U.S. policy of isolating Gaza is counterproductive and inadvertently helps entrench the terrorist group Hamas' control. The Obama administration should instead encourage trade and contacts between the West Bank and Gazan people to reestablish national institutions and elections, thereby empowering Palestinian partners for peace.
See more in Palestine; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights
CFR Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow Robert Danin analyzes the "bottom-up" approach to peacemaking, focusing on Palestinian state-building and institution-building, while noting the integral, mutually reinforcing connection between ground-up and top-down approaches to the peace process—one cannot succeed without the other.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights; Politics and Strategy
In what may be the clearest picture of Iran's nuclear program to date, Iran: The Nuclear Challenge maps the objectives, tools, and strategies for dealing with one of the most vexing issues facing the United States and global community today.
See more in Iran; Proliferation
President Obama asserted U.S. support for self-determination for the people of the Mideast and broke new ground on a territorial basis for Palestinian-Israeli talks, but tough challenges await on many fronts, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Politics and Strategy
With envoy George Mitchell's departure, U.S. policy toward the Israeli-Palestinian conflict changes, from the quest for an end of the conflict to the search for a strategy to manage the current crisis, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Palestine; Israel; Diplomacy and Statecraft
The mixed reactions in the Mideast to Osama bin Laden's killing by U.S. forces highlights a region in flux and a terror movement symbolically, but not overwhelmingly, weakened, writes CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; Counterterrorism; Terrorist Leaders
With the United States now militarily engaged in Libya and U.S. allies seemingly at odds over goals, it is imperative that President Obama more clearly define the nation's objectives and the means to achieve them, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in NATO; Libya
Protests in Jordan have led to the fall of the government, but its monarchy is secure and should not be seen as another Arab regime ready to topple, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Egypt; Political Movements and Protests; Jordan
With the U.S. ending its push for Israeli settlement freeze as a precondition for Israel-Palestinian talks, the Obama administration should now focus on managing expectations as much as conflict resolution, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Israel; Palestine; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Peacekeeping
The Israeli and Palestinian leaders launched new Mideast talks with seriousness and without theatrics but face a looming deadline on settlements and a tight timeline for success, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Israel; Palestine; Diplomacy and Statecraft
Progress is possible in the newly announced Mideast talks, but the Obama administration will need to display deft leadership to overcome deep mistrust between Israelis and Palestinians, writes CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Palestine; Diplomacy and Statecraft; Israel
As Israelis and Palestinians balk at compromises pushed by the United States, Secretary of State John Kerry is back in the region trying to keep talks on track, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Israel; Palestine; Diplomacy and Statecraft
Amid diplomatic challenges on Iran and Syria, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could face conservative opposition at home for progress on peace with Palestinians, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Israel; Arms Control, Disarmament, and Nonproliferation
President Obama travels to Israel to deliver a message of reassurance on the alliance, but will be meeting a new government divided on the Palestinian peace process, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Israel; United States; Politics and Strategy
Just days away from parliamentary elections, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is widely expected to form a new government in coming weeks, but what that coalition will look like is still unclear, says CFR's Robert M. Danin.
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President Obama should make a trip to the region soon to signal a renewed commitment to helping resolve the conflict between Palestine and Israel, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Space; Palestine; Israel
Violence against U.S. diplomatic missions in Libya and Egypt highlights the difficult road ahead for U.S. relations with these struggling states, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Diplomacy and Statecraft; Egypt; Religion; Libya
Egypt's new president Mohamed Morsi faces an ongoing struggle with the military, but the United States must proceed carefully because of the high stakes in Egypt, says CFR's Robert M. Danin
See more in Egypt; Presidents and Chiefs of State
Benjamin Netanyahu's agreement with the Kadima Party reflects a public more concerned about economic and social issues than whether to strike Iran, says CFR's Robert M. Danin.
See more in Israel; Palestine; Elections; Political Movements and Protests
Syria's regime appears increasingly isolated and erratic in response to civil unrest, posing a challenge to the Arab League to prevent a spread of conflict, says CFR's Robert M. Danin.
See more in Syria; Political Movements and Protests
Following full UNESCO membership, Palestinians have increased efforts for statehood recognition, but the United States is continuing its push to bring them back to the negotiating table for direct talks, says CFR Mideast expert Robert Danin.
See more in Palestine; Sovereignty
As rebels try to strengthen their hold on Tripoli, the odds of a peaceful, democratic transfer of power in Libya are long and the need for ongoing international intervention is very likely, says CFR's Robert Danin.
See more in Libya; Political Movements and Protests; Democratization
A potential civil war in Syria, a broken state in Libya, and Egypt's transition of power loom as chief Mideast challenges for Washington. CFR's Robert Danin reviews the path for U.S. planners.
See more in Middle East and North Africa; United States; Defense Strategy
Robert M. Danin is Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations. He headed the Jerusalem mission of the Quartet representative, Tony Blair, from April 2008 until August 2010. A former career State Department official with over twenty years of Middle East experience, Dr. Danin previously served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs with responsibilities for Israeli-Palestinian issues and Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Egypt. He also served at the National Security Council for over three years, first as director for Israeli-Palestinian affairs and the Levant and then as acting senior director for Near East and North African affairs. A recipient of the State Department's Superior Honor Award, Dr. Danin served as a Middle East and Gulf specialist on the secretary of state's policy planning staff, and as a State Department senior Middle East political and military analyst. Prior to joining the State Department, he worked as a Jerusalem-based journalist covering Israeli and Palestinian politics. Dr. Danin holds a BA in history from the University of California, Berkeley, an MSFS degree from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service, and a doctorate in the international relations of the Middle East from St. Antony's College, Oxford University.