Reimagined US-Middle East strategy would lean less on arms sales, more on dev't/governance
(Press-News.org) U.S. policies in the Middle East are built on outdated "legacy" aid packages, massive arms sales and a disproportionate focus on the Iranian threat that fail to advance American interests - or help the region's people - and need to be rethought, according to a new RAND Corporation report.
The United States devotes an overwhelming share of foreign military financing to just three countries - Israel, Egypt and Jordan, which received 81% of the $6 billion spent globally in 2019. If policymakers were to pursue an alternative strategy outlined by RAND researchers, they would rebalance America's support by prioritizing non-security investments in development and improved governance, which could enhance regional stability.
"This imbalance limits the depth of cooperation the U.S. can realize with other Middle Eastern countries outside of the Big 3," said Linda Robinson, co-author of the report and director of the Center for Middle East Public Policy (CMEPP) at nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND. "We propose continuing to engage in the region but doing so at a more measured rate and with a smarter approach."
The report reimagines a U.S. strategy in the Middle East with a positive vision of outcomes rather than one focused solely on threats. "We need to start thinking about what we are for in this region, not just what we're against," said Dalia Dassa Kaye, lead author of the report, former CMEPP director at RAND and now a fellow at the Wilson Center.
Under this alternative strategy, the U.S. would shift from a heavy reliance on military tools to an approach that prioritizes economic investments, governance, diplomacy and programs focused on people. That might entail reducing sales of high-end offensive weaponry in favor of equipment tailored to defensive purposes and closing the gap between the Big 3 aid recipients and other regional partners.
The strategy would also entail a counterterrorism focus on nonmilitary programs to stabilize war-torn countries and counter violent extremism; increased support for domestic reform efforts already underway and supported by leaders across the Arab world; and regular evaluations of all assistance programs. Resources would move to those countries and programs that produce desired outcomes in support of U.S. strategic goals.
The recent announcement by the Biden Administration to withhold support to Saudi Arabia for offensive operations in Yemen "is very much in line with the type of strategic recommendations in our report," said Jeffrey Martini, co-author of the report and a senior Middle East researcher at RAND.
The strategy would favor a long-term time horizon to reduce conflict and support regional growth and development, increasing engagement with Middle Eastern publics on such issues as health, youth unemployment and climate change, for example. It would maintain a spotlight on human rights abuses at the highest levels of government, including consistent pressure for the release of political prisoners.
U.S. policies of maximum pressure and unilateral sanctions have not constrained Iran's nuclear program or curbed its regional activities, the researchers concluded. Along with restraining Iran's nuclear program through multilateral diplomacy, America's longer-term goal should be supporting reforms aimed at changing the environment in which Iran operates to reduce the susceptibility of the region to Iranian influence. Improved governance and stability in Iraq could be particularly important in deflating Iran's reach.
"The strategy we lay out requires a shift from a military to a nonmilitary mindset," the researchers conclude. "It requires recalibrating U.S. military support and reducing arms sales while increasing economic, trade and financial investments. It calls for more diplomatic initiative to break out of the current cycle of conflict and escalation. Our assessment suggests that working toward such a long-term agenda with partners, regionally and globally, is an investment that will pay higher dividends, at lower costs, than continuing on our present path."
Funding for the report, "Reimagining U.S. Strategy in the Middle East," was provided by a gift from the Broad Reach Foundation.
ELSE PRESS RELEASES FROM THIS DATE:
Graphene, a two-dimensional material composed exclusively of carbon, has revealed extraordinary properties, including thermal and electrical conductivity, transparency, and flexibility. When combined, these properties become particularly interesting in the age of touch screens and flexible electronics! 'Unlike 3D materials, graphene has a height reduced to the ultimate dimension of the atom. It's therefore a carbon atom plane,' explains Prof. Jean-Christophe Charlier, a specialist in nanoscopic physics at the Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences of UCLouvain.
In a study published in Nature, the scientist and his team dissected the behaviour of electrons when two layers of graphene superimposed at an ...
Its muscular body shape and large pectoral fins are perfect for long-distance travel, yet movement patterns of the whitespotted eagle ray (Aetobatus narinari) remain a mystery. Researchers from Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in collaboration with Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium, the University of Florida and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, are the first to conduct a multiyear study examining large-scale movements of whitespotted eagle rays in United States waters.
Between 2016 and 2018, scientists fitted 54 rays with acoustic transmitters ...
Doha, Qatar - (February 23, 2021) - A group of researchers at Qatar Foundation have reported the first and largest genetic association study in the Middle East, that has been published online in Nature Communications - a leading a peer-reviewed, open access, scientific journal published by Nature Research.
The study titled "Whole genome sequencing in the Middle Eastern Qatari population identifies genetic associations with 45 clinically relevant traits" highlights a vital piece of information wherein now there is a better understanding of the genetic risk factors that are specific to the Arab population, including those that are shared with other ethnicities.
Qatar was among the first countries to launch its own large-scale, national genome project. Qatar Genome ...
A recent genetic study at the University of Helsinki provides new information on the occurrence of a DVL2 gene defect associated with a screw tail and its relevance to canine constitution and health. The variant was found in several Bulldog and Pit Bull type breeds, and it was shown to result in caudal vertebral anomalies and shortening of the muzzle. The DLV2 variant may also affect the development of the heart.
Dog breeding is often focused on appearance. In some breeds, the ideal body shape is bulky, with a broad head and short muzzle, short legs and a very short and kinked tail, also known as a "screw tail". In a previous study in the United States, screw tail was linked to a variant in the DVL2 gene. The variant has become enriched ...
According to recent estimates, there will be roughly 10 billion people to feed in 2050. Agricultural production will need to increase by almost 56% to guarantee food security globally, without converting more land for agriculture (in line with environmental and climate targets). This unprecedented challenge has ushered in the era of "smart agriculture," which promises to revolutionize food production by combining agricultural techniques with information technology, automation, and artificial intelligence. This new era, called "Agriculture 4.0," could ensure sustainable food production for the entire world. However, as communities gradually embrace smart agriculture, it is important to understand how to manage the security and privacy risks associated with the integration of ...
Washington, DC / New Delhi, India - Researchers at CDDEP, in collaboration with leading experts in the field, have produced the "Infectious Diseases in the South-East Asia Region" report, which examines cross-boundary challenges in communicable disease control in countries in the South-and South-East Asia region. The report emphasizes infectious diseases related to other sources of disease burden in the region and communicates overall trends in the health and economic burden they impose.
Despite substantial progress in recent years, which has seen reductions in deaths from HIV and malaria and an increase ...
Researchers of the University of Helsinki have resolved for the first time, how the ultrafine particles of atmosphere effect on the climate and health.
Atmospheric air pollution kills more than 10,000 people every day. The biggest threat to human health has been assumed to be the mass accumulation of atmospheric particles with diameter smaller 2.5 μm: the higher the mass and loss of visibility, the bigger the threat.
The researchers of the Institute for Atmospheric and Earth System Research (INAR) at the University of Helsinki together with collaborators in China discovered that if we want to solve the accumulation of the biggest particles, we need to start with the smallest.
Until recent ...
A new study has for the first time explored the rate at which the world's largest fish, the endangered whale shark, can recover from its injuries. The findings reveal that lacerations and abrasions, increasingly caused through collisions with boats, can heal in a matter of weeks and researchers found evidence of partially removed dorsal fins re-growing.
This work, published in the journal Conservation Physiology, comes at a critical time for these large sharks, that can reach lengths of up to 18 metres. Other recent studies have shown that as their popularity within the wildlife tourism sector increases, so do interactions with humans and boat traffic. As a result, these ...
Huntington's disease is caused by a mutation in the Huntingtin gene (HTT), which appears in adults and features motor, cognitive and psychiatric alterations. The origin of this disease has been associated with the anomalous functioning of the mutated protein: mHTT, but recent data showed the involvement of other molecular mechanisms.
A new study conducted by the University of Barcelona has identified a type of ribonucleic acid (RNA) as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of the disease. These are the small RNA, or sRNAs, molecules that do not code proteins but have important functions in the regulation of gene expression. According to the study, sRNAs would ...
X-ray scans revolutionised medical treatments by allowing us to see inside humans without surgery. Similarly, terahertz spectroscopy penetrates graphene films allowing scientists to make detailed maps of their electrical quality, without damaging or contaminating the material. The Graphene Flagship brought together researchers from academia and industry to develop and mature this analytical technique, and now a novel measurement tool for graphene characterisation is ready.
The effort was possible thanks to the collaborative environment enabled by the Graphene Flagship European consortium, with participation by scientists from Graphene Flagship partners DTU, Denmark, IIT, Italy, Aalto University, Finland, AIXTRON, UK, imec, Belgium, Graphenea, Spain, Warsaw ...
LAST 30 PRESS RELEASES:
[Press-News.org] Reimagined US-Middle East strategy would lean less on arms sales, more on dev't/governance