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Pew Global Attitudes Project;
Focuses on the reaction to the war in Iraq, attitudes around the world towards the war on terrorism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iran, Syria, and North Korea, and views on American unilateralism.
Arab Reform Initiative;
When the peaceful uprising in Syria started in spring 2011 turned into an armed resistance after a few months in the face of savage repression by the Assad regime. Since then, the activists who picked up arms became dependent on support in money and arms to be able to continue. Few other than the Assad regime question this narrative. Yet the consequences of this dependence are often overlooked. The sources of funding for the rebels and the strings attached to them have since shaped the landscape of the armed rebellion, not the other way round. What we have in Syria is not an Islamist revolution but a popular uprising that received funding primarily from Islamist sources. Acknowledging this is essential and has far-reaching implications for defining an effective policy in the Syrian conflict. As the United States, France and regional powers of the Middle East prepare for what appears to be an inevitable military strike on the Syrian regime of Bashar el Assad, questions are posed more urgently than ever: how to work with the armed opposition? who are the reliable forces? what are their capabilities? which groups can be part of the plan to replace Assad and how can the extremists be contained?
This paper examines the circumstances and conditions that shaped the Syrian armed opposition and surveys the groups that remain committed to a democratic political system and a pluralistic society in Syria.
Freedom Fund, The;
The report sets out a pathway to deliver tangible and lasting change. It examines the different ways in which slavery is occurring among Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the multiple factors that combine to force people into situations of slavery. Addressing these risk factors will require the commitment of a broad range of stakeholders, including the Lebanese government, international governments, international organisations, NGOs and donors.
This report attempts to chronicle the evolution of the Eastern Ghouta's politics since 2011, with a focus on the relations between local armed factions. Much could undoubtedly be written about how the Syrian government and its supporters have reacted to events in the Eastern Ghouta, but such analysis falls outside the scope of this report except as it touches directly on events inside the enclave.
Unable to carry out research in the Eastern Ghouta or even meaningfully in Damascus to investigate these issues, I have instead relied on interviews with Syrians inside and outside the enclave, several of whom have to remain anonymous or are referred to by a pseudonym. Some interviews have been conducted in person, but most have taken place through Skype, phone, and email, or via Internet-based services such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Twitter, Viber, and Facebook.
I have drawn a great deal of material from press statements by the relevant rebel factions and from Syrian government communications, as well as from online news sources and opposition forums in Arabic and English. Many rebel commanders maintain an active presence on Twitter and Facebook, and local activists have produced a wealth of commentary on social networking sites. Last but not least, coverage over the past few years by Syrian and international media, including from other Arab countries, has been an invaluable resource.
Nonetheless, the dearth of systematic research and the lack of reliable source material has been a severe problem. In many cases I have been forced to piece together key events and context by collecting and comparing scraps of limited, biased, or contradictory data. Despite my best efforts, this report is certain to contain errors of fact and interpretation, and I would like to stress that those failures are mine alone; no interviewee or other source should be held responsible for any of the descriptions, conclusions, or opinions expressed.
Task Force on Cooperation in Greater Europe;
The Task Force on Cooperation in Greater Europe recently released its fourth position paper highlighting the inherent threats stemming from the crisis in Syria. The paper,"Countering Threats in the Middle East," focuses on the Syrian conflict, highlighting the need for effective communication and cooperation. It also draws attention to the "proxy war" that's arisen out of the current unrest in Syria, and specifically calls on leaders in Russia and Turkey to deescalate current tensions and work toward a less adversary relationship.
The report makes three specific recommendations directed toward the European and greater international community: avoid interstate conflict in Syria, refocus on fighting ISIS to prevent its reemergence, and work together to bring the Syrian conflict to a close. Unlike other international approaches to the regional conflict, the task for urges the international community to come together in a multilateral diplomatic fashion to quell the crisis.
The Task force is made up of foreign leaders and defense ministers from countries across Europe, including Russia, Turkey, the UK, Poland, Ukraine, and France. It's supported by independent analysis done by the Russian International Affairs Council, the Polish Institute of International Affairs and the International Strategic Research Organisation in Ankara and Carnegie Corporation of New York grantee the European Leadership Network. The paper is the latest in a series of position papers.
Save the Children;
The TDR Results Report illustrates progress made against the 23 key performance indicators that are part of the monitoring and evaluation matrix, in line with the current Performance Assessment Framework.
The report shows progress made on various performance indicators related to three overarching categories related to not only on what is done (technical expected results), but also on how it is done (application of organizational core values and managerial performance).
The report notes a high implementation rate, numerous new health tools that are being used in critical areas, and an expanded education and training programme, particularly focused on researchers in disease endemic countries. It provides summaries of activities to increase equity, such as increasing opportunities for women. The report includes a series of lessons learnt that have further improved the Programme's managerial effectiveness.