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Crescent of Crisis

U.S.-European Strategy for the Greater Middle East

edited by Ivo H. Daalder, Nicole Gnesotto, and Philip H. Gordon

Publication Year: 2006

The greater Middle East region is beset by a crescent of crises, stretching from Pakistan through Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Together, these five crises pose the most pressing security challenges faced by the United States and its European allies —ranging from terrorism and weapons proliferation to the rise of fundamentalism and the lack of democracy. Until now, Europe and the United States have approached these issues (indeed, the Middle East as a whole) in differing ways, with little effective coordination of policy. In fact, how best to deal with the greater Middle East has emerged as one of the most contentious issues in U.S.-European relations. The need for a common approach to the region is more evident than ever. This book brings together some of Europe and America's leading scholars and practitioners in an effort to develop a common approach to resolving the five major crises in the region. European and American authors provide succinct and fact-filled overviews of the different crises, describe U.S. and European perspectives on the way forward, and suggest ways in which the United States and Europe can better cooperate. In the conclusion, the editors synthesize the different suggestions into a roadmap for U.S.-European cooperation for addressing the challenges of the Greater Middle East in the years ahead. Contributors include Stephen Cohen (Brookings Institution), James Dobbins (RAND), Toby Dodge (University of London), Martin Indyk (Saban Center at Brookings), Kenneth Pollack (Saban Center at Brookings), Jean-Luc Racine (Center for the Study of India and South Asia), Barnett Rubin (New York University), Yezid Sayigh (University of Cambridge), and Bruno Tertrais (Fondation pour la Recherche Stratégique).

Published by: Brookings Institution Press

Title Page

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pp. v-vi

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America, Europe, and the Crescent of Crisis

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pp. 1-4

The broader Middle Eastern region has become the central focus of U.S.-European diplomatic relations. Talks between senior European policymakers and U.S. officials are now often dominated by issues that arise from the threats to peace and stability that emanate from this troubled region. ...


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A Common Approach to Iran

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pp. 7-24

If Iraq was the last great security problem of the twentieth century, Iran appears likely to be the first of the twenty-first century. In Iraq the West confronted an old-fashioned totalitarian dictatorship that employed traditional methods of conventional aggression to threaten Western interests. ...

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The Iranian Nuclear Crisis

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pp. 25-40

The Iranian nuclear crisis began in earnest in the summer of 2002, when the main Iranian opposition group publicly revealed the existence of two sites under construction: an enrichment facility at Natanz, and a heavy-water production site as well as a reactor at Arak. Until then, international preoccupations about the Iranian program ...


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U.S. Strategy for Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

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pp. 43-54

The death of Yasser Arafat, the election of Mahmoud Abbas, the formation of an Israeli coalition government committed to disengage from Gaza, and the sheer exhaustion of Israelis and Palestinians alike have combined to create a new sense of opportunity for Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking. ...

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Putting the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process Back on Track

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pp. 55-74

An opportunity, unexpected and ephemeral, is taking shape to establish a credible Palestinian state within the next few years that enjoys geographical continuity and equitable borders—including a viable capital in East Jerusalem—as well as meaningful sovereign control over its population, territory, natural resources, ...


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Different Roads to Damascus

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pp. 77-93

Coordination between the United States and Europe over implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1559—especially after the assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq al-Hariri in February 2005—appeared to many observers to exemplify the possibilities for restoring some measure of transatlantic cooperation ...

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Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in Lebanon and Syria

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pp. 94-110

Infuriated by decades of repression and encouraged by international pressures, hundreds of thousands of Lebanese protestors marched on March 14, 2005, in perhaps the biggest demonstration in Lebanon’s history. Loud calls for the withdrawal of Syrian troops and intelligence agents were accompanied by equally pressing demands for ...


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Iraq: From Democratization to Governance

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pp. 113-122

American policies on Iraq have undergone important modifications over the more than two years since the U.S. intervention there in March 2003. Slow to admit mistakes, the U.S. administration has been quicker to recognize and adjust for them. ...

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Trying to Reconstitute the Iraqi State: A European Perspective

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pp. 123-142

Iraq is a failed state, and chances are that it will remain so unless there is a radical change in policy toward state building and a marked increase in multilateral input.1 Despite this fact, the Iraqi people and the world beyond have been told that one event after another signaled the beginning of the end of the violence that has come to dominate their lives. ...


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Proposals for Improved Stability in Afghanistan

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pp. 145-162

Since the overthrow of the Taliban by the U.S.-led coalition and the inauguration of the interim authority based on the UN-mediated Bonn Agreement of December 5, 2001, Afghanistan has progressed toward stability.1 Not all trends are positive, however. In the first half of 2005, violence by Taliban, al Qaeda, and criminal elements increased, ...

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Afghanistan: Elements of a Transatlantic Nation-Building Strategy

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pp. 163-182

It is nearly year five of the joint international stabilization and reconstruction effort at the Hindukush, which started in January 2002, after the U.S.-led military intervention Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) against al Qaeda and the Taliban. Since then, the Afghan people and the international community have muddled through a painful ...


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Pakistan and the Crescent of Crisis

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pp. 185-197

Situated at the intersection of many American and European concerns, Pakistan has been linked to terrorism, nuclear proliferation, and Islamic extremism; it is politically unstable and economically problematic and has recently undergone a series of crises with India, some with nuclear overtones. Pakistan is also located at a geostrategic crossroads, ...

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The Case of Pakistan: A Strategy for Europe

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pp. 198-218

The European strategy on Pakistan, just as the American one, has been redefined since September 11, 2001, when it appeared that the military ruler of the country, General Pervez Musharraf, was reversing the established policy supporting the Taliban and was ready to join the announced “war against terror.” ...

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A Common U.S.-European Strategy on the Crescent of Crisis

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pp. 219-242

Can America and Europe forge a common strategy on the crescent of crisis? It would be easy to conclude that they cannot. As the debate over the Iraq war demonstrated, Americans and Europeans have significantly different views on the use of force, legitimacy, and the right way to solve problems in the Middle East. ...


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pp. 243-246


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pp. 247-263

E-ISBN-13: 9780815716877
E-ISBN-10: 0815716877

Page Count: 263
Publication Year: 2006