadership in the age of globalization, the future of U.S. diplomatic engagement, and much more.
- I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity
Born in a Palestinian refugee camp, Dr. Abuelaish has devoted his life to medicine and to reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians, even though his three daughters and a niece were killed by Israeli shelling. His personal doctrine is that hate is the wrong response to war. What's needed is communication, compassion, and understanding.
- Global Ethics Corner: Turkey, Islam, and Democracy
Turkey's democracy has been extolled as a model in the Middle East, but has also been belittled for its creeping authoritarianism. Does Turkey offer hope to those states making a democratic transformation in the Arab world? Or is its system under threat?
- WikiLeaks: An Overview, Part II
Did WikiLeaks really spark the unrest in Tunisia, as Assange and many pundits claim? No, writes Erik Schechter; but it has certainly influenced politics in another African country--Zimbabwe--where WikiLeaks has been a setback for democratic forces.
- From Resistance to Revolution and Back Again: What Egyptian Youth Can Learn From Otpor When Its Activists Leave Tahrir Square
Joksic and Spoerri discuss Otpor, the Serbian youth movement that influenced Egypt's youths. In analyzing the sources of Otpor's ultimate collapse after Milosevic's fall, they provide lessons for current and future youth movements throughout the Middle East.
- The Future of Power
"In the information age, the mark of a great power is not just whose army wins, but also whose story wins," says Joseph Nye. This talk includes his thoughts on China, Egypt, Afghanistan, Iran, and more.
- Global Ethics Corner: Egypt: Democracy or Demography?
Two waves are overwhelming Egypt and possibly the Middle East: democracy and demography. Can a youthful imperative for rapid change amplify or diminish the growth of democracy? Can a populist revolution contain the seeds of an authoritarian regime?
- The Next Decade: Where We've Been...and Where We're Going
The challenge of the next decade is not American power, says George Friedman. It is the preservation of the republic through a management of the international system that faces the fact that, intended or not, we're an empire. So long as we refuse to face that, we can't be effective.
- Egypt: Liberalism and Intervention
The next time we claim that some peoples, traditions, religions, or civilizations cannot achieve democracy, rights, or freedom unless we help them, we might want to look to the power of peaceful protest in the oldest civilization in the world.
- How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle
Pax Americana is a good thing, declares Gideon Rose. The problem is that even when the U.S. wins militarily, it often botches dealing with war's aftermath because it fails to define its political objectives.
- Global Ethics Corner: Tunisia: The Jasmine Revolution and Western Foreign Policy
In Tunisia, the Jasmine Revolution showed the vulnerability of unpopular and anti-democratic regimes. Should the West support authoritarian regimes to contain political Islam? Should it watch popular passions erect potentially anti-democratic governments? Is there a third alternative?
- Beirut, Damascus, Tehran, and Tel Aviv: The Moment of Reckoning is Near
As powerful regional forces confront each other over the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri, a day of reckoning is inevitable. Will there be a compromise or will the struggle be settled on the battlefield of Lebanon, Syria, Iran, or Israel?
- Putting Middle East Youth to Work: Partnering with Business to Turn a Youth Tsunami into an Asset
Founder and CEO Ron Bruder and VP Jasmine Nahhas di Florio introduce Education for Employment Foundation, an NGO that creates employment opportunities for youth in the Middle East and North Africa. Five programs are underway: Egypt, Jordan, West Bank/Gaza, Morocco, and Yemen.
- Suicide Terror and the Preoccupation with Occupation
According to Robert Pape, suicide bombers the world over are not motivated by religion; they are all secular nationalists resisting foreign occupation. Is there really a single explanation? Erik Schechter disagrees and musters evidence to prove it.
- Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia
Michael Korda reveals the extraordinary man behind the myth of Lawrence of Arabia. He discusses T. E. Lawrence's contradictory nature, a born leader who was utterly fearless but remained shy and modest; and a scholar who also invented guerrilla warfare.
- Global Ethics Corner: Interests or Values: The West and Israel
Western support of Israel demonstrates a clash of interests and values. Israel is a key U.S. ally, yet its policies towards Gaza and the West Bank are repeatedly marked with human rights violations. Can there be a middle ground in foreign policy where interests and values meet?
- Water, Water Everywhere
A constructive engagement over water supply and stewardship might just create an atmosphere conducive to constructive dialogue on more contentious problems in the Middle East and other areas of conflict.
- One Nation Under Contract: The Outsourcing of American Power and the Future of Foreign Policy
Allison Stanger shows how contractors became an integral part of U.S. foreign policy, often in scandalous ways, but maintains that the problem is not contractors, but the absence of good government. Outsourcing done right is, in fact, indispensable to U.S. interests today.
- Can Obama Please Both Arabs and Israelis? What the Polls and History Tell Us
Despite Obama's rhetoric, most Arabs still see America through the prism of pain of the Arab-Israeli conflict, says Telhami, and a majority of Arabs and Israelis no longer believe peace is possible. Both the Arabs and the Israelis need to put public opinion aside and build an agreement.
- The Frugal Superpower: America's Global Leadership in a Cash-Strapped Era
Michael Mandelbaum says that in this age of soaring deficits, the era marked by an expansive U.S. foreign policy is coming to an end. He recommends a new policy, centered on a reduction in the nation's dependence on foreign oil.
- Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War
It is time to examine the Washington consensus on national security and why it must change, says Professor Bacevich--and to acknowledge that fixing Afghanistan should not take precedence over fixing Detroit.
- The Ethical Implications of Sea-Level Rise Due to Climate Change [Abstract]
Does humanity have a moral obligation toward the estimated millions of individuals who will be displaced from their homes over the course of this century primarily due to sea-level rise as the earth's climate warms? What form should these actions take?
- Just War, Jihad, and the Study of Comparative Ethics [Full Text]
What can the study of the comparative ethics tell us about the similarities and divergences between the just war and jihad traditions? How can the discipline help locate shared concerns, identify persistent differences, and reveal common narratives?
- NWFZs: Pursuing a World Free of Nuclear Weapons
Today there are five Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (NWFZ) treaties, yet only one has been fully ratified. Sadly, the reservations of the nuclear weapon states, specifically those of the United States, hinder the success and complete denuclearization of these designated zones.
- For Obama, Short-term Tactics, or Long-term Strategy on Iran?
By insisting on votes on sanctions against Iran, Obama may have sacrificed his strategic objective--to prevent the development of the Iranian bomb--for an ephemeral victory in the UN Security Council.
- The Case for a Union: From the Fertile Crescent to the Silk Road
Authors Abtahi and Shoamanesh have a bold proposition: a multi-state, political-economic-security union that stretches from the Fertile Crescent to the Silk Road, connecting the Indian Ocean to the Caucasus, and the Mediterranean to Central Asia.
- Beyond the NPT
Doctors Roald Sagdeev and Frank von Hippel have collaborated for decades on nuclear arms control and nonproliferation between the U.S. and the USSR. They discuss their work and their insights for the future arms control agenda.
- Legal Scholars Weigh in on Gaza Blockade, Flotilla Deaths
Putting aside overheated rhetoric and pseudo-legal analyses, security affairs writer Erik Schechter asks a group of international law experts about the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the methods employed by Israel to enforce it. Here are their answers.
- Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future
Stephen Kinzer argues that the United States needs to rethink its alliances in the Middle East and focus on strategic relationships with Iran and Turkey rather than Israel and Saudi Arabia.
- The Responsibility to Protect—Five Years On [Abstract]
States' Responsibility to Protect vulnerable populations has become a prominent feature in international debates about preventing genocide and mass atrocities and about protecting potential victims. But profound disagreements persist about RtoP's function, meaning, and proper use.
- Soviet Fates and Lost Alternatives: From Stalinism to the New Cold War
Washington has squandered the opportunity for a fundamentally new U.S.-Russian relationship after the Cold War, says Stephen Cohen.
- Dealing with Iran: "Missed Opportunities" and "Holding Contradictory Ideas at the Same Time"
How, ask David Speedie and Gary Sick, can we move the U.S.-Iran dialogue beyond the current mutually recriminatory stalemate?
- A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West
What do Nazis, the CIA, and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the West have in common? Journalist Ian Johnson tells the untold story of a group of ex-Soviet Muslims who defected to Germany during World War II has a lesson for today: beware of using religion as a tool.
- Book Review: "The End of the Free Market" by Ian Bremmer
State capitalism differs from free-market capitalism in that politics rather than profit is the main driver of decision-making. For this reason, it threatens to curtail free markets and the global economy.
- Faith and Power: Religion and Politics in the Middle East
Bernard Lewis is one of the world's foremost Western scholars on Islam. In this eloquent talk he shares some of his knowledge, and explains how the different world views held by Christians and Muslims can lead to misunderstanding.
- The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities Are Reshaping the World
Ben Wildavsky shows how international competition for the brightest minds is transforming the world of higher education, and why this revolution should be welcomed, not feared.
- Pursuing a "Syrian Strategy" for Arab-Israeli Peace
A Syrian-Israeli Peace Treaty brokered by the U.S. could create the conditions for the kind of confidence-building measures between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority necessary for the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.
- How Enemies Become Friends: The Sources of Stable Peace
Diplomatic engagement with rivals, far from being appeasement, is critical to rapprochement between adversaries, says Charles Kupchan, and diplomacy, not economic interdependence, creates the path to peace.
- Incentivizing Peace in the Middle East: A New Role for the United States
The issue in the Israel/Palestinian conflict is not a lack of desire for peace, but the political inability to achieve it. The basic contours of an agreement already exist. It is time for the U.S. to force a resolution to the conflict by providing incentives for both sides to finally sign on to it.
- Water: The Epic Struggle for Wealth, Power, and Civilization
Everything hinges on water; it is essential to life and to civilization. Will there be enough fresh water for 9 billion of us by 2050? In this talk, journalist Steven Solomon discusses the impending global water crisis.
- Eclipse of the Sunnis: Power, Exile, and Upheaval in the Middle East
1.9 million Sunni Muslims have been forced into exile following the Iraq War, says Deborah Amos. What impact is this having on these people's lives, on Iraq, and on the region's delicate balance of power?
- Taming the Gods: Religion and Democracy on Three Continents
Focusing on Muslims in Europe, Ian Buruma argues that religions (including Islam) and liberal democracies are compatible, despite many peoples' fears. Democracy allows space for religion as long as believers obey their society's laws.
- Terrorism, Resistance, and the Idea of "Unlawful Combatancy" [Full Text]
When faced with security threats from terrorism and other forms of nonstate political violence, how should liberal-democratic states respond? Finlay discusses books by Tamar Meisels, Seumas Miller, and Timothy Shanahan.
- Freedom of the Press in the Arab World: Al Jazeera's Contribution
Al Jazeera correspondent Khaled Dawoud reviews the history behind Al Jazeera and discusses some of the issues he has confronted regarding the channel and its coverage of events in the Middle East.
- Global Jobs Update: Assessing the Quality and Pace of Recovery
A panel of experts from the International Labour Organization, business, academia, and the EU discuss the actions taken to address this multi-faceted crisis, and give suggestions for further ways to generate jobs.
- The Future of Islam
Is Islam compatible with democracy and human rights? Will religious fundamentalism block the development of modern societies in the Islamic world? Georgetown's John L. Esposito demolishes some common negative stereotypes about Islam, the fastest growing religion in the world.
- Obama's Foreign Policy: What Matters and What Doesn't for America's Future
Elections and campaigns are about options. Governing is about constraints. For Obama--and every president--what happens when foreign policy options meet foreign policy constraints?
- Forces of Fortune: The Rise of the New Muslim Middle Class and What it Will Mean for Our World
The real key to bringing economic and political change to the Muslim world is capitalism, says Vali Nasr. Entrepreneurial middle classes the world over have a stake in the system and are more interested in economic success than religious extremism.
- Interesting Times: Writings from a Turbulent Decade
George Packer discusses some of his essays from the period of September 11, 2001 to November 4, 2008; the luxury of being able to write long, in-depth articles for "The New Yorker" magazine; and the uncertain future of print journalism.
- Prize-Winning Student Essay: Globalization and Opportunity
Katie Carns, winner of the Carnegie Council/Semester at Sea Student Competition, reflects on what she learned about other countries--and the U.S.--on her voyage through the Mediterrannean.
- Afghanistan Briefing
"Afghanistan makes Iraq look easy," says U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Senior Fellow Dr. McCausland. His comprehensive and evenhanded briefing analyzes the situation on the ground and the possible consequences of sending more troops.
- Future Challenges: The UN and the UNA. David Speedie Interviews Ambassador Thomas Miller
President and CEO of the UN Association of the USA, Ambassador Miller discusses the U.S. role in the world and the power of grass roots commitment. Citizens can change policy by reminding leaders of their obligations on issues such as climate change.
- Inside the Kingdom: Kings, Clerics, Modernists, Terrorists, and the Struggle for Saudi Arabia
After spending years in the Kingdom talking to people in all walks of life, Robert Lacey gives us a modern history of the Saudis in their own words, revealing a people attempting to reconcile life under religious law with the demands of a rapidly changing world.
- David Speedie Interviews Baroness Shirley Williams: A View from the United Kingdom on Transatlantic Relations
In a wide-ranging conversation, Baroness Williams discusses the Obama administration's foreign policy; the situation in Afghanistan and in Iran; U.S. and British politics, including voter representation and corruption; and her work on nuclear disarmament.
- Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil
From Ecuador to Nigeria, in most oil-producing countries oil has not brought any benefits to the poor and has often damaged people's health and ruined the environment, says Peter Maass. As for Iraq, although the war was not "all about oil," oil certainly played an important role.
- The Predictioneer's Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future
Iran, Iraq, Israel, and North Korea--all are rational players, acting in their own self-interest as they perceive it, and with game theory we can predict what they and other players will do next.
- Pious Words, Puny Deeds: The "International Community" and Mass Atrocities [Full Text]
Most of the large-scale violence in the world will continue to occur within societies rather than between or among states. Yet the international community still has not developed the ethical-legal consensus or the institutions required to manage this terrible problem.
- Pakistani, Afghan, and Iranian Factors of Influence on the Central Asian Region
This article is an attempt to define the possibilities for changing the disconnect between the U.S. and Russia which limits the potential for cooperation between the two nations on Afghan, Pakistani and Iranian issues.
- A Humanitarian Assessment of the War in Iraq
The debates about withdrawing from Iraq have excluded what would seem to be a self-evident point of contention: how best to repair the damage that Iraqis have suffered as a result of the war.
- Briefly Noted [Full Text]
This section contains a round-up of recent notable books in the field of international affairs.
- Get out of the GWOT
Despite Obama's promises of change, U.S. defense policy is geared almost exclusively to a dangerous counter-insurgency posture designed to prevent a new 9/11. It's time to mount a full frontal attack on the crass ignorance inherent in the GWOT concept.
- The Media Relations Department of Hizbollah Wishes You a Happy Birthday: Unexpected Encounters in the Changing Middle East
Despite all the bloodshed in its recent history, the Middle East is still a place of warmth, humanity, and generous eccentricity. Within the turmoil there are those still pioneering political and social change. Will they continue wrestling with their region's future--on their own terms?
- Obama Could Send Message to Iran With...a Message to Iran
In one letter, Obama could spell out common interests, mutual concerns, and prospects for peace.
- The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World
What are the driving emotions behind our cultural differences? How do these varying emotions influence the political, social, and cultural conflicts that roil our world?
- The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One
Have U.S. actions in the "war on terror" blurred the distinction between local and global struggles? How can the U.S. develop strategies that deal with global threats, avoid local conflicts where possible, and win them where necessary?
- The Crisis of Islamic Civilization
What caused the decline of Islamic civilization and how can it be revived? Ali A. Allawi lays out key principles that could make it flourish in this age of globalization.
- Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa
In the past 50 years, Africa has received more than $1 trillion in development-related aid. Has it improved Africans' lives? No, says Dambisa Moyo. In fact, aid has made the situation much worse.
- Two States, One Capital: A Proposal for the Israeli/Palestinian Conflict
As part of a future two-state solution, Jonathan Cristol proposes making Jerusalem a "free city," fully open to both Israeli and Palestinian passport holders.
- Turkey Decoded
Ambassador Ann Dismorr examines Turkey's troubled relations with the EU, its role in the Middle East, its complex relationship with the U.S., and the reforms initiated by the Justice and Development Party.
- A Necessary Engagement: Reinventing America's Relations with the Muslim World
In an informed assessment of the past, present, and future of America's relations with the Muslim world, the CIA's point person on Islam, Emile A. Nakhleh, makes a vigorous case for a renewal of American public diplomacy.
- Political Futures Mar 09 Segment 4: The Petro-states (6:13 mins)
Everyone is affected by the global economic crisis. But what are the special challenges facing petro-states, such as Venezuela, Iran, and Iraq?
- Political Futures Feb 09 Segment 2: Bush Legacy Issues (5:45 mins)
Closing Guantanamo, the Israel/Palestine situation, the "War on Terror," Iraq--how should Obama deal with these issues, and what should his priorities be?
- Innocent Abroad: An Intimate Account of American Peace Diplomacy in the Middle East
What can the mistakes and missed opportunities of the past teach the new Obama administration about how to go forward with the Arab-Israeli peace process?
- Jeffrey McCausland Interviews Thomas Ricks
Carnegie Council Senior Fellow Jeffrey McCausland talks to Thomas Ricks about his latest book, "The Gamble: General Petraeus and the American Military Adventure in Iraq, 2006-2008."
- The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century
George Friedman, founder and CEO of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., asks: What's in store during this new century? Which nations will gain and lose power? How will new technologies change the way we live? He has some predictions that may surprise you.
- Public Ethics Radio: Jeff McMahan on Proportionality
Israeli officials insist that their attacks on Gaza were judiciously planned so as to minimize harm to civilians. What role do civilian casualties play in assessing the justice of war?
- Devin Stewart Interviews Seth Kaplan on "Fixing Fragile States"
Seth Kaplan looks at how weak states can promote and leverage "social cohesion" to help build development from the bottom up.
- Beyond Terror and Martyrdom: The Future of the Middle East
The neocons and al-Qaeda have both failed to reach their objectives, says Gilles Kepel. We are now facing one big power in the Middle East: Iran.
- Iran and the United States: David Speedie Interviews Gary Sick
The Bush administration has been toying with the idea of talking to Iran for the last two years. With the arrival of Obama, now the question is not "should we," but how do we go about doing it?
- Kingmakers: The Invention of the Modern Middle East
How did the modern Middle East come about? Who were the British and Americans who shaped this region, from the 1882 British invasion of Egypt to today's Iraq War?
- The Arab Center: The Promise of Moderation
"To be a moderate in the Arab world today," says Jordanian diplomat Marwan Muasher, "is to be a very, very tiny minority." The reason is that all the Arab center's energy has been focused on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
- A Choice of Enemies: America Confronts the Middle East
Looking back over the last 30 years, historian Sir Lawrence Freedman analyzes the complex politics of the Middle East and shows how America's policy choices in previous crises have led to the current dilemmas
- The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State
In the West the idea of governance by Sharia law is radioactive, says Noah Feldman, yet for many in the Muslim world it represents their aspirations for rule of law. Can Islamic States succeed?
- Invisible Nation: How the Kurds' Quest for Statehood Is Shaping Iraq and the Middle East
Quil Lawrence tells the story of the Kurds, the only Iraqi ethnic group that want the Americans to stay. Divided among Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria and numbering 25 million, the Kurds are the largest ethnic group without their own nation.
- Dealing Fairly with Developing Country Debt
Barry Herman, Lydia Tomitova, and Jonathan Shafter of the joint Carnegie Council–New School Ethics and Debt Project present the new book, Dealing Fairly with Developing Country Debt.
- Dreams and Shadows: The Future of the Middle East
What are the ideas and movements driving change in Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Morocco, the Gulf States and the Palestinian territories, and what are the obstacles they confront?
- Uniting Against Terror: Cooperative Nonmilitary Responses to the Global Terrorist Threat
George Lopez gives an overview of effective, multilateral counter-terrorism measures, and as an illustration, Ambassador McNamara analyzes how Libya went from rogue state to member of the Security Council.
- Algeria: Anger of the Dispossessed
After the bloody war of independence, Algerians hoped for a brighter future. Yet an estimated 200,000 people were killed in the 1990s, and today Islamic terrorism is on the rise. What went wrong?
- Reverse Brain Drain for the Middle East
One strategy to improve the economies of the Middle East would be to reverse the brain drain, a development that contributed to the high tech sector in Taiwan and India. Marcus Noland and Michelle Wucker discuss whether public policies can contribute to this process.
- The Real "Surge" of 2007: Non-Combatant Death in Iraq and Afghanistan
While overall violence declined in Iraq in the last few months, civilian deaths at U.S. hands in both Iraq and Afghanistan were up approximately 70 percent in 2007 compared to 2006.
- The Israel-Palestine Conflict: Necessary World Efforts Prior to a U.S.-sponsored Conference
Wadlow suggests three points that the world community should press the U.S. to include in the upcoming conference: Hamas should be invited; a wider economic zone is needed; and an Organization for Security and Cooperation in the Middle East should be established.
- ROUNDTABLE: Blair's Ethical Legacy
"To view Blair through Iraq alone is to ignore his extraordinary legacy in the areas of liberal interventionism, international development and climate change," says Roberts, while Spring praises his triumph in Northern Ireland and distinguishes between Bush's "moralist" foreign policy and Blair's more successful "ethical" approach.
- Revisiting Iran?
Is Iran's goal to achieve hegemony in the Persian Gulf and throughout the Middle East? Is that possibility sufficient cause for the U.S. to act, and to strike Iran militarily? And finally, should it be a guiding principle of U.S. foreign policy to militarily neuter countries inimical to our interests?
- Once Upon a Country: A Palestinian Life
In spite of the hatred and frustration on the surface, Palestinian activist and scholar Sari Nusseibeh optimistically believes that deep down there is readiness on the part of both Israelis and Palestinians to make peace.
- Devin Stewart Interviews Marcus Noland on the Arab Economies
According to Marcus Noland, "a demographic imperative to create jobs, a questionable track record on globalization, and some deep uncertainty about political transitions--all work to create a very serious set of challenges for the [Middle East] region over the next decade or so."
- The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace
Ali A. Allawi, until recently a senior minister in the Iraqi government, discusses the Iraq crisis. How did it get to this point, and what will be the longterm repercussions on Iraq and the rest of the world?
- Energy Security in the Gulf and the Growing Importance of "the East"
The panelists discuss newly emerging relationships between the Persian Gulf States and India, two regions with close ties for millennia, and which have increasingly convergent trade and strategic interests.
- Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East, 1776 to the Present
"Few Americans know of their very rich, centuries-long legacy in the Middle East," says Oren. "It’s a multifaceted heritage of war and statecraft, altruism and beneficence, wild artistic imaginings, and swashbuckling adventure."
- Joseph Cirincione Interviewed by Jeffrey McCausland
Joseph Cirincione discusses the tricky mix of force, sanctions, threats, incentives, and diplomacy required to deal with the growing nuclear threats from Iran and North Korea.
- Nuclear Proliferation: A Delicate Balance Between Force and Diplomacy
Joseph Cirincione says that we are at a nuclear tipping point, and the policy decisions the United States makes over the next 3-5 years will decide whether or not we launch another great wave of nuclear proliferation.
- Generals in the Cabinet Room: How the Military Shapes Israeli Policy
In Israel's political system, the military was once the servant of civilian politicians. Today, however, Yoram Peri argues, generals lead the way when it comes to foreign and defense policymaking.
- Van Dyk Diary: Marrakech, Past and Present
Morocco is a Muslim country, but Marrakech is to Europe what Acapulco or Cancun is to Americans: an exotic, safe tourist destination in the sun, says Jere Van Dyk. Yet al-Qaeda has a presence here, as shown by the 2003 suicide bomber attacks in Casablanca.
- The Shia Revival: How Conflicts within Islam Will Shape the Future
Vali Nasr argues that the Shia Crescent--stretching from Lebanon and Syria through the Gulf to Iraq and Iran, finally terminating in Pakistan and India--is gathering strength in the aftermath of Saddam's fall.
- Insurgency and Counter-Insurgency in Iraq
In one of the most detailed analyses yet of the insurgency and America's efforts to smash it, Ahmed Hashim presents a grim view of the violence in Iraq from inside the American camp.
- Jere Van Dyk Interviews Vali Nasr
"For the Iranians, the Taliban and Saddam were a problem, and the United States removed both of them," says Nasr. "[T]here is an opportunity for Iran to become a regional power . . . because of the 2001 attack on Afghanistan and the 2003 fall of Saddam. So they benefited from what the United States did."
- Are We Misreading Iran's Nuclear Politics?
Ms. Haghighatjoo says that Iranian political parties and individuals critical of their government’s handling of the nuclear issue " have joined the debate [and] believe that the ultimate pressure that can change Iran’s nuclear policy will come from within, not from without."
- Storm from the East: The Struggle between the Arab World and the Christian West
In order to understand the Arab mistrust of the United States and of the West in general, says Milton Viorst, we must study the turbulent history of the relations between the Christian and Muslim world, particularly the clashes and betrayals since World War I.
- Jere Van Dyk Interviews Milton Viorst
"This is not a new war," says Milton Viorst. "It’s the latest chapter in a war that has been going on between two great cultures, Islamic Eastern and the Christian West, for 1,400 years."
- Iran Awakening: A Memoir of Revolution and Hope
Nobel Prize winner Shirin Ebadi discusses Iran's human rights situation, including gender and religious discrimination, and restrictions on freedom of expression. While democracy is incomplete, she says, it cannot be imposed from without, but must develop from within.
- Globalized Islam: The Search for a New Ummah
The spread of Islam around the globe has blurred the connection between a religion, a specific society, and a territory, says Roy. This phenomenon is feeding new forms of radicalism.
- The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements 1967–1977
Gershom Gorenberg discusses the history of the Israeli settlements and examines the roadblocks that continue to frustrate the establishment of peaceful relations with the Palestinians.
- Reaching for Power: The Shi'a in the Modern Arab World
Professor Yitzhak Nakash presents in great detail the history of the Shi'a branch of Islam, including an analysis of the tenuous political process in post-Saddam Iraq.
- Corporate Warriors: The Privatized Military and Iraq
P. W. Singer examines the Pentagon's policy of contracting private security and logistics firms for tasks ranging from combat to catering in the Iraq War. What are the ethical dilemmas and conflicting incentives of outsourcing a traditional state function to essentially mercenary groups?
- Chinese Ambitions and the Future of Asia
American attention is focused on the "war on terror." But 20 years from now we may look back and realise that the rise of China and the new Asian dynamics that resulted were actually far more significant, says Kurt Campbell.
- Ending Tyranny in Iraq: A Debate
Was the war in Iraq a humanitarian intervention? Yes, argues Tesón. What’s important is that it rid the world of a dictator. No, says Roth, and trying to justify it in humanitarian terms has given intervention a bad name.
- Responsibility to Protect or Trojan Horse? The Crisis in Darfur and Humanitarian Intervention after Iraq [Excerpt]
What does the world’s engagement with the unfolding crisis in Darfur tell us about the impact of the Iraq war on the norm of humanitarian intervention? Is a global consensus about a "responsibility to protect" more or less likely? There are at least three potential answers to these questions.
- Ending Tyranny in Iraq [Full Text]
President George W. Bush surprised many observers in his second inaugural address when he promised to oppose tyranny and oppression, and this in a world not always willing or ready to join in that fight. Humanitarian intervention is again on the forefront of world politics.
- Squandered Victory: The American Occupation and the Bungled Effort to Bring Democracy to Iraq
After a recent visit to Iraq, Larry Diamond reflects sadly on how we have allowed the situation "to slip into a state of severe insecurity, stalemate, and economic disarray."
- Ending Torture and Secret Detention in America's Name
The abuses at Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, and elsewhere, have undermined our standing around the world, say Posner and Hutson.
- Sons of the Conquerors: The Rise of the Turkic World
Hugh Pope discusses the past, present, and future of the Turkic world, which stretches from Central Asia to Turkey. His topics include oil, trade, and the question of Turkey and the EU.
- Losing Iraq: Inside the Postwar Reconstruction Fiasco
Originally in favor of going to war, Phillips, a former State Department official, discusses the mistakes made because of the lack of a plan for winning the peace.
- Lightning Out of Lebanon: Hezbollah Terrorists on American Soil
"Hezbollah makes Al-Qaeda look like Sunday-schoolers, children, kindergartners" according to an FBI contact interviewed by journalists Diaz and Newman.
- Children at War
The ever-growing number of child soldiers across the globe is one of the world's most under-reported stories. "There are an estimated 300,000 child soldiers right now serving as active combatants," says Singer, "and another half-million who are serving in armed forces not at war."
- Three Challenges for the Human Rights Movement: Darfur, Abu Ghraib, and the Role of the United Nations
Kenneth Roth, Executive Director of Human Rights Watch, discusses Darfur, Abu Ghraib, and the role of the UN.
- What We Owe Iraq: War and the Ethics of Nation Building
Feldman, a constitutional expert and Arabic-speaker sent to Iraq by the Bush administration, argues that U.S. intervention in Iraq amounts to a moral promise. Unless asked to leave, he believes that we are morally bound to stay until a legitimately elected government can govern effectively.
- The Case for Democracy: The Power of Freedom to Overcome Tyranny and Terror
Sharansky argues that spreading democracy everywhere is not only possible, but essential to the survival of our civilization.
- The Human Rights of the Sukan Al-ahwar (Marsh Arabs of Iraq)
According to Baroness Nicholson, the Saddam regime's crimes against the Marsh Arabs from 1991 to 2003 constitute an incontrovertible case of genocide, which is in its turn "a 'macrocosm' of the constant military and secret police assaults against the Shi'a majority of Iraq."
- The Marsh Arabs of Iraq: The Legacy of Saddam Hussein and an Agenda for Restoration and Justice
While Saddam Hussein's persecution of the Kurds is well known, few are aware that he drained Iraq's southern marshlands as part of a deliberate strategy to destroy the lives of the region's inhabitants, known as the Marsh Arabs. This 2004 panel discusses their plight and what is being done to restore at least part of the marshes.
- Ian Buruma, Avishai Margalit. "Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of its Enemies." Rashid Khalidi. "Resurrecting Empire: Western Footprints and America’s Perilous Path in the Middle East"
Should we have gone to war with Iraq? Having gone, were we at all prepared for the reception we got? What do we need to do when what we are doing seems to make no sense at all? We need what these two books, each in its own forceful and important way, help us to do. We need to step back, look into the past, and see how we got into this mess.
- Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum
"Because of the geographic shifts in the production of oil to areas of instability, growing competition for access to that oil, and the militarization of foreign oil policy, we are risking a very high level of violence emerging. We must move swiftly and systematically to develop a post-petroleum economy."
- The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West
Kepel argues that Americans have committed a fundamental error in assuming that the followers of Osama bin Laden are waging a war on the American state.
- The Missing Peace: The Inside Story of the Fight for Middle East Peace
Dennis Ross explains why shattering deeply entrenched myths about the Middle East and facing up to reality is a precondition for the success of the Israel-Palestine negotiations.
- Inside the Mirage: America's Fragile Partnership with Saudi Arabia
Veteran Middle East correspondent Thomas Lippman traces the history of the U.S.-Saudi relationship and discusses its current state post 9/11.
- Waging Peace: Israel and the Arabs, 1948-2003
Itamar Rabinovich discusses the current Palestinian-Israeli "war of attrition" following the failure of Camp David and the Oslo Process.
- The UN Security Council: From the Cold War to the 21st Century
Malone points out that disagreements among the Permanent Five Security Council members have been confined to just three issues since the end of the Cold War: Israel-Palestine, Kosovo, and Iraq.
- The Lesser Evil: Hard Choices in a War on Terror
Ignatieff says that while the battle against terrorism may sometimes require infringing international norms on the use of force, we must constantly guard against slipping from the lesser evil to the greater.
- The Constructive Role of Private Creditors [Full Text]
Policy-makers in Washington and other capitals of G-7 countries have been flogging the idea that the functioning of the world’s financial markets must be improved by making it easier for insolvent governments to obtain debt relief.
- The Future of Political Islam
Fuller predicts that although unlikely to disappear altogether, radical Islamist groups will eventually learn to compromise as more modest groups spring up to compete with them.
- Scholars Renew Attempts to Explain Islamic Fundamentalism
A 2003 review of the literature on Islamic fundamentalism.
- U.S. Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Ten Years after the Gulf War
This report draws on a conference held at the Carnegie Council headquarters on February 15, 2001. The conference, co-sponsored by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, was attended by Israelis, Arabs, Europeans, and Americans.
- Answering Only to God: Faith and Freedom in Twenty-First Century Iran
The national struggle underway in modern Iran is indicative of the theological debates in the Middle East today. At the heart of the turmoils in the region is not a clash between civilizations but "a clash of Islam against Islam," argue Geneive Abdo and Jonathan Lyons.
- Israel's Policy of Targeted Killing [Abstract]
The policy is consistent with international law because Israel is engaged in armed conflict with terrorists, those targeted are usually killed by conventional military means, and the targets of the attacks are not civilians but combatants.
- If Not Combatants, Certainly Not Civilians [Abstract]
So long as the Palestinian Authority is incapable or unwilling to halt terrorist attacks, most interpretations of international law, Israeli law, and just war tradition support Israel’s efforts to stop these murderous attacks before they can be carried out.
- By Any Name Illegal and Immoral: Response to "Israel's Policy of Targeted Killing"[Abstract]
Armed Palestinians are not combatants according to any known legal definition. They are civilians and can only be attacked for as long as they actively participate in hostilities.
- Israeli Exceptionalism?
Rabbi Jeremy Milgrom explains why, as an Israeli human rights activist, he is isolated in his opposition to the widely supported policy of targeted killing.
- The September 11 Effect [Full Text]
Since it seems that the leaders of the antiterrorist campaign are scripting their objectives to fit as they go along, the public should be more careful in deciding which policies it wants to support.
- Religion, Reconciliation, and Conflict in the Holy Land
Muslim countries have historically made space for Jewish minority groups, but Islam must evolve to accept a more modern notion of pluralism if there is to be peace in the Middle East, says Yossi Klein Halevi.
- Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam
The communications revolution of the late 20th century made Muslims around the world aware that they were part of a global community, a development that helped to "globalize" the idea of jihad, says John Esposito.
- Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam
Today, Islamist movements in the Middle East are fragmented, according to Gilles Kepel, and no longer have the capacity to mobilize different social groups simultaneously as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Yet they remain dangerous because they believe jihad is "the other superpower."
- Behind the Scenes with Al-Jazeera
Journalists el-Nawawy and Farag give the inside story on the Qatar-based satellite TV station Al-Jazeera and the impact it has had on how Arab culture perceives the world.
- Al-Jazeera: How the Free Arab News Network Scooped the World and Changed the Middle East
The Qatar-based television network Al-Jazeera has been a hugely positive force in the Middle East, according to Mohammed el-Nawawy and Adel Iskander Farag, because it has put pressure on authoritarian Arab regimes and helped to promote freedom of expression.
- What Went Wrong? Western Impact and Middle Eastern Response
In this learned talk given just six months after 9/11, Lewis explains that in the Middle East there are two prevailing opinions about why the Islamic world now lags behind the West. One is that it has failed to keep up with modernity. The other is almost the exact opposite: it has become too much "like the infidels" and abandoned its own traditions and faith.
- Behind the Headlines: Afghanistan, Central Asia and the Rise of Militant Islam
Central Asia will remain precariously unstable until the repressive governments are forced to reform, asserts Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid. There is reason for optimism, he says, but also a need for vigilance -- especially as the U.S. war on Afghanistan has further embittered Islamic extremists.
- America and Political Islam: Clash of Cultures or Clash of Interests?
Fifty years ago, the entire Middle East used to admire the United States, viewing it as an island of progressivism in a Europe-centric world. Today there are no major political groups in the Arab world that are pro-American. What went wrong? Gerges examines the trajectory of recent U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East for some answers.
- Israel and Palestine: Coexistence?
If Oslo is dead, asks Alain Epp Weaver, then what lies beyond it?
- Restricted Mobility and the Threat to Health
Stephania Hansel and Jihad Mashal explain how Israel's restriction of mobility in the Occupied Territories has endangered a multitude of other rights.
- Ending Female Genital Mutilation without Human Rights: Two Approaches-Egypt
FGM can be dismantled by persistent questioning. An appeal informed by an understanding of human rights, but which draws upon local cultural and religious notions of common sense, justice, and dignity is often the best way to change the cultural norms that violate them.
- Resisting Litigation in Umm El-Fahem
Several months after the Israeli Defense Forces informed residents of Umm El-Fahem that some of their lands were to become a military firing range, the town’s mayor asked our group, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel, to file a petition to the Supreme Court of Israel.
- Lesson for Israel: Reconciliation Begins at Home
Security issues do not justify many of the inconsistencies in how Israel treats its Arab minority.
- Why More Africans Don't Use Human Rights Language
What explains the current crisis of human rights and the retreat from the human rights paradigm as an engine of struggle? To begin to understand, we must examine the evolution and practices of the organizations and institutions that espouse the protection of human rights.
- The Credibility Crisis of International Human Rights in the Arab World
International groups should collaborate with the local Arab movement to develop strategies to build the moral standing of human rights among the public and improve the responsiveness of human rights practice to Arab concerns.
- Is There an Islamic Ethic of Humanitarian Intervention? [Abstract]
In the aftermath of the Cold War, Hashmi proposes this as a long overdue moment for reassessing the UN chapter on intervention, reappraising the value of human rights and justice, and most important, including Islamic thought into the new system.
- Remaking the Middle East: The Prospects for Democracy and Stability [Abstract]
Anderson explores the ramifications for the Middle East of the profound transformations in global politics at the end of the Cold War and the birth of a new, American-dominated world order.
- Reconciling Internal Rights and External Wrongs: The Force of Arms and Ideas in War (Case Study #13)
This case study confronts the question of "American purpose" in light of the Gulf War. Will the U.S. continue to be the world's policeman, and how will it determine what is a violation of its interests and what is not?
- Moral Standards Under Pressure: The Israeli Army and the 'Intifada' [Abstract]
The PLO practice of hiding behind civilians has produced severe tests for the Israeli Defense Force (IDF). Have Israeli soldiers abandoned their moral obligations in war during the time of Intifada?
- Living with Iran [Abstract]
Beeman uses Islamic history to show how contentious stances have evolved towards the West and how ignorance of that history has handicapped the United States in developing effective policies towards Iran.
- Rising Fences: Migrants, Borders, and a New Frontier for Ethics
"What will 2015 be remembered for? The image that comes to mind is 'rising fences.' If we took a satellite photo of the planet, that would be the story; fences going up everywhere. The wars and political chaos of the past year created a massive wave of truly desperate people. The wave is global in scale. Europe has borne the brunt. But the United States, Canada, Australia and many other nations are not immune."
- Values in Conflict: America, Israel, and the Palestinians (Case Study #8)
Miller examines the questions of moral choice posed for U.S. policy makers by the evolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the grappling of the Carter, Reagan, and Bush administrations with a "conflict of rights" of legitimate nationalisms.
- Sovereign Virtues: Aziz Al-Azmeh and Michael Ignatieff on the Failures of Globalization
This article was posted in "Carnegie Reporter" on May 25. The following excerpt is posted with permission from Carnegie Corporation of New York. Michael Ignatieff was Carnegie Council's Centennial Chair. The results of his project for the Council, Global Ethical Dialogues, are the subject of his book, "The Ordinary Virtues," due out in September 2017.