Revolution In The Middle East

On Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry announced the administration’s intention to provide an additional $60 million in humanitarian aid to Syrian rebels. While analysts note this is a shift in US policy, it is not enough for some, including two US senators.

Prior to Kerry’s statements, Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., a Democrat, said the time has arrived for the international community to take action to bring down the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad.

The Time For Action Is Now, Senators Assert
Writing in Foreign Policy, Casey argues that the US “cannot afford further delay” and should begin to arm the opposition forces, which would degrade “the regime’s ability to execute massive air strikes against civilian targets.” He adds that this also “will improve our ability to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid and give the Free Syrian Army space to make strategic gains.”

Marco Rubio of Florida, Casey’s Republican colleague in the Senate, also expressed his support for arming “responsible groups” within Syria.

Rubio, in an address to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy following a recent trip to Israel and Jordan, contended that if the US “can identify a couple of responsible groups — or more responsible groups that we feel have built capacity — ammunition is something we can provide.”

Inside A Syrian Prison
Tracy Shelton of The Global Post provides an inside view of the life of a prisoner in Assad’s Syria.

The Egyptian Revolution – Two Years Later

Two Years Later, US Can Still Have Impact In Egypt
Two years after the Egyptian revolution, the Brookings Institution looks at the path the nation has taken and how the United States can use its diplomacy to facilitate its progress from revolution to governance.

Through coordination with government and non-government actors, Tamara Cofman Wittes says the US has within its arsenal more than just dollars to offer.

Reaching Out To The Muslim Brotherhood?
In what may be a somewhat controversial approach Wittes believes the US should reach out to the Muslim Brotherhood.

While making clear that the Brotherhood’s “electoral victory does not absolve them of these basic obligations to democratic rules and norms,” Wittes contends their desire to play a role on the global stage should be seen as a means to influence their behavior.

“This is our real leverage — that the Brotherhood-led government wants our recognition, and seeks our partnership. We should continue to deal with Egypt’s elected leaders, even if we have profound disagreements with them — we do that all over the world in pursuit of our interests,” she writes.






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