Forceful Measures Needed Now To Avoid An Attack On Iran

The United States and its allies and Israel in particular are in a dire race against time as Iran moves closer and closer to acquiring nuclear weapons. While many peaceful and punitive measures to extinguish Tehran's nuclear ambitions have been taken by the international community, they have fallen far short of stemming Iran's nuclear weapons program. The only way that Iran can be deterred from acquiring nuclear weapons is if it faces the most crippling sanctions and should that fail, Iran must be fully convinced that the US and/or Israel will attack its nuclear facilities. That is, after exhausting all other options, if the United States wants to avoid a military attack on Iran – with all of its unintended consequences – it must visibly and unambiguously be preparing for such an attack.

Unfortunately, Iran and much of the world remain unconvinced that the United States is able or even willing to institute those sanctions necessary to end Iran's burgeoning nuclear program and do not believe at this point that a strike against Iran by the US is a credible possibility. What can then be done to stop Iran's nuclear program and avoid the military option (which is the most desirable outcome)? There are six options already taken but which have not yet proven to be effective, yet each can be substantially improved upon. To that end, the United States and the international community must establish the following: a) a time-frame during which non-military options are exhausted but will not give Iran sufficient time to reach "the point of no return"; and b) by exercising all options simultaneously with fortitude atypical to the machinations of foreign policy to convince Iran of the potential of a credible attack by the United States and/or Israel.

December 19, 2011 Read more

Keystone Influence: Syria’s Arab Spring And The Race For Regional Hegemony

The Arab Spring is changing the political and strategic map of the Middle East as we know it in ways that will persist for decades to come. Notwithstanding the domestic developments in each country, the Arab Spring is uprooting long-standing authoritarian regimes, antagonists and protagonists to the West alike, and is creating a vacuum that regional powers will quickly attempt to fill. Each of the regional powers in the Middle East – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran, and Israel – are poised to exploit the uprising to their advantage. New regional alliances could emerge, as could a new "cold war" and the potential of violence between the competing powers. What is certain now, however, is that the Syrian upheaval thrusts Turkey and Iran into a collision course because they have opposing geostrategic interests that neither of them can afford to ignore.

November 28, 2011 Read more

Assad’s Demise, Iranian Shadows

Unlike any other Arab country, Syria holds the key to several conflicts in the Middle East. The future of the Iran-led "resistance block" (along with Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas), stabilization in Iraq, the conflict with Israel, as well as Turkey's "new eastern policy" all depend on what will happen in Syria in the wake of the ongoing uprising. Now, after eight months of protests, with thousands of people killed, tens of thousands arrested and no end in sight, what can be done to stop the carnage and inhibit, if not end, Iran's direct intervention to keep Assad in power and extricate Tehran from Damascus through a regime change? A general look at the scene suggests six major elements that characterize the current situation in Syria which make it unlikely for Syria's President Assad to stay in power.

November 22, 2011 Read more

The Irony Of Netanyahu’s “Success Story”

It is ironic how those loyal to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have created a narrative of a success story of Netanyahu's achievements where failure is clearly rampant. They point to the solidity of the governing coalition, the halting of the Gaza flotillas, the failure of the Palestinian UN gambit, the release of Gilad Shalit, the expansion of settlements and the standing ovation from Congress, all while defiantly opposing any of the peacemaking moves proposed by President Obama.

For Netanyahu's supporters this is success when in fact the precise opposite is true. Israel is more isolated in the international community than ever before, its relations with allies have been frayed, it faces unprecedented threats from Iran and its proxies, and an uncertain regional security environment has emerged in full force. Meanwhile inequality and soaring costs of living throughout the country have brought masses to the streets. To be sure, for the safety and security of Israel and its future as a democratic State, Netanyahu's record is disastrous. His achievements are nothing short of utter defeat for Israel as a country and the Israelis as a people, making the nation appears increasingly like a pariah state.

November 14, 2011 Read more

Ahmadinejad’s Foray into Turkey

The question should not be how much legitimacy Mr. Ahmadinejad may garner from this visit to Turkey, but whether Turkish officials could potentially engender something positive out of this foray that could benefit not only Turkey but the entire region including Israel.

August 13, 2008 Read more

Mediating the Nuclear Impasse

Iran's insistence on enriching uranium in defiance of three UN Security Council resolutions, combined with a bevy of antagonistic threats aimed at Israel's existence has created an explosive recipe that may well precipitate a horrifying regional conflagration.

July 17, 2008 Read more

Challenges To Democracy In The Arab And Muslim World

In this essay I argue that because of the long history of authoritarianism, tribalism, and religious and cultural sectarianism in the Arab and Muslim world, the introduction of democracy is not likely to succeed without an initial transitional period measured in years rather than months. During this period, four core measures that deal with the main challenges to democracy in the Arab and Muslim world must be undertaken simultaneously. They are: gradual political reforms, economic incentives through sustainable development, educational reform, and the building of democratic institutions. Together, they will allow home-grown liberal-oriented forces to work in concert, under the protection of the law, in shaping the emergence of a new democratic system congruent with each community’s unique needs and traditional environment.

October 6, 2006 Read more

A Region In Turmoil

For the more than two decades that I have been involved, directly and indirectly, in Middle-Eastern negotiations and, at the same time, in my research and analysis of the region’s trials, never have I witnessed such turmoil. At present, nearly every nation there is embroiled in an internal conflict that is shaking not simply…

September 18, 2006 Read more
Page 7 of 10First...6789...Last