Both tyranny and anarchy are bad political options for a country. The political theorist Thomas Hobbes, looking at the ravages of anarchy during England's civil war in the 17th century, famously concluded that life without government was terrible because "there is no place for Industry; because the fruit thereof is uncertain; and consequently no Culture of the Earth; no Navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by Sea; no commodious Building; … no Arts; no Letters; no Society; and which is worst of all, continuall feare, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, [is] solitary, poore, nasty, brutish, and short."
Asked by Igbinosa Ojehomon, from Eastern Mediterranean University in Cyprus Author: Robert M. Danin
The United States' policy toward a post-Assad Syria would largely depend on what political scenario results. A victory by unified rebel forces would generate a vastly different policy than a new govenrnment that includes jihadists. In the more likely event that post-Assad Syria descends into greater sectarian violence, Washington would urge regional partners like Turkey and Saudi Arabia to exert influence with those rebel groups to which they had provided arms and ammunition.
Syria is trapped on a crumbling precipice, and however it might fall will entail significant risks for the United States and for the Syrian people, says this memo written by experts on Middle East at Brookings.
The reported death of Muammar al-Qaddafi marks a dramatic end to his sway over Libya. Libyans now need considerable Western help in securing and rebuilding the country he leaves behind, writes CFR President Richard N. Haass.
Elliott Abrams argues that while the fall of Muammar al-Qaddafi is a victory, President Obama's failure to act sooner and more resolutely in the Libyan conflict has caused NATO to suffer greater damage than necessary.
U.S. calls for Syria's Assad to step down can only be realized if combined with stronger measures to forge a diplomatic coalition and drive a wedge between Assad and his supporters, says CFR's Robert Danin.
Military and popular support for Tunisian President Ben Ali's departure from power could mean pressure on new leadership for reform, and could also lead to modest concessions to reform in Egypt and elsewhere, says CFR's Steven Cook.
After a spasm of violent protests that caused Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev to flee the capital, the international community must push the new transitional government to set the country back on a democratic path, says CFR Central Asia expert Evan Feigenbaum.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice credits sanctions with deepening the isolation of Iran's leaders, defends regime change in Iraq, and says the Bush administration's democracy promotion agenda has changed the discourse in Mideast states.
Paul Kerr, a nonproliferation expert for the Arms Control Association, says any international deal worked out with Iran should include a pledge by the United States not to seek regime change in Iran in exchange for Tehran's agreement on limiting its nuclear program.
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