Perspectives Papers

Perspectives Papers provide analysis from BESA Center research associates and other outside experts on the most important issues pertaining to Israel and the Middle East.

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US Nuclear Weapons Deployment in Turkey

No. 1217

The American nuclear weapons that remain on European Turkish soil – an anachronistic reference to the Cold War – are tactical only. This raises questions, not only because of the deterioration in relations between Washington and Ankara, but because of security and safety risks at the Turkish base where the weapons are stored – close to the Syrian border.

President Rivlin in South Korea: Time for an Upgrade

No. 1216
| July 3, 2019

On July 14, 2019, President Reuven Rivlin will land in South Korea for an official state visit. The visit can serve as a catalyst for an upgrading of relations between Israel and South Korea.

Sweden Is a Perplexing Location for an Antisemitism Conference

No. 1215
| July 2, 2019

Sweden’s Social Democrat PM Stefan Löfven has announced that in 2020 his country will host an international antisemitism conference to commemorate the Holocaust. This is perplexing in view of both Sweden’s and the Social Democrat party’s abysmal records on antisemitism and anti-Israel incitement. Jewish organizations should make an effort to prevent the Swedish government from turning this conference into a PR stunt.

Soccer Emerges as the Potential Icebreaker of the Gulf Crisis

No. 1213
| July 1, 2019

June 5 was the second anniversary of the GCC boycott of Qatar. In a soccer-mad region, Qatar’s World Cup 2022 might turn out to be the catalyst to finally bring the boycott to an end.

North Korea at a Nuclear Crossroads

No. 1212

North Korea has found itself at a nuclear crossroads more than once, but the Trump-Pompeo-Bolton triumvirate significantly alters the current dynamic. The primary external forces acting on Pyongyang’s nuclear decision-making are China, Iran, and the US. The Americans could well prove effective against an aggressively antagonistic Iran.

The Bahrain Conference: Nothing New Under the Sun

No. 1211

“Peace to Prosperity” is certainly an ambitious title for the Bahrain Conference, which offers an “out of the box” plan to handle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The US vision essentially turns the “refugees” from liabilities into assets, thereby taking the refugee issue off the table. This concept has an historic precedent: the resettlement initiative presented by UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold on June 15, 1959.  Both plans received the same response from Palestinians: angry dismissal.

Arab, Russian, and Pakistani Protesters Learn the Lessons of 2011

No. 1210
| June 27, 2019

Demonstrators in Sudan, Algeria, and nations beyond the Middle East such as Pakistan and Russia are applying lessons learned from the 2011 popular Arab revolts as the Sudanese military uses an apparent Saudi-United Arab Emirates template to crack down.

A New Strategy Toward Tehran: Exploit Iran’s Fear

No. 1209
| June 26, 2019

The Iranian regime’s worst fear is a foreign invasion. In order to bring the mullahs to the negotiating table, the US should eliminate the regime’s proxies in Iran’s Iraqi and Syrian “near-abroad” and bring that threat into full relief.

Russia Resurrects Mass Mobilization

No. 1208
| June 25, 2019

Mass mobilization saved the Russian state on many occasions in past centuries, proving effective against Charles XII, Napoleon I, and Hitler. The Russians are still inclined toward mass mobilization, even though modern wars tend to be more short-term. The large-scale military spending required to sustain mass mobilization will create additional problems for the already embattled Russian economy.

Iran Is Very Close to the Nuclear Threshold

No. 1207

Iran is threatening to resume its uranium enrichment effort to the point that it will be able to produce a nuclear bomb. According to Olli Heinonen, who served until 2010 as IAEA deputy director general, Iran will be in a position to acquire nuclear weapons within six to eight months.