This article argues that Turkey’s improved relations with the Gulf states in recent years reflect Ankara’s refusal to allow Washington to use its territory to invade Iraq in 2003, Turkey’s promotion of regional trade, and the decline of traditional Cold War security alliances in the Middle East. Ankara and Gulf states have increasingly seen each as viable alternatives to their traditional strategic partners–the European Union for Turkey and the United States for Gulf governments. Nonetheless, one should not overstate the importance of this alliance: Turkey and the Gulf disagree about Iran’s nuclear program and other regional issues.
Archives for September 2010
We have entered into a new period of U.S. policy toward Israel for the Obama Administration. Basically, President Barack Obama needs Israel, requires its cooperation, and is eager to get along with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. How long this will last is unclear but…
Yemen is among the world’s most corrupt and least developed nations, factors that explain a long running war in the north and an exploding independence movement in the south. Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Salih deals with legitimate dissent by jailing journalists, shooting protesters, and bombing civilians on a scale that reaches the level of war crimes. Salih has long been an al-Qa’ida enabler, but the December 25, 2009 Christmas Day terror attack brought new urgency to U.S.-Yemeni relations. However, the United States risks becoming a party to violent repression, as well as enhancing the support system of one of the world’s most ambitious al-Qa’ida affiliates.
An isolated fragment of news, a tragic story, or just another act of terrorism? What’s necessary, however, is to fit events into a broader picture and so it is with the latest attack by Hamas, killing four Israelis driving near Hebron….
The key policy challenge put forth by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been the threat of the Iranian nuclear program. Yet there is a sense of contradiction between his bold assertion of dangers that must be stopped (when in opposition) and his cautious, tentative treatment of issues once in office. This contradiction appears to mirror his performance as prime minister from 1996 to 1999. At its halfway point, the second Netanyahu premiership has been characterized by pragmatism, caution, and a general desire to preserve the status quo. This approach is, however, unlikely to prevent the emergence of a nuclear Iran, Netanyahu’s primary goal.