Peace in the Middle East remains an elusive goal. Yet a failure to engage has profound consequences for America’s security interests and home and abroad. The next President will have no choice but to return to balance-of-power diplomacy in the Middle East that includes bilateral negotiations with Iran; regional security agreements; and getting the Arab-Israel peace process back on track.
The next President should support policies that include these specific elements:
- a renewed effort at Arab-Israeli reconciliation that might also split the Syrian regime from Iran containment of the spillover effects of civil war in Iraq
- negotiations with Iran to attempt to head off its nuclear ambitions, including bilateral engagement to address broader concerns
- regional security arrangements to contain the Iranian threat and prevent a Middle East nuclear arms race, if necessary, sheltering our allies under a nuclear umbrella
- a political and economic reform agenda that helps create a new social contract between Arab governments and their citizens
- in less secure countries, an emphasis on building democratic institutions more than holding democratic elections
Opportunity 08 aims to help 2008 presidential candidates and the public focus on critical issues facing the nation, presenting policy ideas on a wide array of domestic and foreign policy questions. The project is committed to providing both independent policy solutions and background material on issues of concern to voters.
Those who most need the protections of international human rights law — dissidents, journalists, civil society actors — these vulnerable people are used to operating in the knowledge that big governments out there in the world care. They don’t have that now.