Progress in the Middle East Occurs with Direct Involvement by the United States
ARMY WAR COLL CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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When protracted conflicts stalemate and solutions are placed on hold for decades, stability begins to erode in regional relationships, bringing additional conflicts as an unintended consequence. The United States once again needs to play an active role in formulating solutions to world problems affecting vital U.S. interests, such as the Israeli-Palestinian situation. The United States has a great opportunity to attempt new solutions to the Middle East crisis due to two significant occurrences. From the Israeli perspective, Prime Minister Ariel Sharons controversial, unilateral proposal in April 2004 to pull out of Gaza and parts of the West Bank is accompanied by problems unilateral approach and strings statements that other settlements will never be moved. But coupled with Sharons agreement to President Bushs call for an independent, viable Palestinian state, this response still represents a major shift in attitude. The other major change has come with the death of Yasser Arafat, which has prompted new Palestinian Authority leadership to focus on achieving the now commonly accepted goal of a viable end state and implementing actions to stop the violence. President Mahmoud Abbas, a figure in the PLO that is considered legitimate by both sides, was freely and fairly elected in January 2005. For a true peace, the underlying problems must be addressed through honest negotiations, not through the military solutions of overwhelming might and suicide bombings, no matter how de-stabilizing the process leading to that negotiated solution is going to seem. Appendixes contain a concise overview of recent Israeli-Palestinian history, a map of the Palestine boundaries envisioned by the Zionist organization in 1919, maps of the British provisional mandate over Palestine in 1920 and 1922, partition map for UN resolution GA 181 in 1947, map of Israel following the 1967 war, Palestinian refugee camp locations, and Israeli settlement outposts in January 2002.
- Government and Political Science