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Washington Institute for Near East Policy

Washington Institute for Near East Policy

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Encyclopedia
The Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) is a think tank
Think tank
A think tank is an organization that conducts research and engages in advocacy in areas such as social policy, political strategy, economics, military, and technology issues. Most think tanks are non-profit organizations, which some countries such as the United States and Canada provide with tax...

 based in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 focused on United States foreign policy in the Middle East. It was established by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States...

 (AIPAC) in 1985. The institute's mission statement
Mission statement
A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making...

 states that it seeks "to advance a balanced and realistic understanding of American interests in the Middle East." The group is often described as being pro-Israel.

Background


Martin Indyk
Martin Indyk
Martin Sean Indyk is Vice President and Director for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Indyk served as United States ambassador to Israel and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the Clinton Administration. He is known as the framer of the U.S...

, an Australian-trained academic and former deputy director of research for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee
American Israel Public Affairs Committee
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee is a lobbying group that advocates pro-Israel policies to the Congress and Executive Branch of the United States...

 (AIPAC), helped found WINEP in 1985. In 1982, following his position as Australian deputy director of current intelligence in the Middle East, Indyk started to set up a research department for AIPAC. Because of his affiliation with AIPAC, Indyk felt his research wasn't being taken seriously and so started WINEP to convey an image that was "friendly to Israel but doing credible research on the Middle East in a realistic and balanced way." Indyk would go on to become an American citizen, U.S. diplomat and its Ambassador to Israel.

The Washington Institute is registered as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and derives 87 percent of its operating revenues through direct public support. As of 2005, its list of trustees included more than 600 names, including Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg
Frank Lautenberg
Frank Raleigh Lautenberg is the senior United States Senator from New Jersey and a member of the Democratic Party. Previously, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automatic Data Processing, Inc.-Early life, career, and family:...

, managing editor of The New York Times Jill Abramson
Jill Abramson
Jill Ellen Abramson is the executive editor of The New York Times. Assuming the position in September 2011, she became the first woman in this role in the paper's 160-year history.-Early life and education:...

, real estate developer A. Alfred Taubman
A. Alfred Taubman
Adolph Alfred Taubman is an American real estate developer and philanthropist from Michigan. He pioneered the modern shopping mall concept and was described by CBS News as a "legend in retailing" who became wealthy developing upscale shopping malls. He built shopping mall developer Taubman Centers...

, and philanthropist Edgar Bronfman
Edgar Bronfman
Edgar Bronfman may refer to:* Edgar Bronfman, Sr. , Canadian businessman and former long-time president of the World Jewish Congress* Edgar Bronfman, Jr. , CEO of the Warner Music Group...

.

Policy orientation


WINEP is focused on influencing the media and U.S. executive branch; this is unlike AIPAC, which attempts to influence the U.S. Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

. Its activities include annual conferences, a Military Fellows Program that "brings together senior officers from the armed forces of the United States and key Middle Eastern allies", a Presidential Study Group it describes as a "bipartisan, blue-ribbon commission charged with drafting a blueprint for the next administration's Middle East policy", closed-door policy forums, and various publications and research programs.

At the time it was founded, the institute focused research on Arab-Israeli relations, political and security issues, and overall U.S. Middle East policy. In the 1990s, prompted by the collapse of the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

, the Persian Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, and changes in regional strategy, the institute expanded its research agenda to cover a larger array of Middle East topics, including a "special focus on Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 and the rise of Islamic politics."

According to its mission statement
Mission statement
A mission statement is a statement of the purpose of a company or organization. The mission statement should guide the actions of the organization, spell out its overall goal, provide a path, and guide decision-making...

,

Praise


Former Vice President Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 called WINEP "Washington's most respected center for studies on the Middle East." Charles Krauthammer
Charles Krauthammer
Charles Krauthammer, MD is an American Pulitzer Prize–winning syndicated columnist, political commentator, and physician. His weekly column appears in The Washington Post and is syndicated to more than 275 newspapers and media outlets. He is a contributing editor to the Weekly Standard and The New...

 has also praised WINEP, calling it "the number one center for information and analysis in Washington."

Criticism


In a December 2003 interview on Aljazeera, Rashid Khalidi
Rashid Khalidi
Rashid Ismail Khalidi , born 1948, a Palestinian-American historian of the Middle East, is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University, and director of the Middle East Institute of Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs.-Family, education and...

, a Palestinian-American professor and director of Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

's Middle East Institute, sharply criticized WINEP, stating that it is "the fiercest of the enemies of the Arabs and the Muslims," and describing it as the "most important Zionist propaganda tool in the United States." In response, Martin Kramer
Martin Kramer
Martin Seth Kramer is an American scholar of the Middle East at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the Shalem Center. His focus is on Islam and Arab politics.-Education:...

, editor of the Middle East Quarterly
Middle East Quarterly
Middle East Quarterly is a peer reviewed quarterly journal, a publication of the American conservative think tank Middle East Forum founded by Daniel Pipes in 1994. It is devoted to subjects relating to the Middle East and Islam and analyzes the region "explicitly from the viewpoint of American...

 and visiting fellow
Visiting fellow
A visiting fellow is an academic, often a senior academic, who is undertaking research at a different institution than his or her main institution for a limited period of time, often but not necessarily at a foreign institution. A visiting fellow can be paid or unpaid; sometimes the salary is paid...

 at WINEP, defended the group, saying that it is "run by Americans, and accepts funds only from American sources," and that it was "outrageous" for Khalidi to denounce Arabs that visited WINEP as "blundering dupes."

John Mearsheimer
John Mearsheimer
John J. Mearsheimer is an American professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago. He is an international relations theorist. Known for his book on offensive realism, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, more recently Mearsheimer has attracted attention for co-authoring and publishing...

, a University of Chicago
University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private research university in Chicago, Illinois, USA. It was founded by the American Baptist Education Society with a donation from oil magnate and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller and incorporated in 1890...

 political science professor, and Stephen Walt
Stephen Walt
Stephen Martin Walt is a professor of international affairs at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Among his most prominent works are and . He coauthored The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy with John Mearsheimer.-Education and career:In 1983, he received a Ph.D. in...

, academic dean at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

's Kennedy School of Government, describe it as "part of the core" of the Israel lobby in the United States
Israel lobby in the United States
The Israel lobby is a term used to describe the diverse coalition of those who, as individuals and as groups, seek and have sought to influence the foreign policy of the United States in support of Zionism, Israel or the specific policies of its government...

. Discussing the group in their book, The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy, Mearsheimer and Walt write: "Although WINEP plays down its links to Israel and claims that it provides a 'balanced and realistic' perspective on Middle East issues, this is not the case. In fact, WINEP is funded and run by individuals who are deeply committed to advancing Israel’s agenda... Many of its personnel are genuine scholars or experienced former officials, but they are hardly neutral observers on most Middle East issues and there is little diversity of views within WINEP’s ranks."

Members of WINEP have in turn criticized the book on multiple grounds, pointing to its "not including any interviews with current or former government officials about the lobby's influence on foreign policy", the fact that "not only has the U.S.- Israeli relationship not been a liability for either country (the central claim of the book), it has been, at least to some extent, an asset to the Arab regimes, as a strategic counterweight to radicalism." and that "foreign policies are shaped by leaders and events, not lobbies.

In October 2003, the Zionist Organization of America
Zionist Organization of America
The Zionist Organization of America , founded in 1897, was one of the first official Zionist organizations in the United States, and, especially early in the 20th century, the primary representative of Jewish Americans to the World Zionist Organization, espousing primarily Political Zionism.Today,...

 criticized WINEP for "embracing a delegation of representatives of the Fatah
Fatah
Fataḥ is a major Palestinian political party and the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization , a multi-party confederation. In Palestinian politics it is on the left-wing of the spectrum; it is mainly nationalist, although not predominantly socialist. Its official goals are found...

 terrorist movement".

Notable current and former scholars


Several current and former members of WINEP have served in senior positions in the administrations of Presidents
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

, and George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

.

Board of Advisors


As of November 4, 2009, the Washington Institute's Board of Advisors included:
  • Warren Christopher
    Warren Christopher
    Warren Minor Christopher was an American lawyer, diplomat and politician. During Bill Clinton's first term as President, Christopher served as the 63rd Secretary of State. He also served as Deputy Attorney General in the Lyndon Johnson administration, and as Deputy Secretary of State in the Jimmy...

    , former Secretary of State
    United States Secretary of State
    The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

  • Lawrence S. Eagleburger, former Secretary of State
    United States Secretary of State
    The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

  • Max Kampelman
    Max Kampelman
    Max Kampelman, born Max Kampelmacher , is former head of the American delegation to the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe. He was born in New York...

    , former American diplomat
  • Henry Kissinger
    Henry Kissinger
    Heinz Alfred "Henry" Kissinger is a German-born American academic, political scientist, diplomat, and businessman. He is a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He served as National Security Advisor and later concurrently as Secretary of State in the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon and...

    , former Secretary of State
    United States Secretary of State
    The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

  • Samuel W. Lewis
    Samuel W. Lewis
    Samuel Winfield Lewis is a retired American diplomat. During his lengthy career with the United States Department of State he served as Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs , U.S. ambassador to Israel and Director of Policy Planning...

    , former United States Ambassador to Israel
    United States Ambassador to Israel
    The United States Ambassador to Israel is the official representative of the President of the United States to the head of state of Israel.Until 1948 the area that is now the state of Israel had been under British administration as part of the League of Nations/United Nations British Mandate for...

  • Edward Luttwak
    Edward Luttwak
    Edward Nicolae Luttwak is an American military strategist and historian who has published works on military strategy, history and international relations.-Biography:...

    , Senior Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Michael Mandelbaum
    Michael Mandelbaum
    Michael Mandelbaum is the Christian A. Herter Professor and Director of the American Foreign Policy program at the Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies. He is also Director of the SAIS American Foreign Policy program. He has written 10 books on American foreign policy...

    , Director of the American Foreign Policy program at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
    Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies
    The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies , a division of Johns Hopkins University based in Washington, D.C., is one of the world's leading and most prestigious graduate schools devoted to the study of international affairs, economics, diplomacy, and policy research and...

  • Robert McFarlane
    Robert McFarlane
    Robert Carl "Bud" McFarlane was a National Security Advisor to President Ronald Reagan, serving from 1983 through 1985.After a career in the Marines, he became part of the Reagan administration, and was a leading architect of the Strategic Defense Initiative for defending the United States...

    , former National Security Advisor
    National Security Advisor (United States)
    The Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, commonly referred to as the National Security Advisor , serves as the chief advisor to the President of the United States on national security issues...

  • Martin Peretz
    Martin Peretz
    Martin H. "Marty" Peretz , is an American publisher. Formerly an assistant professor at Harvard University, he purchased The New Republic in 1974 and took editorial control soon afterwards. He retained majority ownership until 2002, when he sold a two-thirds stake in the magazine to two financiers...

    , editor-in-chief of The New Republic
    The New Republic
    The magazine has also published two articles concerning income inequality, largely criticizing conservative economists for their attempts to deny the existence or negative effect increasing income inequality is having on the United States...

  • Richard Perle
    Richard Perle
    Richard Norman Perle is an American political advisor, consultant, and lobbyist who began his career in government, a senior staff member to Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson on the Senate Armed Services Committee in the 1970’s...

    , former Assistant Secretary of Defense
    United States Assistant Secretary of Defense
    Assistant Secretary of Defense is a title used for many executive positions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense within the United States Department of Defense. Reorganization Plan No.6 of 30 June 1953 increased the number of assistant secretaries...

  • James Roche
    James G. Roche
    Dr. James G. Roche was the 20th Secretary of the Air Force, serving from January 20, 2001 to January 20, 2005. Prior to serving as secretary, Roche served in the United States Navy for 23 years, and as an executive with Northrop Grumman....

    , former Secretary of the Air Force
    United States Secretary of the Air Force
    The Secretary of the Air Force is the Head of the Department of the Air Force, a component organization within the Department of Defense of the United States of America. The Secretary of the Air Force is appointed from civilian life by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate...

  • George Shultz
    George P. Shultz
    George Pratt Shultz is an American economist, statesman, and businessman. He served as the United States Secretary of Labor from 1969 to 1970, as the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury from 1972 to 1974, and as the U.S. Secretary of State from 1982 to 1989...

    , former Secretary of State
    United States Secretary of State
    The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

  • R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence
    Director of Central Intelligence
    The Office of United States Director of Central Intelligence was the head of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, the principal intelligence advisor to the President and the National Security Council, and the coordinator of intelligence activities among and between the various United...

  • Mortimer Zuckerman
    Mortimer Zuckerman
    Mortimer Benjamin "Mort" Zuckerman is a Canadian-born American business magnate with interests primarily in magazines, publishing, and real estate. He is now a naturalized citizen of the United States....

    , editor-in-chief of U.S. News & World Report
    U.S. News & World Report
    U.S. News & World Report is an American news magazine published from Washington, D.C. Along with Time and Newsweek it was for many years a leading news weekly, focusing more than its counterparts on political, economic, health and education stories...


Turkish Research Program


The Turkish Research Program is one of the centers of the institute.

History


The program was founded in 1995. Under the leadership of founding director Alan Makovsky and interim director Helena Kane Finn, the center introduced the Washington policymaking community to Turkey's leading political, diplomatic, military, and academic figures.

The speakers for the center's events have included, among others, Suleyman Demirel
Süleyman Demirel
Sami Süleyman Gündoğdu Demirel, better known as Süleyman Demirel , is a Turkish politician who served as Prime Minister seven times and was the ninth President of Turkey.-Life:Demirel was born in İslamköy, a town in Isparta Province...

, who thanked the Institute and program for furthering relations between Turkey and the United States, and Abdullah Gul
Abdullah Gül
Dr. Abdullah Gül, GCB is the 11th and current President of the Republic of Turkey, serving in that office since 28 August 2007. He previously served for four months as Prime Minister from 2002-03, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2003-07....

.

Since 2003, the director of the Turkish Research Program is Soner Cagaptay
Soner Cagaptay
Soner Çağaptay is the director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. He has a background in history, and is an expert on US-Turkish relations, Turkish politics, and Turkish nationalism.- Education :...

.

Mission statement


The Turkish Research Program's goal is to actively engage policymakers in discussion about Turkey's political, diplomatic, and strategic environment. Through its research and publications, Policy Forum luncheons, media appearances, congressional testimony, and seminars – along with special programs such as the Turgut Ozal memorial lecture series and the Turkish Military Fellowship – the Turkish Research Program attempts to discern trends in foreign relations of Turkey
Foreign relations of Turkey
Foreign relations of the Republic of Turkey are the Turkish government's policies in its external relations with the international community...

 and the impact those trends may have on both U.S. interests and US-Turkish relations.

Turgut Ozal Memorial Lecture


The Washington Institute established the Turgut Ozal Memorial Lecture to pay lasting tribute to the late Turkish president and to raise the profile of Turkish policy issues in the Washington community. The annual event features a prominent statesman or scholarly expert on Turkey. Those featured include:,
  • Matthew Bryza
    Matthew Bryza
    Matthew James Bryza is a United States diplomat. Currently serves as the United States Ambassador to Azerbaijan.-Education:...

  • Eric Edelman
  • R. Nicholas Burns
    R. Nicholas Burns
    R. Nicholas Burns is a retired American diplomat. He is currently Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a member of the Board of Directors of the school's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs...

  • Daniel Fried
    Daniel Fried
    Daniel Fried is a senior career diplomat of the United States who carries the rank of Ambassador. He is presently serving as a Special Envoy to facilitate the closing of the Guantanamo Bay detention camp located in Cuba. Previously, he was the top U.S. diplomat in Europe, and prior to that he was...

  • Richard Holbrooke
    Richard Holbrooke
    Richard Charles Albert Holbrooke was an American diplomat, magazine editor, author, professor, Peace Corps official, and investment banker....

  • Paul Wolfowitz
    Paul Wolfowitz
    Paul Dundes Wolfowitz is a former United States Ambassador to Indonesia, U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense, President of the World Bank, and former dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University...

  • Mark Parris
  • Antony Blinken
  • Strobe Talbott
    Strobe Talbott
    Nelson Strobridge "Strobe" Talbott III is an American foreign policy analyst associated with Yale University and the Brookings Institution, a former journalist associated with Time magazine and diplomat who served as the Deputy Secretary of State from 1994 to 2001.-Early life:Born in Dayton, Ohio...

  • Bernard Lewis
    Bernard Lewis
    Bernard Lewis, FBA is a British-American historian, scholar in Oriental studies, and political commentator. He is the Cleveland E. Dodge Professor Emeritus of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University...



Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 said that “The establishment of this annual lecture series is a fitting tribute to the memory of a great President of the Republic of Turkey and a true friend to the United States.”

Publications


Among the Institute's publications are a number of topical booklets, and the follow full-length books:

External links