Middle East & Africa

Following are all current, recent, and past IFPA projects, publications, conferences, workshops, articles, and presentations about issues concerning the Middle East and/or Africa.

articles &
  • Research

    Managing the Global Impact of America’s Rebalance to Asia

    The principal drivers behind America's rebalance toward Asia are Asia's growing economic and strategic importance, as well as increased military spending in the region led by China and Russia, trends that are likely to continue in the foreseeable future. The challenge for U.S. policy makers is to minimize any extra-regional disruptions the rebalance may cause and to maximize its global benefits. This project is an integrated, cross-regional study of the rebalance and its global impact.

    Iran with Nuclear Weapons: Anticipating the Consequences for U.S. Security

    Based on the assumption, unpalatable as it may seem, that a nuclear Iran is all but inevitable, this project, completed in 2008, focuses on three critically important questions.

    Strengthening Forces for Democracy in the Middle East: Lessons from the Past and Strategies for the Future

    This project was completed in 2006 as part of IFPA's ongoing work on democratization. The project's focus was democratic transformation in the Middle East and Central Asia.

    Middle East Security and Energy Security

    Ongoing analysis, in cooperation with Energy Security Analysis, Inc. (ESAI), of politico-military developments in Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel. Reports were issued quarterly between December 1998 and September 2002.

  • Publications

    U.S.-Japan Peacebuilding Cooperation: Recommendations toward a Whole-of-Alliance Approach
    Co-edited by Weston S. Konishi and Hoshino Toshiya
    October 2012, 172 pp

    U.S.-Japan Peacebuilding Cooperation: Roles and Recommendations toward a Whole-of-Alliance Approach is a compendium of workshop papers written by U.S., Japanese, and other experts and provides a comprehensive examination of how bilateral peacebuilding cooperation can be enhanced, both in the context of bilateral whole-of-alliance cooperation and as an effective mechanism for international peacebuilding operations. With case studies of peacebuilding operations in Sudan and Afghanistan, this report seeks to illuminate the obstacles and opportunities of U.S.-Japan peacebuilding cooperation in real-world scenarios. A list of policy recommendations at the end of the report provides further points of consideration for both policy makers and students of U.S.-Japan alliance relations and international peacebuilding alike.

    The U.S. Approach to Peacebuilding: From a Whole-of-Government to a Whole-of-Alliance Approach with Japan
    Weston S. Konishi and Charles T. McClean
    June 2011, 14 pp

    This paper was first presented at a one-day bilateral workshop on April 29, 2011, held in conjunction with the Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in Washington, D.C. In the papers, authors aim to assess each government's “whole-of-government” or interagency coordination of peacebuilding policies and to identify priorities, assets, and expertise as applied to Afghanistan and Sudan. The goal of the project is to explore the strengths and weaknesses of both the United States and Japan’s respective initiatives with an eye toward how the two allies can best cooperate and work synergistically in a “whole of alliance” approach to peacebuilding operations in vulnerable or failing states.

    Iran with Nuclear Weapons: Anticipating the Consequences for U.S. Policy
    Jacquelyn K. Davis and Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr.
    September 2008, 93 pp

    We need only ponder the problems posed by an Iran without nuclear weapons to begin to assess the challenges of an Iran in possession of an operational nuclear weapons capability. Considering the issue from the perspective of three different heuristic models of Iran’s proliferation — a defensive Iran, an aggressive Iran, and an unstable Iran — this report assesses the political, strategic, and operational implications of Iran’s attainment of a nuclear weapons capability. It assumes that absent strong, unified, multilateral action to impose a strict sanctions regime, a United Nations Security Council-approved embargo, or other tightly enforced trade and financial restrictions, current policies will not suffice to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear weapons state.

    Rethinking the War on Terror: Developing a Strategy to Counter Extremist Ideologies
    Jacquelyn K. Davis and Charles M. Perry
    March 2007, 32 pp

    IFPA completed and distributed this summary report on a January 2007 workshop organized in support of U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM).The focus of the workshop was a discussion of the ideological roots of Islamist extremism as a basis for countering such ideology. In addition, it identified and assessed the elements of a national strategy to defeat radical Islamist threats and addressed measures to promote democratization in the region. Attendees at the workshop ncluded experts and scholars specializing in various aspects of Islamic extremism, as well as USCENTCOM Deputy Commander VADM Dave Nichols, other senior command representatives, and high- ranking U.S. officials.

    Radical Islamist Ideologies and the Long War: Implications for U.S. Strategic Planning and U.S. Central Command's Operations
    Jacquelyn K. Davis
    January 2007, 73 pp

    IFPA completed this report as part of an ongoing study of radical Islam and its implications for the Long War against terrorism. It provides a comprehensive assessment of the ideological underpinnings of radical Islam and how these ideologies seem to be fueling terrorist and insurgent activities, including suicide bombing operations and other asymmetric strategies. Emphasis is placed on the effect of these activities in U.S. Central Command’s (USCENTCOM’s) area of responsibility, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. This study also includes updated analyses and recommendations derived from a workshop on suicide bombers held in support of USCENTCOM earlier in 2006.

    Strengthening Forces for Democracy in the Middle East: Lessons from the Past & Strategies for the Future
    March 2006, 21 pp

    This report is based on a workshop of the same title convened by the Institute on February 9, 2006, in Washington, D.C., with the generous support of the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation. It assesses the extent to which Cold War lessons in the struggle against Communism have relevance to the war against radical Salafist ideologies and to efforts to establish democracies in the wider Muslim world. The report examines the prospects for democracy in the area spanning North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and Central Asia. Both the workshop and the report contributed to IFPA's ongoing research focused on post-conflict reconstruction and stability operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and, at the same time, to efforts to inform and help shape U.S. government democratization efforts and public diplomacy strategies.

    Security Issues in the Middle East Quarterly Reports
    Andrew C. Winner
    September 2002

  • Events

    Counter-Piracy and Counter-Terrorism Planning for Somalia and the Horn of Africa: Implications for NATO and NSHQ Planning
    January 10, 2012, The Hague, the Netherlands

    IFPA collaborated with the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies to organize the seventh NATO SOF Coordination Centre (NSCC) Senior Steering Group (SSG) meeting, a workshop on Somalia and future requirements for counter-piracy and counter-terrorism planning. The workshop explored options for dealing with piracy and its potential use by al-Shabab to destabilize Somalia and its regional partners, and to understand more precisely the possibilities for and/or constraints on an expanded use of NATO, the European Union (EU), or national forces to support the African Union mission in Somalia (AUMIS), to shore up the position of the Transnational Federal Government (TFG) in and possibly beyond Mogadishu, and to empower regional forces in their fight against violent extremists on the African continent. A related workshop objective was to explore the possibilities for enhancing and broadening intelligence collaboration on counter-piracy and counter-terrorism planning between NATO and the EU, and how such collaboration could enable NATO SOF to position themselves more effectively should the Alliance’s political leaders decide to support a more forward-leaning position on Somalia and the Horn of Africa, either to facilitate World Food Program deliveries or to employ the use of force, under a new UNSC mandate, to target jihadi training camps, pirate bases, or other related logistical infrastructure on the ground in Somalia. 

    Exploring Options for Iran: Implications for DoD and Interagency Planning
    January 28, 2011, Washington, D.C., an IFPA-DTRA workshop
    Preventing A Nuclear Iran: Current Challenges and Future Opportunities
    October 19, 2010, Washington, D.C., an IFPA-DTRA workshop
    Re-Calibrating Security Force Assistance as a Critical Component of Waging Irregular Warfare within the Context of the Global War on Terror
    November 20, 2008, Washington, D.C., in support of U.S. Special Operations Command
    Rethinking the War on Terror: Developing a Strategy to Counter Extremist Ideologies: Part 2
    June 17, 2007, Washington, D.C., in support of U.S. Central Command
    Rethinking the War on Terror: Developing a Strategy to Counter Extremist Ideologies: Part 1
    January 10, 2007, Washington, D.C., in support of U.S. Central Command

    The Way Ahead with Iran: A Libya in Waiting, a Nuclear Pariah, or Something in Between?
    August 1, 2006, Washington, D.C., in support of the under secretary of state for arms control and international security
    Dissuading, Deterring, or Defeating the Suicide Bomber Threat
    June 28, 2006, Washington, D.C., in support of U.S. Central Command
    Strengthening Forces for Democracy in the Middle East: Lessons from the Past and Strategies for the Future
    February 9, 2006, Washington, D.C.

    This workshop explored the extent to which lessons learned from the Cold War era struggle against Communism have relevance to the war against radical Salafist ideologies and to efforts to establish democracies in the wider Muslim world.

    Opportunities and Challenges in U.S. Middle East Policy: Implications for U.S. Central Command Planning and Priorities
    May 25, 2005, Washington, D.C., in support of U.S. Central Command.
    Options for Handling the Challenges Associated with Iran’s WMD Programs
    June 25, 2003, Washington, D.C., in support of the National Security Council and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency
  • Articles & Presentations

    An Iran with Nuclear Weapons
    Lecture by Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr.

    Foreign PolicyChallenges for the New Administration: Iran and the Middle East, seminar at the Fares Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, March 6, 2009; Dr. Pfaltzgraff also served as panel moderator