The political dimensions of the Arab-Israeli relationship have changed dramatically in recent years. Israel and its Arab neighbors have made remarkable progress toward resolving long-standing conflicts. In Nuclear Weapons and Arms Control in the Middle East, Shai Feldman considers whether these political breakthroughs have set the stage for agreements on controlling nuclear weapons in the region. He presents a richly detailed overview of the current situation and lays out an agenda for future efforts to reduce the risk of nuclear war in the Middle East.
Feldman, whose background in strategic studies includes nearly two decades of research at Tel Aviv University's Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, provides a comprehensive analysis of the nuclear programs of Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Libya, and Syria. He presents a detailed picture of how Israel and the Arab states view nuclear weapons—their utility, and the threats they pose to regional security—and explores the different approaches that Israel and the Arab states have adopted toward nuclear arms control. Feldman concludes by suggesting interim measures that might help bridge the gap between these different perspectives.
Track-II talks in the Middle East—unofficial discussions among Israeli and Arab scholars, journalists, and former government and military officials—have been going on since soon after the 1967 Six Day War and have often paved the way for official negotiations. This book, a unique collaboration of Israeli and Palestinian authors, traces the history of these unofficial meetings, focusing on those that took place in the 1990s beginning just after the Gulf War. These talks were carried on without media coverage, and this book is the first sustained account of what took place. It is the inside story—the authors themselves participated in some of these discussions and interviewed participants in others.
After describing the background of early Arab-Israeli discussions, the authors present six case studies of Track-II talks in the 1990s: the 1992-1993 discussions in Norway that led to the Oslo accords; Palestinian-Israeli talks held in the early 1990s under the auspices of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Israeli-Syrian meetings of 1992-1994; the 1994-1995 Stockholm talks convened by the Swedish government; talks held in 1995-1996 between Israeli settlers and representatives of the Palestinian Authority; and arms control and regional security discussions throughout the decade. Despite their different perspectives, the book's two Israeli and two Palestinian authors are able to reach shared conclusions about the effectiveness and consequences of Track-II talks. Track-II Diplomacy not only makes a valuable contribution to the historical record of Arab-Israeli diplomacy but also offers insights into the role of informal and non-official discussions in resolving conflicts.
Although Israel and its Arab neighbors have taken many steps toward peace in recent years, the Middle East remains an uncertain and volatile region. Stretching from Morocco to Iran, the area has seen numerous international and internal conflicts in recent decades. Understanding the dynamics of these conflicts requires detailed information on the military capabilities of the region's countries.
The Middle East Military Balance is prepared annually by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies in Tel Aviv, Israel. It is based on data from many sources, including some that are unavailable to other institutes. With its wealth of current, hard-to-find information, it offers an authoritative and indispensable guide to military capabilities in the Middle East. Governments, the media, and researchers pay close attention to its data and analysis each year.