HSNW, 4-30 – [Homeland Security News Wire, Homeland security industry’s largest daily news publication online, 4-30-2015, Water scarcity increase Middle East instability, http://www.homelandsecuritynewswire.com/dr20150430-water-scarcity-increase-middle-east-instability] Jeong
At least1.6 billion people worldwide face water scarcity because their countries lack the necessary infrastructure to move water from rivers and aquifers. In the Middle East, this lack of water infrastructure combines with the effects of global warming — including prolonged in droughts — to make the entire region politically and economically unstable. Food supplies are diminished as farmers find it difficult to find water for crops, and even basic sanitary requirements are not met due to poor access to clean water, thus increasing the spread of disease. During the 2006 Israel–Hezbollah War, the Shi’a organization, designated a terrorist group by the United States, gained favor with many by distributing cans and bottles of fresh water to residents in areas bombed by Israel; earlier this year, Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Iraq seized water infrastructure, and controlled the Mosul and Fallujah dams to punish towns which refused to fall under its rule; and today, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is building wells in the Yemeni countryside just as Saudi airstrikes target Houthi rebel strongholds in urban areas. “Too often, where we need water we find guns,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2008, urging the world to put water scarcity at the top of the global agenda that year.
Multilateral institutions are supporting the Middle East and North Africa – Checks escalation and instability
Gov. UK, 5-8 – [Gov. UK, Department for International Cooperation, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and Ministry of Defense, 5-8-2015, 2010 to 2015 government policy: peace and stability in the Middle East and North Africa, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/2010-to-2015-government-policy-peace-and-stability-in-the-middle-east-and-north-africa/2010-to-2015-government-policy-peace-and-stability-in-the-middle-east-and-north-africa] Jeong
UK support to countries in the Middle East & North Africa continues to evolve in response to developments in the region. We continue to build upon on the Arab Partnership Initiative, which was set up in October 2010 and formally launched in 2011 following the momentous changes brought about by the Arab uprisings. Our approach means we work in partnership with people across the region on three main areas: tackling the risk of conflict and responding to it; building capable, legitimate and inclusive institutions; enabling inclusive and sustainable economic growth and recovery. We help deliver our political objectives with targeted technical assistance through the Arab Partnership Fund, the MENA Conflict Pool, and the expertise of the MENAStrategic Communications Team. Policy We support reform and stability in the Middle East and North Africa in several ways. In conjunction with our Embassies, we ensure that conflict and reform issues remain key themes in UK dialogue with foreign governments. We also work within multilateral organisations to further our objectives. For example, we work with our partners to ensure that EU resources and support are correctly targeted. For example, we make sure that the approach agreed in 2012 - whereby countries making the most progress receiving additional technical support and funding – is being implemented. We are also working with EU colleagues on the current review of the European Neighbourhood Policy, to make sure EU assistance is able to be even more responsive to the situation and EU interests and values in each country. We also work with our G7 partners, International Financial Institutions and regional partners through the Deauville Partnership. The Partnership, founded in 2011, supports reform in the region by providing access to a multi-million pound Transition Fund, supporting access to funding from International Financial Institutions and encouraging public-private sector cooperation. For reference, we maintain information on the UK’s 2013 Chairmanship of the Deauville Partnership and on 2013 events promoting the role of civil society. Programme We deliver UK bilateral funds through the Arab Partnership Fund and the MENA Conflict Pool to resolve conflict and stimulate economic and political development across the region. The UK Government’s Arab Partnership (AP) supports the development of legitimate and inclusive institutions to improve governance and enable inclusive economic growth and reform. The total allocation for the Arab Partnership Fund for 2011-2015 is £166m. This includes £10 million for FY 14/15 for political reform through the Arab Partnership Participation Fund (APPF), managed by the FCO. This fund supports the development of stronger civil society, parliaments, media and judiciaries. £40 million for FY 14/15 is provided through the DFID-run Arab Partnership Economic Facility (APEF), and supports reforms that deliver jobs, boost economic growth and create effective and accountable institutions For example: With AP support, Morocco’s first MP constituency offices have been opened and a Council of Youth has been established to increase participation of civil associations and young people in political processes. In Egypt, working with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, we have trained over 300 Egyptian journalists in balanced and accurate reporting and provided them with a space to publish stories anonymously. Through AP regional programmes, supporting scholarships for outstanding individuals engaged in work to promote the rule of law in their country so they are able to improve the effectiveness and accountability of institutions, access to justice and freedom of expression. AP regional programmes have also formed strong networks of women leaders who are able to share experiences and best practice. Together with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Department for International Development (DFID), we run the MENA Conflict Pool, which has £70 million for FY 2014/15 to tackle conflict in the region. We invest in conflict prevention and early warning systems to reduce the effect of conflict on countries in the region. We also support the longer-term strengthening of security and justice institutions to increase the capacity of the local populations to resolve the conflicts which affect them. For example: In Bahrain, we have supported the establishment of the first independent police ombudsman in the Gulf, providing essential independent oversight of the police force. Border watchtowers we built for the Lebanese Armed Forces were instrumental in helping the LAF deter an ISIL breakout into Christian and Shia villages in the Beka’a valley during fighting in August this year. We are helping to reduce tensions between Syrian refugees and their host communities in Jordan and Lebanon through projects which deliver better educational and health facility capacity. We are providing counter-IED (Improvised Explosive Device) training to the Iraqi security forces and the Peshmerga in the Kurdistan region in order to increase the rate of detection and making safe of explosive devices and to reduce the number of civilian and military casualties. In Jerusalem we are funding the Jerusalem Community Advocacy Network (JCAN), which assists and empowers Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem to attain their legal, economic and social rights. From April 2015, the Government’s £1bn Conflict, Stability and Security Fund (CSSF), overseen by the National Security Council will replace the Conflict Pool. Under the CSSF, we will continue to address the short term effects of conflict whilst also patiently continuing our work to build the political, economic and security institutions that will bring enduring stability and ultimately prevent conflict re-occurring.
UK interests check instability
Gov. UK, 14 – [Gov. UK, Department for International Cooperation, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and Ministry of Defense, July 2014, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/405025/APF_13-14_Annual_Report_to_FAC.pdf] Jeong
With significant UK interests in the region, including bilateral trade worth approximately £35bn annually, instability in MENA countries affects the UK’s domestic situation in many ways - from energy prices, to investment in UK infrastructure and jobs, to the risks of terrorism in the UK. The region in turn affects the prosperity of other parts of the world, 2 not least through global energy markets. Our vision - to support a secure, prosperous MENA region with political stability and inclusive economies and systems – seems longterm against events of the last 12 months, but it remains as important as ever given these interests. 5. We have continued to develop our approach since the uprisings of 2011, to meet the challenges of this volatile and fast changing region. In particular, while violent conflict is not an inevitable part of the change in social contracts being sought by populations in some countries of the region, we have seen how quickly it can occur and escalate. During 2013 we revised the original Arab Partnership strategy into a reform and conflict framework, to strike a balance between the need to address short-term insecurity whilst laying the foundations for long-term stability. We see three main complementary paths to the long-term vision: Tackling the risk of - and responding to - conflict; Building capable, legitimate and inclusive institutions; Enabling inclusive and sustainable economic growth and recovery. 6. Our refined approach, viewing conflict and reform work as a continuum, has brought together the practical work done on reform and conflict, under the FCO-DFID Arab Partnership and the FCO-DFID-MOD Conflict Pool, into a more coherent cross-HMG effort. We are delivering this approach through diplomatic and political channels, both bilateral and multilateral (the EU and the G7), technical programming support, and training and capacity building, differentiated to suit country circumstances.
The upcoming Nuclear Deal will stabilize the middle east
Aliabadi, 7-1 – [Roozbeh Aliabadi, Managing partner of Global Growth Advisors GGA, a strategic consulting firm and leading adviser on business and political strategies, and senior adviser to Director of Strategic Initiatives Islamic Republic of Iran, Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Institute for Political and International Studies, 7-1-2015, Nuclear negotiations: A prelude to Middle East peace, http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/246648-nuclear-negotiations-a-prelude-to-middle-east-peace] Jeong
As the nuclear negotiations enters overtime, the optimism of a comprehensive accord is becoming a reality to both sides of the negotiating table as well as the international community. Certainly we must praise the diplomatic leadership of Secretary John Kerry and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who in face of numerous domestic and international challenges have succeeded in focusing on the common objectives and buffering the negotiations from the critics. Let us not get bogged down with the number of centrifuges and the years the final accord would limit Iran’s ability of enrichment. This development must go beyond the current achievements and serve as a roadmap for stabilizing the Middle East and potentially solving the most fundamental roadblocks of peace such as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By addressing this issue headwind, United States shall be able to repair its image in Middle East tarnished since 9/11, and Iran will get a chance to solidify its role of a responsible and constructive actor in Middle Eastern affairs. The failure to bring about a sovereign Palestinian State continues to poison the relations throughout Middle East and beyond, and unless this issue is addressed, any type of regional or bilateral compromise is destined to be precarious both for the immediate neighborhood and the West alike. Limited platforms of dialogue and minor deals of peace are predetermined to remain on shaky grounds unless we continue to address the over-arching issues. The Middle East state system is imploding at its core and the fringe elements like ISIS have come to haunt seemingly stable Persian Gulf monarchies and their sectarian core. The non-state actors and terrorist groups together with unilateral actions of certain states have all but jeopardized the regional political system and given way for the sectarianism and tribalism to fill in the power vacuum. The nuclear negotiations are both a de-escalation of tensions and a platform to take the cooperation beyond the petty details of nuclear accord to the root causes of instability. Since the signing of Joint Plan of Action in 2013, the public discourse of potential military conflict has given way to anticipation of Iran rejoining the community of nations and foreign companies edging their way back into the last big frontier market in the world. The alternative is a far worse scenario of potential military conflict, unpredictable consequences and continuation of radicalization of politically awakened masses. Regional economies would continue to suffer, weakening the already cash-strapped governments with youth unemployment and environmental issues remaining unmitigated. Last April, upon returning home after concluding framework agreement in Lausanne, Switzerland, Zarif received a hero’s welcome. The joy and optimism of Iranians was understandable in anticipation of long-awaited relief of economic pressures and speaks to the popular support and political capital of current Iranian leadership. Such was the political platform that brought President Hassan Rouhani to power in 2013, and the negotiating team received a tacit support of Ayatollah Khamenei to protect Iran’s rights through a viable international agreement. Kerry on his part traveled the World, assured the skeptics in the provisions of potential final deal and walked a fine line in navigating domestic and international political landscape. Although the fact that Iran and the U.S. are in direct dialogue after three and a half decades of alienation is of earth shattering significance, to say the least, it would be naïve to believe that negotiations would lead to normalization of relations between Iran and United States or serve as a Gordian’s knot of Middle East instability. The historical legacies and deep running distrust with legitimate roots in the mainstream politics of Iran still persist. There are differences of opinion starting on the reasons of what actually brought Iran to the negotiating table, not to mention the dramatically divergent worldview of negotiating countries to the level of identity. The Middle East needs a much more concerted and inclusive effort of stakeholders to strengthen its political order. This requires both United States and Iran to seek new avenues for providing such effort that is both inclusive of all stakeholders and has a potential to be applied to other regional challenges such proliferation or conflict resolution. The significance of current nuclear negotiations therefore lies not in the success of final nuclear accord.Rather it serves as a testimony that in spite of differences, cooperation is possible and is actually happening. International diplomacy thus should be celebrated and leveraged to further promote the actors of peace and stability in the region, whether it is in the form of Nobel Peace Prize or broad-based efforts to bring in the stakeholders of frozen conflicts to the table. An example of a well thought award shall keep attention of the policymakers on the topic for decades to come and will lead to a positive development not only on the subject matter but in wider international politics. Because any impartial assessment of Iran’s geopolitics would speak to the potential role it can play in regional and global order, there is a need for recognition and encouragement of current dialogue that would help transcend current affair challenges of the day. The current negotiations are a window of unique opportunity for the West and Iran. To meaningfully take advantage of such opportunity would mean to open the doors of addressing the larger issues of regional security. Doing so will not derail the current negotiations but will in turn enhance the viability and seriousness of it in spirit of ultimately bringing peace to the region. The recognition of current negotiations as a success and promotion of venues of dialogue in tackling the root causes of Middle Eastern shall serve the cause worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize. But the ultimate responsibility falls on United States and Iran, in decisively taking on this chance further to promote the platform for peace and stability. This alley of opportunities must be viewed as a chance for Iran to resolutely re-join the community of nations and for United States to re-emerge in Middle East as a player who understands the extraordinary complexities rather than a promoter of other countries’ interests. Until Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved there will be no permanent peace in the Middle East.