In “The United States and Turkey: Friends, Enemies, or Only Interests,” Aslı Aydıntaşbaş and Kemal Kirişci discuss the myriad of factors that have strained Washington’s relations with this long-standing NATO ally and offer various strategies to reboot ties in a period of uncertainty and chaos across the Middle East. Bilateral problems in this long alliance—such as Washington’s support for Syrian Kurds in Syria, the thorny issue of extraditing Fethullah Gülen, seen as the mastermind of the coup attempt in July 2016, or the long-term implications of Turkey’s blossoming relations with Moscow—are discussed within the context of the larger regional equation, underlining the need for new parameters and a realistic new agenda between Ankara and Washington. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Trade is the glue for globalization and without it other connections can subside. But US voters rejected a US leadership role in global trade deals and elected billionaire Donald Trump who has already signaled intent to have the United States to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership with 11 other nations. Analysts suggest that China could step into the US role, but “The baton of global leadership rarely passes in such a seamless fashion,” cautions Yale professor Stephen S. Roach. The United States has global responsibilities not easily dismissed, and China confronts multiple risks including high debt and other economic imbalances. Roach proposes that Trump could pursue another huge opportunity by concluding the US-China Bilateral Investment Treaty, under negotiation since 2008. China is the third biggest US export market. Roach concludes, “For a growth-starved US economy, there could be no better way of tapping into what promises to be the world’s greatest market expansion in the years ahead.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The next Administration faces serious problems and issues in its security cooperation with its Arab allies that cannot be papered over with reassuring rhetoric. Some problems are all too obvious results of the rise of ISIS; the legacy of the U.S. invasion of Iraq; and the problems in the fighting in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen. Other problems, however, are less obvious, but equally or more important. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
As strife in the Middle East continues to make headlines, from the militant group ISIS to Syrian refugees, the Muslim world is sharply divided on what the relationship should be between the tenets of Islam and the laws of governments. Across 10 countries with significant Muslim populations surveyed in 2015, there is a striking difference in the extent to which people think the Quran should influence their nation’s laws. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The paper presents a peace plan for Syria focused on the steps to secure and sustain a ceasefire. It concludes that the external parties that have supported the combatants will need to come together to guarantee and enforce any such ceasefire. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The report reviews education of Syrian refugee children in the three neighboring countries with the largest population of refugees — Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan — and analyzes four areas: access, management, society, and quality. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
As Americans continue to debate what to do about the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East, the analysis attempts to estimate the costs of resettling refugees from that region in the United States. The authors estimate that in their first five years in the United States each refugee from the Middle East costs taxpayers $64,370, 12 times what the UN estimates it costs to care for one refugee in neighboring Middle Eastern countries. The cost of resettlement includes heavy welfare use by Middle Eastern refugees; 91 percent receive food stamps and 68 percent receive cash assistance. Costs also include processing refugees, assistance given to new refugees, and aid to refugee-receiving communities. Given the high costs of resettling refugees in the United States, providing for them in neighboring countries in the Middle East may be a more cost-effective way to help them. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
In the years since 2011, the Middle East has been convulsed by instability. Bad governance and civil war have left vacuums that extremist groups have eagerly filled. Competition between regional powers is on the rise; it is often waged violently through sectarian proxies, including terrorist groups. As the nature of the terrorist threat evolves, so must the tools to combat it. A reinvigorated push by the United States to cut off the flows of financial support to the terrorist networks that are straining the state system of the Middle East will help advance stability and prosperity in the region. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The Syrian civil war, which began in March 2011, has subsequently displaced nearly 12 million people, more than 4 million of them beyond Syria’s borders. Children under the age of 18 represent about half of the Syrian refugee population, with approximately 40 percent under the age of 12. As the refugee crisis continues to unfold, the report takes stock of what is happening to these displaced children. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
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Vladimir Putin, determined to revive Russia’s status as a global power, has rapidly mobilized forces to bolster the Assad regime in Syria. He orchestrated a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the September UN General Assembly meeting in New York, to give the appearance that he is taking charge of ending the Islamic State’s expansion in Iraq and Syria, explains Thomas Graham. Russian airstrikes also targeted U.S.-supported rebel groups fighting the Assad regime as well as ISIS locations. In essence, Syria is the site for another brutal proxy war in the Middle East, pitting Russia, Iraq, Iran, Hezbollah forces against the United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Egypt and contributing to more conflict, confusion and waves of refugees. Putin’s moves carry risks, and Russia cannot afford being embroiled in a quagmire. He may have caught the Obama administration by surprise, but the United States still has great capacity to influence the region with its response. [Note: contains copyrighted material].