Author: Isobel Coleman Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
In response to systemic sexual assaults on women in Egypt, activists have initiated well-organized campaigns to protect women's right to participate in the political sphere and to move in public spaces without fear for their personal safety. Isobel Coleman warns that politically motivated violence against women has still not crested.
Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR) Stuart Bowen produced this final report for Congress, released March 6, 2013. The report details how much money was spent and which programs it funded over the nine year reconstruction in Iraq, and seven lessons the United States can learn about stabilization and reconstruction efforts. Other quarterly reports to Congress and the legislation that created SIGIR are also available.
Council on Foreign Relations President Richard N. Haass writes that John Kerry has only one chance to make a first impression on his first trip abroad as secretary of state, and what is said and not said on this visit will have repercussions for years to come.
Secretary John Kerry and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr gave these remarks on March 2, 2013. During this visit, Secretary Kerry also met with President Morsi, Egyptian business leaders, and nongovernmental representatives, and announced the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund and more U.S. foreign aid.
World powers are now offering to ease sanctions on Iran if it agrees to halt its most sensitive nuclear activity. Expert Daryl Kimball urges a full diplomatic press to stop Iran from crossing the nuclear weapons line.
A group of foreign ministers met with the leader of the Syrian National Coalition, Sheikh Moaz al Khatib, in Rome for the fourth Friends of the Syria conference on February 28, 2013. They released this final statement announcing "increased political and material support to the Syrian National Coalition."
Asked by Michael Varacalli, from New York University
Conflict between Israelis and Palestinians began even before the State of Israel was established in 1948, and the two populations have opposing claims to the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea that have defeated numerous U.S. efforts to broker peace. Right now there is little hope of a comprehensive solution—one that resolves all the issues and involves not only Israel and the PLO but the Arab states as well. Today, the most that Israel can realistically offer is less than the least the Palestinians can realistically accept. For now, the best way forward is to continue talks, but to emphasize practical steps forward on the ground that move Palestinians toward construction of a state.
People love to talk about "red lines" for all sorts of challenges, and the Iranian nuclear program is no exception. The United States can, in principle, threaten stronger sanctions if Iran crosses certain red lines. It can threaten military action if Iran crosses others. But it's not clear that setting red lines—particularly in public, where failing to follow through on threats can be costly—is a productive course.
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