Wednesday, May 3, 2017
The 50 North Carolina high school students taking classes in “Global Issues” and “Global Cultures” hadn’t thought much about Europe as an issue that needed their attention. But that was before their teacher, Matt Cone, decided to ask a secretary of state for advice. Four months of research and 100 interviews later, the Carrboro High School students were asking questions about U.S. relations with Turkey, contentious elections in Europe, and the effect of globalization on jobs and trade.
The world’s most volatile region faces a challenge that doesn’t involve guns, militias, warlords, or bloodshed, yet is also destroying societies. The Middle East, though energy-rich, no longer has enough electricity. From Beirut to Baghdad, tens of millions of people now suffer daily outages, with a crippling impact on businesses, schools, health care, and other basic services, including running water and sewerage. Little works without electricity.
Dr. Naysan Rafati, TAPIR fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, spoke to SiriusXM POTUS Ch. 124 previewing the upcoming presidential elections in Iran between Hassan Rouhani and Ebrahim Raisi. Rafati explained that among the top issues for the candidates were the economy, unemployment, and corruption.
PRINCETON LYMAN: There are an awful lot of special envoys that have been named over the years. And many of them are subject matter, and they could be folded into the regular bureaucracy. But when you have a complicated conflict situation that covers a lot of different countries and requires virtually nonstop attention, that's where you use a special envoy.
Mike Yaffe, Vice President for Middle East and Africa at USIP, spoke to The Middle East Research Institute on Iraq.
Andrew Wilder, vice president of the Asia Program at the United States Institute of Peace, and Michael Kugleman, a South Asia specialist at the Wilson Center, shared insights from Washington. RFE/RL Media Manager Muhammad Tahir moderated our discussion from the same town. I contributed from Prague.
Perched on the tails of Iran Air’s aircraft is the mythical Persian bird known as the Homa. Versions of its legend describe how the Homa is periodically reborn, consuming itself in fire before rising reborn from the ashes. As Iran’s aviation sector makes moves for an epic overhaul, the mascot seems particularly appropriate.
William B. Taylor spoke to SiriusXM POTUS Ch. 124 about Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s meetings with Secretary of State Tillerson and President Trump. Among the top issues Taylor commented on were Syria, Ukraine and Russia’s interference in elections.
Scott Worden, director of Afghanistan and Central Asia programs at the United States Institute of Peace, said maintaining or adding to the U.S. presence is worth the cost compared to what could happen if the U.S. pulled out.
“The review is an opportunity to send a message that, yes, the U.S. is going to send more troops, but it’s not to achieve a forever military victory,” said Andrew Wilder, an Afghanistan expert at the U.S. Institute of Peace. “Rather, it’s to try to bring about a negotiated end to this conflict.”