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South Asia Security Monitor - No. 198
Bulletins - September 18, 2007

A new Asian security bloc takes shape;
Indonesia's clerics versus nuclear energy

Eurasia Security Watch - No. 157
Bulletins - August 27, 2007

From bad to worse in the West Bank; A helping hand from Hezbollah...; ...And a new center of gravity on the Iraqi street; A Saudi-Syrian spat...

Signs of Iranian Troublemaking Are Everywhere
Articles - July 9, 2007

Just what does Iran have to do in order to get the attention of the United States? That question must be on the minds of officials in Tehran these days. After all, their regime has embarked upon an audacious -- and very public -- strategic offensive throughout the greater Middle East. But officials in Washington, preoccupied with flagging poll numbers and the ongoing insurgency in Iraq, don't seem to be taking notice.

Pakistan Teeters
Articles - July 8, 2007

With the Taliban on the march, its cities paralyzed by demonstrations and its president targeted four times for assassination, Pakistan is facing its most severe crisis since the 1999 coup that brought Gen. Pervez Musharraf to power. Over the past few months, surging Islamic extremism and widespread political unrest have erupted into violence, undermining the government's authority. Now, with elections on the horizon and the general's heavy-handed tactics aggravating tensions, Washington is being forced to reexamine one of its most critical and controversial alliances in the war on terror.

The Next Challenge For Turkish-American Ties: Iran
Articles - June 4, 2007

Ever since the Turkish parliament's fateful decision to deny the United States a northern front against Saddam Hussein's regime back in early 2003, Iraq has emerged as the defining foreign policy issue between Washington and Ankara. But now, a different—and potentially even more serious—challenge to strategic ties looms on the horizon.

Why Tehran Wants The Bomb
Articles - June 1, 2007

In late February, just days after the expiration of yet another United Nations deadline, and with the UN Security Council gearing up to deliberate new punitive measures, Iran's firebrand president issued a defiant public statement. The Iranian nuclear program "is without brakes and a rear gear," Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told religious leaders in Tehran in comments carried nationwide by state radio. "We dismantled the rear gear and brakes of the train and threw them away some time ago." The demarche was emblematic of the deepening crisis that has beset the international community since the fall of 2002, when a controversial opposition group disclosed previously unknown details about Iran's nuclear program. Since then, it has become abundantly clear that the Iranian regime is not simply developing a nuclear program for "peaceful purposes," as its officials stubbornly claim. Rather, mounting evidence indicates that the Islamic Republic is embarked upon a comprehensive, multi-faceted national endeavor to develop a nuclear arsenal—and that it is making serious progress towards that goal, in spite of international pressure.

Iran Takes Prisoners
Articles - May 29, 2007

A conservative, the old adage goes, is a liberal who has been mugged by reality. Today, nowhere is this saying more apt than in the case of proponents of U.S.-Iranian “dialogue,” who are getting a harsh dose of reality about the true intentions of the ayatollahs in Tehran. Just ahead of yesterday’s planned U.S.-Iranian meeting to discuss Iraq, the Islamic Republic has launched a vicious crackdown on Iranian-American scholars and activists. The most high-profile victim of this offensive is Haleh Esfandiari, the head of the Middle East program at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, who was rounded up May 8 on charges of trying to foment a “soft revolution” against the Iranian regime. Ever since, she has languished in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison, in spite of public entreaties for her release from prominent policymakers and senior statesmen.

Eurasia Security Watch - No. 150
Bulletins - May 17, 2007

Turkey in turmoil; Palestinian radicalism goes global; A face-off in Cairo; Israel refocuses on ground forces...

Eurasia Security Watch - No. 149
Bulletins - May 7, 2007

Fatah resurgent?; A traitor in the ranks; A nuclear nightmare in the Caucasus; Reinforcements of for Al-Qaeda; A new vision of the Syrian military

The Death of Democracy Promotion?
Articles - March 15, 2007

What a difference a few years can make. In September 2002, less than a year after taking office, the Bush administration laid out a breathtakingly ambitious vision of American foreign policy. “The United States possesses unprecedented—and unequaled—strength and influence in the world,” the newly-released National Security Strategy of the United States proudly proclaimed. “Sustained by faith in the principles of liberty, and the value of a free society, this position comes with unparalleled responsibilities, obligations, and opportunity. The great strength of this nation must be used to promote a balance of power that favors freedom.” But less than five years later, that vision appears to be in full strategic retreat.

Iran Strategy Brief No. 2: The Dangers of Deterrence
Policy Papers - March 1, 2007

While there is still hope that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons, it is becoming more likely that a nucleararmed Iran will become a reality in the near future. It therefore is useful to begin looking at strategic models for managing the threat of nuclear weapons if Iran actually develops them, and to consider exactly what risks the civilized world would be facing.

The President Is Right
Articles - February 1, 2007
Central Asian Responses to Radical Islam
Monographs - December 1, 2006

Central Asian Responses to Radical Islam is a groundbreaking first-person assessment of the ideological struggle currently taking place in Central Asia between local government and the forces of radical Islam. Authored by Evgueni Novikov, a leading expert on radical Islamic thought, Responses includes cutting-edge proposals for U.S. policymakers modeled after the successes charted thus far by their Central Asian counterparts.

Caspian Could Be Victim of Conflict With Iran
Articles - November 20, 2006
About The Central Asia Counterterrorism Project
Articles - July 1, 2006

Nearly five years after September 11, it is fair to say that the U.S. government remains challenged by how to combat the ideology of radical Islamists. In some ways, this is not surprising. The West now faces a challenge in an area - religious controversy - which the modern state prefers to leave to individual discretion, and in which it is not accustomed to contend. Moreover, the struggle is taking place within a largely unfamiliar religion, in an area in which the West is, at best, tone-deaf. Nevertheless, this new “war of ideas” must be joined and won if the United States is to address what have become grave threats to its security.  

Iran Strategy Brief No. 1: Understanding Ahmadinejad
Policy Papers - June 1, 2006

Who is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Before his meteoric rise to power in the summer of 2005, Iran’s ultra-conservative president was a relative political unknown. Since taking office in August 2005, however, the 50-year-old Ahmadinejad has done much to demonstrate his radical credentials. He has ratcheted up the Islamic Republic’s hostile rhetoric toward Israel and the United States. His government has systematically rolled back domestic freedoms and deepened its control over Iranian society. And, under his direction, the Islamic Republic has accelerated its very public march toward an atomic capability.

Tehran Rising: Iran's Challenge to the United States
Books - September 2005

Today, Iran constitutes the single greatest challenge to the United States and the War on Terror. In the Persian Gulf and Central Asia, Iranian policymakers are busy cobbling together alliances intended to marginalize the United States and its Coalition allies. Iran remains the world's most active sponsor of terrorism, fueling the activities of Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, and insurgents in Iraq. And, through its nuclear advances, Iran is gaining the capability to catastrophically alter the geopolitical balance of power far beyond its immediate neighborhood.

As evidence of this threat mounts, one thing remains crystal clear to Ilan Berman: "Washington is woefully unprepared to deal with this mounting peril." Berman's approach is hard-hitting, provocative and unflinchingly critical. Yet he takes the exploration of Iran's menace one step further, providing what has been missing so far in the foreign policy discourse regarding Iran -- practical policy prescriptions designed to contain Iran's strategic ambitions.

Al-Qaeda Versus Democracy
Articles - September 1, 2005

This spring, practically unnoticed by the mainstream media, the battle lines were formally drawn in the “war of ideas.” President George W. Bush used his January 2005 inaugural address to deliver an unapologetic tribute to freedom and the premises that undergird Western liberalism: liberty, the individual, and self-government.In response, Jordanian terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Osama Bin Laden’s chief lieutenant in Iraq, released an audiotape of his own. In it, he denounced the very principles President Bush has pledged to promote.This frank exchange should serve as a useful primer for all of those who believe that the War on Terror is at its core a struggle against global privation, or a cross-cultural misunderstanding that can be settled by a search for common ground. Quite the opposite is true. We are engaged in an ideological conflict that resists compromise.

Islam, Islamism and the West: The Divide Between Ideological Islam and Liberal Democracy
Books - March 2005

The vast majority of Muslims word-wide are peaceable, law-abiding and hospitable people. Nevertheless, the West's reaction to atrocities such as 9/11 and 7/7, and the lack of a coherent understanding of our adversaries, is threatening relations with all Muslims. In Islam, Islamism and the West, British experts Baroness Caroline Cox and Dr. John Marks offer an exploration of the ideological roots of militant Islamism, and outline the challenge that it poses for Western societies at large.

Tehran Rising
Articles - June 1, 2002

This spring, amid growing preparations in Washington for a campaign against Iraq, the American intelligence community dropped a major bombshell. Testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee on emerging threats to U.S. security, Admiral Thomas Wilson, Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, revealed that “Iran’s navy is the most capable in the region and, even with the presence of Western forces, can probably stem the flow of oil from the Gulf for brief periods by employing a layered force of KILO submarines, missile patrol boats, naval mines, and sea and shore-based anti-ship cruise missiles.” Wilson’s warning underscores a remarkable fact: Iran is back. After years of international isolation and economic decline, Tehran is rapidly reemerging as a major regional player.