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Islam as statecraft: How governments use religion in foreign policy

November 16, 2018

The paper explores the religious dimensions of the Saudi-Iranian rivalry, looking at howthe Islamic outreach strategies of the two governments have evolved in response tochanging regional and global environments. We assess the much-discussed phenomenonof Saudi Arabia's export of Wahhabism, arguing that the nature and effects of Saudireligious influence around the world are more complicated than we ordinarily think.

The Educational and Mental Health Needs of Syrian Refugee Children

October 1, 2015

This report examines the experiences and resulting educational and mental health needs of Syrian children living as refugees, drawing on the results of a study conducted in Islahiye camp in southeast Turkey, which assessed children's levels of trauma and mental health distress. It also reviews intervention programs in the Middle East, Europe, and the United States, and offers recommendations for best practices to address the mental health of this vulnerable child population. Syrian refugee children will likely need ongoing, targeted support to bridge the gaps in their education, attain fluency in the host-country language, and deal with trauma and other mental health symptoms, the authors conclude.

The United States and the Gulf States: Uncertain Partners in a Changing Region

February 7, 2013

Evaluates the relationship between the United States and the Gulf states as they face democratic transitions in the Arab world as well as security challenges in the Gulf.

NATO at 60: A Hollow Alliance

March 30, 2009

As the North Atlantic Treaty Organization celebrates its 60th birthday, there are mounting signs of trouble within the alliance and reasons to doubt the organization's relevance regarding the foreign policy challenges of the 21st century. Several developments contribute to those doubts. Although NATO has added numerous new members during the past decade, most of them possess minuscule military capabilities. Some of them also have murky political systems and contentious relations with neighboring states, including (and most troubling) a nuclear-armed Russia. Thus, NATO's new members are weak, vulnerable, and provocative -- an especially dangerous combination for the United States in its role as NATO's leader. There are also growing fissures in the alliance about how to deal with Russia. The older, West European powers tend to favor a cautious, conciliatory policy, whereas the Central and East European countries advocate a more confrontational, hard-line approach. The United States is caught in the middle of that intra-alliance squabble. Perhaps most worrisome, the defense spending levels and military capabilities of NATO's principal European members have plunged in recent years. The decay of those military forces has reached the point that American leaders now worry that joint operations with U.S. forces are becoming difficult, if not impossible.The ineffectiveness of the European militaries is apparent in NATO's stumbling performance in Afghanistan. NATO has outlived whatever usefulness it had. Superficially, it remains an impressive institution, but it has become a hollow shell -- far more a political honor society than a meaningful security organization. Yet, while the alliance exists, it is a vehicle for European countries to free ride on the U.S.military commitment instead of spending adequately on their own defenses and taking responsibility for the security of their own region. American calls for greater burden-sharing are even more futile today than they have been over the past 60 years. Until the United States changes the incentives by withdrawing its troops from Europe and phasing out its NATO commitment, the Europeans will happily continue to evade their responsibilities. Today's NATO is a bad bargain for the United States. We have security obligations to countries that add little to our own military power. Even worse, some of those countries could easily entangle America in dangerous parochial disputes. It is time to terminate this increasingly dysfunctional alliance.

Disabilities among Refugees and Conflict-affected Populations

June 23, 2008

Around the world, an estimated 3.5 million displaced people live with disabilities in refugee camps and urban slum settlements. The Women's Commission for Refugee Women and Children, with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, undertook a six-month research project to assess the situation of those with disabilities among refugee and conflict-affected populations. Using our field research in five countries, Ecuador, Jordan, Nepal, Thailand and Yemen, the Women's Commission sought to map existing services for displaced persons with disabilities, identify gaps and good practices and make concrete recommendations on how to improve services, protection and participation for displaced persons with disabilities.Key Findings- Refugees with disabilities are among the most hidden, neglected and socially excluded of all displaced people in the world.- They are excluded from or unable to access mainstream assistance programs as a result of attitudinal, physical and social barriers and are forgotten in the establishment of specialized and targeted services.- Refugees with disabilities are more isolated following their displacement than they were in their home communities and their potential to contribute and participate is seldom recognized.