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Democrats Should Boycott Netanyahu’s Speech

February 27, 2015 BY: Michael Cohen TOPICS: Foreign Policy

Next Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to address a joint session of Congress. TCF fellow Michael Cohen is urging Democrats to boycott the speech that some could argue that Netanyahu is using as merely a political prop.

In support of his narrow political goals, Netanyahu has injected politics into a bilateral relationship that has long had bipartisan support on Capitol Hill. His tawdry actions have put congressional Democrats in the impossible position of having to choose between support for Israel and support for their president. These are hardly the actions of a friend.

See Cohen's article in the Boston Globe.

Tags: netanyahu, israel, foreign policy, democrats, congress

Rehab, Jeb Bush-Style

February 27, 2015 BY: Michael Cohen TOPICS: Foreign Policy

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush recently announced his informal foreign-policy advisors, and the list looks very familiar. TCF fellow Michael Cohen has commented on this announcement and discusses the fact that 17 of the 21 individuals named by Bush served his brother, George W. Bush, only a few years ago.

Seventeen of the 21 officials on Jeb Bush’s advisory board served in the administration of Jeb’s brother, George W. Bush. In case you’ve forgotten (as it appears many Americans have), George W. Bush was president from 2001 to 2009, and he had the most calamitous foreign-policy tenure of any U.S. president, perhaps ever.

Check out Cohen's full piece in Foreign Policy.

Tags: republican party, jeb bush, iraq war, iraq, foreign policy, bush

Obscure Group Says It Set Off Blasts in Egypt, Raising Alarm

February 26, 2015 BY: Michael Wahid Hanna TOPICS: Foreign Policy

This week, a series of explosions in Cairo killed one and wounded at least nine others. An obscure group calling itself the Popular Resistance Movement has claimed responsibility for the attacks, stating that the bombings were an attempt to sabotage an upcoming government-sponsored investment conference. TCF fellow Michael W. Hanna spoke with the New York Times about the incident and what it might signal in terms of future attacks aimed at targeting civilians.

Michael Hanna, a researcher on Egypt at the Century Foundation in New York, said it seemed only “happenstance” that only a few civilians were killed in the growing number of small bombings of civilian targets in a crowded city. “Does something like this signal a tactical shift,” he said, “so that people are seeking to kill civilians as a goal?”

“The biggest question out there,” he added, was whether Egypt would remain exempt from the pattern of terrorists seeking to maximize civilian casualties. “And how long can it be different?”

Read more in the New York Times.

Tags: new york times, michael wahid hanna, extremism, el-sisi, cairo

How ISIS Runs a City

February 26, 2015 BY: Thanassis Cambanis TOPICS: Foreign Policy

In Syria and Iraq, ISIS is governing regions falling under its control – collecting taxes, instating fines, and even forming a morality police. TCF fellow Thanassis Cambanis describes both the support and criticism that ISIS's local governance policies have generated among the public living in the area.

ISIS looks much more like a functioning government than any of its detractors ever thought it would: it is pumping oil, policing streets, collecting taxes, even planning to issue its own currency — much like the national governments it has supplanted in the Syrian and Iraqi territory it controls.

Find out more in Cambanis's TIME piece.

Tags: thanassis cambanis, syria, middle east, islamists, islamic state of iraq and syria, isis, iraq, governance

Amnesty Condemns UN Security Council

February 25, 2015 BY: Stephen Schlesinger TOPICS: Foreign Policy

Amnesty International has called for the UN Security Council to renounce use of the veto power in situations of conflict in which war crimes are being committed, saying it feels Security Council members have abused this power in the past. TCF fellow and leading UN historian remains skeptical, however, that such reform will occur.

It's going to go nowhere. I mean, frankly, there have been so many efforts to reform the Security Council over the last 70 years, and they haven't gone anywhere. Basically, the five countries that have the veto don't want to give up the veto, and they certainly don't want to do it out of their own national security interests, so I don't see very much change at all coming forward.

Watch the full video at Deutsche Welle.

Tags: united nations, un security council, security council, reform

Public Order and Egypt’s Statist Tradition

Recent events in Egypt have revealed an increasingly warped sense of priorities and national hysteria within the country regarding nonconformist behaviors, which have been deemed threats to national stability. TCF senior fellow Michael Wahid Hanna has published a new piece on public order in Egypt and the rhetoric of statism that has exploded in the country during its recent period of political instability.

While Egyptian statism has been further emboldened and rejuvenated in the aftermath of the July 2013 military-led outster of Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, the statist pursuit of public order is not a new phenomenon. The content of that statist vision has evolved over time and has become further Islamized along with Egyptian society, but a priority on public order and a chronic disregard for a wide variety of individual rights are persistent Egyptian themes.

See Hanna's article in the most recent issue of Faith & International Affairs.

Tags: muslim brotherhood, morsi, mohamed morsi, michael wahid hanna, egyptian government


Foreign Policy

Foreign Policy

In the first years of the new century, an assertive foreign policy took a toll on the cultivated role of the U.S. as a responsible global leader. The Century Foundation's work in this area provides perspective on the international difficulties the U.S. is facing today, while providing policy recommendations to promote the nation's security interests. Our research and analysis focuses on effectively responding to challenges in the Middle East and Pakistan, as well as responding to international crime.

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