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Overview:

The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) is an agency within the Department of State that deals with U.S. foreign policy and U.S. diplomatic relations with Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Regional policy issues that NEA handles include the war in Iraq, Middle East peace, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and political and economic reform.

 
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History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The United States has been involved in the Middle East since the Cold War in 1949, the Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower administrations were committed to limiting communism around the world and laid the foundations of a U.S Middle Eastern policy. The U.S sought petroleum resources and military bases and sought to deny these resources to the Soviet Union. The U.S also promoted peace and stability in the region in order to push their own objectives. This led to the establishment of the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs in October 3, 1949. The Hoover Commission recommended that certain offices be upgraded to the bureau level. The Department of State developed a Division of Near Eastern Affairs in 1909, which dealt with Central, Southern and Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East. However, in 1974 the Department transferred responsibility to Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus to the Bureau of European Affairs. The relations with African Nations also became the reasonability of a New Bureau of African Affairs in 1958, except for several North African nations which became apart of the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs in 1974. The Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 authorized the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs which also established the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs on August 24, 1992.      

 

Caught in the Middle East: U.S. Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961 (by Peter L. Hahn, University of North Carolina Press)

 

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What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs is a key diplomatic office within the Department of State. According to the Bureau, it promotes U.S political and economic interests throughout the region. Instability in the Middle East directly affects U.S political and economic interests, therefore, the promotion of peace and democracy is a key initiative for the NEA. This initiative is seen throughout NEA’s objectives including: helping to rebuild and promote stability in Iraq, helping to resolve the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, counterterrorism and supporting efforts for political and economic reform in the region. NEA works with the Global Coalition Against Terrorism, the US Agency for International Development, and the Middle East Partnership Initiative.

 
Through NEA’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), established by U.S secretary Colin Powell in 2002, NEA directly funds non-governmental organizations, businesses, and universities in the Middle East with the goal of alleviating conflict in the region. MEPI provided support to more than 2,000 domestic election monitors for Egypt's first multi-candidate election. However, the election was a failure from the point of view of democracy. The Washington Post reported that the Egyptian ruling National Democratic Party ordered government security agents and gangs of thugs to blockade dozens of polling sites where they knew opposition candidates were strong. There were several cases of these “gangs” opening fire on citizens who tried to vote. Inside the election stations, government appointees blatantly stuffed ballot boxes with the judicial monitors, funded by the U.S, present supporting the only live satellite broadcasts of Arab parliamentary sessions.
 
Other top political objectives for the NEA are, according to President Bush, “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and the “Global War on Terror.” As part of the initiative to unify and stabilize Iraq, NEA provides humanitarian assistance in Iraq to help meet the needs of refugees and internally displaced Iraqis (IDPs). U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs support hundreds of thousands of IDPs and other at-risk beneficiaries inside Iraq through activities such as provision of emergency relief supplies, food, water systems, infrastructure rehabilitation for host communities, small-scale livelihood activities, and support for mobile medical teams and emergency health. 
 
The Bureaus also has focused efforts on the Iraqi-Palestinian conflict. The Arab-Israeli conflict has been threatening the stability in the Middle East since the late 1940s and 1950s, and has been at the center of NEA’s initiatives since its establishment in 1949. NEA’s efforts are concentrated on rebuilding productive dialogue with the hope that it will lead to negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians that create benefits for both sides of the conflict.
 

Near Eastern Affairs Chiefs of Mission

 

 

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Where Does the Money Go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs conducts diplomatic affairs with eighteen foreign governments: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

 

Gulf Oil & Gas

 

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Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro-Israeli Lobbyists

U.S foreign policy in the Middle East has provoked Arab and Islamic opinion and has jeopardized the security of the U.S and its allies. Many in the region believe that U.S. policy has been so one-sidedly pro-Israel that it has hampered efforts towards peace. Israel has been the largest recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1971. The United States gives Israel about $3 billion in direct assistance each year, 1/5 of the foreign aid budget. According to John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt writing in the London Review of Books, Israel is the only recipient that does not have to account for how the aid is spent. 
The Israeli Lobby (by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, London Review of Books)
 
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
AIPAC has grown to be a national grassroots movement with more than 100,000 members. AIPAC’s initiative is to help make Israel more secure by ensuring that American support remains strong. The New York Times describes AIPAC as “the most important organization affecting America’s relationship with Israel.”
 
Writing in The Nation, Philip Weiss states that because a large majority of the Jewish community in the United States is liberal, they do not agree with AIPAC’s ”Israel right-or-wrong” position. Sara Roy, a scholar at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, wrote in her new book, The War on Lebanon, as quoted in The Nation, “The virtually unqualified support of organized American Jewry for Israel’s brutal actions…is not new but no longer tolerable to me.” Roy’s views are increasingly common among the Jewish community in the United States.
 
A group of liberal Jewish-Americans has organized a lobbying organization called J-Street in response to American policy towards Israel and the Middle East.
AIPAC Alternative? (by Philip Weiss, The Nation)
 
U.S Middle East Commander Steps Down
The Commander of the U.S forces in the Middle East, Central Asia and East Africa, Admiral William Fallon, stepped down after just a year in command, following allegations that he had disagreed with the Bush Administration on some key policies. Fallon has opposed the surge of U.S forces into Iraq and has found it difficult to do his job of easing tension in the Middle East with the war rhetoric that has been used by White House staff. 
 
Archbishop of Canterbury’s Critique of U.S Policy
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, provoked political controversy after the appearance of his interview with Emel Magazine in November 2007. Williams said that the United States’ attempt to accumulate influence and control in the region was not working. Williams was also quoted in the Guardian as saying, “It is one thing to take over a territory and then pour energy and resources into administering it and normalizing it. Rightly or wrongly, that's what the British Empire did - in India, for example. It is another thing to go in on the assumption that a quick burst of violent action will somehow clear the decks and that you can move on and other people will put things back together - Iraq, for example." Williams also stated that he did not think that everything about the west is “destructive, secular and undermining of virtue.”
 
U.S Official Criticizes Iraq War
Alberto Fernandez is an Arabic speaker who is director of public diplomacy in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Fernandez told Al-Jazeera that the world was “witnessing failure in Iraq.” He stated further that, “…there is great room for strong criticism, because without doubt, there was arrogance and stupidity by the United States in Iraq.” Fernandez later retracted his statements.

US official retracts Iraq remarks

(BBC News)

 

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Former Directors:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William J. Burns (2001 to 2005)

Daniel Charles Kurtzer (1989 to 1994)

 

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Comments

Charles Munson 1 week ago
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Sometimes it’s tempting even for us little people to propose solutions to big problems. What follows is a modest suggestion for untying the Gordian knot of political stalemate in today’s Middle East. ISIS, albeit unintentionally, may have provided the world with its first authentic opportunity for lasting peace in the Middle East, but only if America seizes the moment. What is needed to get Arabs, Israelis, Turks, Kurds, and Persians to discuss common action is a broad existential threat. ISIS provides that. Then why do the imperiled nations resist coming together to save themselves, and in turn, each other? When a bullied child is protected by his big brother, he has little incentive to consider how to defend himself. When that protection is withdrawn, the probability that he will learn to attend to his interests grows in proportion to the size of the threat. If Middle Eastern rulers are to pursue the common purpose of defeating ISIS, the U.S. must make clear to them that they are, as of a near-term date certain, on their own. Within six weeks of giving notice we must follow that declaration by withdrawing both American airpower and advisors from the Middle East. Initially, none of the Middle Eastern countries whose adulthood we have stunted for so long will accept our new policy. America should incentivize them by halting all aid to and severing diplomatic relations with ISIS-threatened countries which refuse to participate in discussing the formation of a defensive coalition. Because several of these countries are awash in petroleum, they have the wherewithal to buy whatever training and armaments they need (from the U.S., of course) to assure victory. These purchases will have the added benefit of appealing to the marketing arm of the American military-industrial complex. Such an approach will address the deep concern of the American public over involvement in yet another Middle Eastern war. It will end the century-long practice of sacrificing American lives in conflicts where our interests were not primary but our participation was. Apart from intelligence support, no other American involvement should be considered. Besides providing a compelling motive for the coalition to bury their battle axes – the ones coated with each other’s DNA - and cooperate, this will have the added benefit of ending our Faustian bargain of assisting Syria’s Assad while attempting to degrade ISIS. It will eliminate the high cost America incurs for backing Israel and opposing Arabs. It will compel Middle Eastern nations to adopt a form of détente that recognizes each other’s right to exist. It will force nations which have not previously held face-to-face discussions to deal openly with one another. If consistently applied, it may hasten the end to America’s role as the world’s policeman. It will set a shining moral example for how to deal with international problems in the future. Moreover, it may well lead to a lasting Middle East peace as the nations in that region come to appreciate their coalition partners’ national interests. Unquestionably, the harshest opposition to such a policy will come from Israel and the pro-Israel lobby in America. In response, they should be required to submit their own ideas for defeating ISIS using only the capabilities of those countries whose interests are most at risk. Self-defense is one of the most basic of political instincts. Building coalitions is not far behind. The power brokers in the Middle East can pull this off if forced to face the existential alternative. If you oppose my approach, please put forth your own plan for America to resign from its role as the world’s baby sitter. This administration and this Congress seem not to have one. Their comfort with unworkable, CYA approaches means that our tax dollars will continue to be jettisoned into international drainage ditches, along with the lives of our youth. Where we have gone astray is in misusing the Pentagon to pursue our economic interests. Its legitimate purpose is national defense. Terry Munson 108 Greenbriar Ave. Pawleys Island, SC 29585

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Founded: 1949; 1992
Annual Budget: $206,688,000
Employees: 1,226
Official Website: http://www.state.gov/p/nea/
Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Patterson, Anne
Ambassador

 

A native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Anne W. Patterson presented credentials to the president of Pakistan on July 31, 2007. She was confirmed by the Senate as the US Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on June 28, 2007, and she took the oath of office on July 6. Patterson graduated from Wellesley College and attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina.
 
Patterson joined the US Foreign Service in 1973 as an economic officer. She held a variety of other economic and political assignments, including in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. Patterson also served as economic counselor in Saudi Arabia from 1984 to 1988 and as political counselor to the US Mission to the United Nations in Geneva from 1988 to 1991. She later served as principal deputy assistant secretary and deputy assistant secretary of inter-American affairs and as office director for Andean affairs.
 
Patterson then served as the ambassador to El Salvador from 1997 to 2000, ambassador to Colombia from 2000 to 2003, deputy inspector general of the State Department from 2003 to 2004, as deputy permanent representative and acting permanent representative at the US Mission to the United Nations from 2004 to 2005, and as the Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs until her current posting to Pakistan.
 
Anne W. Patterson's Official Biography
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Feltman, Jeffrey
Previous Assistant Secretary

In taking over the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey D. Feltman is no stranger to the issues and key players of the region, having spent much of his Foreign Service career in diplomatic posts in Israel and Lebanon. Feltman is also a polarizing figure, as far as Syria and Hezbollah are concerned, after having dealt with him as U.S. ambassador to Lebanon during the second half of the Bush administration. Feltman was sworn in as assistant secretary on August 18, 2009.

 
Born in Greenville, Ohio, Feltman, 50, attended college at Ball State University in Indiana, where he received his undergraduate degree in history and fine arts in 1981. He attended graduate school at Tufts University and earned his master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law in 1983.
 
He joined the Foreign Service in 1986, serving his first tour as consular officer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In 1998, he shifted regions and moved to the U.S. Embassy in Hungary, where he worked as an economic officer until1991. The move represented the beginning of a diplomatic career that would focus on Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
 
From 1991 to 1993, Feltman served as a special assistant to Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, concentrating on the coordination of U.S. assistance to Eastern and Central Europe. The following year he studied Arabic at the University of Jordan in Amman, adding to his French and Hungarian language skills.
 
In 1995, Feltman began a three-year tour at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, covering economic issues in the Gaza Strip. He became well known locally for personally testing “the freedom of movement of goods through army checkpoints in and out of Gaza by physically standing at one and counting the number of trucks that passed through on a given day,” according to the Jerusalem Post, “and for having gotten the inside track on the fishing situation off the Gaza coast by striking up a relationship with the local known as the “King of Fish” at Gaza’s market.
 
From 1998-2000, Feltman served as chief of the political and economic section at the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia. Then it was back to Embassy Tel Aviv where he was Ambassador Martin Indyk’s special assistant on peace process issues (2000-2001). In August 2001, he moved to the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, where he served first as deputy and then as acting principal officer until December 2003.
 
Feltman volunteered to serve at the Coalition Provisional Authority office in Irbil, Iraq, from January to April 2004. The move endeared him to the Bush administration, and earned him his first ambassadorship—to Lebanon. He was sworn in on July 22, 2004, as the United States’ top diplomat in Beirut, and stayed until January 2008.
 
Feltman became a controversial figure in Lebanese politics during his tenure as ambassador. In fact, he was accused of committing “flagrant interference” in Lebanon’s politics by pro-Syrian groups before Feltman had even submitted his credentials to the Beirut government. His ambassadorship covered a period of considerable turmoil in the country as a result of power plays within Lebanon’s government between pro-Syrian elements and those seeking closer ties to the West. In 2005 Lebanon’s prime minister, Rafik Hariri, was assassinated, setting off a series of large protests against Syria, which was accused of being behind the plot. Then in the summer of 2006, Israel launched an invasion into Lebanon in a failed effort to cripple Hezbollah.
 
Opponents of Hariri’s successor, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, came to refer to the Beirut government as “Feltman’s government,” because of the United States’ influence on Lebanese affairs. Before vacating his post as US ambassador, Feltman gave a speech that some American critics labeled as being too partisan, with respect to Lebanon’s political situation, and filled with “artless zeal.” He was on his way out when a diplomatic convoy carrying him was hit by a car bomb on January 15, 2008. Several people were killed, although Feltman escaped unscathed. U.S. officials privately suspected Syria of being behind the attack.
 
Upon arriving back in the United States, Feltman was bumped up to Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Office of Near Eastern Affairs during George W. Bush’s last year in office.
 
With the election of President Barack Obama, Feltman was made Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East Bureau in December, before he was nominated to permanently take over the position. His first big assignment was to visit Damascus and end the diplomatic embargo imposed by the Bush administration following the Hariri assassination in 2005.
 
Lebanese Car Bomb Attack a Warning to US (by Rick Moran, American Thinker)
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Bookmark and Share
Overview:

The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs (NEA) is an agency within the Department of State that deals with U.S. foreign policy and U.S. diplomatic relations with Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. Regional policy issues that NEA handles include the war in Iraq, Middle East peace, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and political and economic reform.

 
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History:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The United States has been involved in the Middle East since the Cold War in 1949, the Harry S. Truman and Dwight D. Eisenhower administrations were committed to limiting communism around the world and laid the foundations of a U.S Middle Eastern policy. The U.S sought petroleum resources and military bases and sought to deny these resources to the Soviet Union. The U.S also promoted peace and stability in the region in order to push their own objectives. This led to the establishment of the Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern, South Asian, and African Affairs in October 3, 1949. The Hoover Commission recommended that certain offices be upgraded to the bureau level. The Department of State developed a Division of Near Eastern Affairs in 1909, which dealt with Central, Southern and Eastern Europe as well as the Middle East. However, in 1974 the Department transferred responsibility to Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus to the Bureau of European Affairs. The relations with African Nations also became the reasonability of a New Bureau of African Affairs in 1958, except for several North African nations which became apart of the Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs in 1974. The Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 authorized the appointment of an Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs which also established the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs on August 24, 1992.      

 

Caught in the Middle East: U.S. Policy toward the Arab-Israeli Conflict, 1945-1961 (by Peter L. Hahn, University of North Carolina Press)

 

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What it Does:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs is a key diplomatic office within the Department of State. According to the Bureau, it promotes U.S political and economic interests throughout the region. Instability in the Middle East directly affects U.S political and economic interests, therefore, the promotion of peace and democracy is a key initiative for the NEA. This initiative is seen throughout NEA’s objectives including: helping to rebuild and promote stability in Iraq, helping to resolve the Palestinian and Israeli conflict, counterterrorism and supporting efforts for political and economic reform in the region. NEA works with the Global Coalition Against Terrorism, the US Agency for International Development, and the Middle East Partnership Initiative.

 
Through NEA’s Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI), established by U.S secretary Colin Powell in 2002, NEA directly funds non-governmental organizations, businesses, and universities in the Middle East with the goal of alleviating conflict in the region. MEPI provided support to more than 2,000 domestic election monitors for Egypt's first multi-candidate election. However, the election was a failure from the point of view of democracy. The Washington Post reported that the Egyptian ruling National Democratic Party ordered government security agents and gangs of thugs to blockade dozens of polling sites where they knew opposition candidates were strong. There were several cases of these “gangs” opening fire on citizens who tried to vote. Inside the election stations, government appointees blatantly stuffed ballot boxes with the judicial monitors, funded by the U.S, present supporting the only live satellite broadcasts of Arab parliamentary sessions.
 
Other top political objectives for the NEA are, according to President Bush, “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and the “Global War on Terror.” As part of the initiative to unify and stabilize Iraq, NEA provides humanitarian assistance in Iraq to help meet the needs of refugees and internally displaced Iraqis (IDPs). U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) programs support hundreds of thousands of IDPs and other at-risk beneficiaries inside Iraq through activities such as provision of emergency relief supplies, food, water systems, infrastructure rehabilitation for host communities, small-scale livelihood activities, and support for mobile medical teams and emergency health. 
 
The Bureaus also has focused efforts on the Iraqi-Palestinian conflict. The Arab-Israeli conflict has been threatening the stability in the Middle East since the late 1940s and 1950s, and has been at the center of NEA’s initiatives since its establishment in 1949. NEA’s efforts are concentrated on rebuilding productive dialogue with the hope that it will lead to negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians that create benefits for both sides of the conflict.
 

Near Eastern Affairs Chiefs of Mission

 

 

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Where Does the Money Go:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs conducts diplomatic affairs with eighteen foreign governments: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.

 

Gulf Oil & Gas

 

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Controversies:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pro-Israeli Lobbyists

U.S foreign policy in the Middle East has provoked Arab and Islamic opinion and has jeopardized the security of the U.S and its allies. Many in the region believe that U.S. policy has been so one-sidedly pro-Israel that it has hampered efforts towards peace. Israel has been the largest recipient of direct U.S. economic and military assistance since 1971. The United States gives Israel about $3 billion in direct assistance each year, 1/5 of the foreign aid budget. According to John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt writing in the London Review of Books, Israel is the only recipient that does not have to account for how the aid is spent. 
The Israeli Lobby (by John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, London Review of Books)
 
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)
AIPAC has grown to be a national grassroots movement with more than 100,000 members. AIPAC’s initiative is to help make Israel more secure by ensuring that American support remains strong. The New York Times describes AIPAC as “the most important organization affecting America’s relationship with Israel.”
 
Writing in The Nation, Philip Weiss states that because a large majority of the Jewish community in the United States is liberal, they do not agree with AIPAC’s ”Israel right-or-wrong” position. Sara Roy, a scholar at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies, wrote in her new book, The War on Lebanon, as quoted in The Nation, “The virtually unqualified support of organized American Jewry for Israel’s brutal actions…is not new but no longer tolerable to me.” Roy’s views are increasingly common among the Jewish community in the United States.
 
A group of liberal Jewish-Americans has organized a lobbying organization called J-Street in response to American policy towards Israel and the Middle East.
AIPAC Alternative? (by Philip Weiss, The Nation)
 
U.S Middle East Commander Steps Down
The Commander of the U.S forces in the Middle East, Central Asia and East Africa, Admiral William Fallon, stepped down after just a year in command, following allegations that he had disagreed with the Bush Administration on some key policies. Fallon has opposed the surge of U.S forces into Iraq and has found it difficult to do his job of easing tension in the Middle East with the war rhetoric that has been used by White House staff. 
 
Archbishop of Canterbury’s Critique of U.S Policy
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, provoked political controversy after the appearance of his interview with Emel Magazine in November 2007. Williams said that the United States’ attempt to accumulate influence and control in the region was not working. Williams was also quoted in the Guardian as saying, “It is one thing to take over a territory and then pour energy and resources into administering it and normalizing it. Rightly or wrongly, that's what the British Empire did - in India, for example. It is another thing to go in on the assumption that a quick burst of violent action will somehow clear the decks and that you can move on and other people will put things back together - Iraq, for example." Williams also stated that he did not think that everything about the west is “destructive, secular and undermining of virtue.”
 
U.S Official Criticizes Iraq War
Alberto Fernandez is an Arabic speaker who is director of public diplomacy in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. Fernandez told Al-Jazeera that the world was “witnessing failure in Iraq.” He stated further that, “…there is great room for strong criticism, because without doubt, there was arrogance and stupidity by the United States in Iraq.” Fernandez later retracted his statements.

US official retracts Iraq remarks

(BBC News)

 

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Former Directors:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

William J. Burns (2001 to 2005)

Daniel Charles Kurtzer (1989 to 1994)

 

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Comments

Charles Munson 1 week ago
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs Sometimes it’s tempting even for us little people to propose solutions to big problems. What follows is a modest suggestion for untying the Gordian knot of political stalemate in today’s Middle East. ISIS, albeit unintentionally, may have provided the world with its first authentic opportunity for lasting peace in the Middle East, but only if America seizes the moment. What is needed to get Arabs, Israelis, Turks, Kurds, and Persians to discuss common action is a broad existential threat. ISIS provides that. Then why do the imperiled nations resist coming together to save themselves, and in turn, each other? When a bullied child is protected by his big brother, he has little incentive to consider how to defend himself. When that protection is withdrawn, the probability that he will learn to attend to his interests grows in proportion to the size of the threat. If Middle Eastern rulers are to pursue the common purpose of defeating ISIS, the U.S. must make clear to them that they are, as of a near-term date certain, on their own. Within six weeks of giving notice we must follow that declaration by withdrawing both American airpower and advisors from the Middle East. Initially, none of the Middle Eastern countries whose adulthood we have stunted for so long will accept our new policy. America should incentivize them by halting all aid to and severing diplomatic relations with ISIS-threatened countries which refuse to participate in discussing the formation of a defensive coalition. Because several of these countries are awash in petroleum, they have the wherewithal to buy whatever training and armaments they need (from the U.S., of course) to assure victory. These purchases will have the added benefit of appealing to the marketing arm of the American military-industrial complex. Such an approach will address the deep concern of the American public over involvement in yet another Middle Eastern war. It will end the century-long practice of sacrificing American lives in conflicts where our interests were not primary but our participation was. Apart from intelligence support, no other American involvement should be considered. Besides providing a compelling motive for the coalition to bury their battle axes – the ones coated with each other’s DNA - and cooperate, this will have the added benefit of ending our Faustian bargain of assisting Syria’s Assad while attempting to degrade ISIS. It will eliminate the high cost America incurs for backing Israel and opposing Arabs. It will compel Middle Eastern nations to adopt a form of détente that recognizes each other’s right to exist. It will force nations which have not previously held face-to-face discussions to deal openly with one another. If consistently applied, it may hasten the end to America’s role as the world’s policeman. It will set a shining moral example for how to deal with international problems in the future. Moreover, it may well lead to a lasting Middle East peace as the nations in that region come to appreciate their coalition partners’ national interests. Unquestionably, the harshest opposition to such a policy will come from Israel and the pro-Israel lobby in America. In response, they should be required to submit their own ideas for defeating ISIS using only the capabilities of those countries whose interests are most at risk. Self-defense is one of the most basic of political instincts. Building coalitions is not far behind. The power brokers in the Middle East can pull this off if forced to face the existential alternative. If you oppose my approach, please put forth your own plan for America to resign from its role as the world’s baby sitter. This administration and this Congress seem not to have one. Their comfort with unworkable, CYA approaches means that our tax dollars will continue to be jettisoned into international drainage ditches, along with the lives of our youth. Where we have gone astray is in misusing the Pentagon to pursue our economic interests. Its legitimate purpose is national defense. Terry Munson 108 Greenbriar Ave. Pawleys Island, SC 29585

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Founded: 1949; 1992
Annual Budget: $206,688,000
Employees: 1,226
Official Website: http://www.state.gov/p/nea/
Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs
Patterson, Anne
Ambassador

 

A native of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Anne W. Patterson presented credentials to the president of Pakistan on July 31, 2007. She was confirmed by the Senate as the US Ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on June 28, 2007, and she took the oath of office on July 6. Patterson graduated from Wellesley College and attended graduate school at the University of North Carolina.
 
Patterson joined the US Foreign Service in 1973 as an economic officer. She held a variety of other economic and political assignments, including in the Bureau of Inter-American Affairs, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. Patterson also served as economic counselor in Saudi Arabia from 1984 to 1988 and as political counselor to the US Mission to the United Nations in Geneva from 1988 to 1991. She later served as principal deputy assistant secretary and deputy assistant secretary of inter-American affairs and as office director for Andean affairs.
 
Patterson then served as the ambassador to El Salvador from 1997 to 2000, ambassador to Colombia from 2000 to 2003, deputy inspector general of the State Department from 2003 to 2004, as deputy permanent representative and acting permanent representative at the US Mission to the United Nations from 2004 to 2005, and as the Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs until her current posting to Pakistan.
 
Anne W. Patterson's Official Biography
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Feltman, Jeffrey
Previous Assistant Secretary

In taking over the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, Jeffrey D. Feltman is no stranger to the issues and key players of the region, having spent much of his Foreign Service career in diplomatic posts in Israel and Lebanon. Feltman is also a polarizing figure, as far as Syria and Hezbollah are concerned, after having dealt with him as U.S. ambassador to Lebanon during the second half of the Bush administration. Feltman was sworn in as assistant secretary on August 18, 2009.

 
Born in Greenville, Ohio, Feltman, 50, attended college at Ball State University in Indiana, where he received his undergraduate degree in history and fine arts in 1981. He attended graduate school at Tufts University and earned his master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law in 1983.
 
He joined the Foreign Service in 1986, serving his first tour as consular officer in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In 1998, he shifted regions and moved to the U.S. Embassy in Hungary, where he worked as an economic officer until1991. The move represented the beginning of a diplomatic career that would focus on Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
 
From 1991 to 1993, Feltman served as a special assistant to Deputy Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger, concentrating on the coordination of U.S. assistance to Eastern and Central Europe. The following year he studied Arabic at the University of Jordan in Amman, adding to his French and Hungarian language skills.
 
In 1995, Feltman began a three-year tour at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, covering economic issues in the Gaza Strip. He became well known locally for personally testing “the freedom of movement of goods through army checkpoints in and out of Gaza by physically standing at one and counting the number of trucks that passed through on a given day,” according to the Jerusalem Post, “and for having gotten the inside track on the fishing situation off the Gaza coast by striking up a relationship with the local known as the “King of Fish” at Gaza’s market.
 
From 1998-2000, Feltman served as chief of the political and economic section at the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia. Then it was back to Embassy Tel Aviv where he was Ambassador Martin Indyk’s special assistant on peace process issues (2000-2001). In August 2001, he moved to the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, where he served first as deputy and then as acting principal officer until December 2003.
 
Feltman volunteered to serve at the Coalition Provisional Authority office in Irbil, Iraq, from January to April 2004. The move endeared him to the Bush administration, and earned him his first ambassadorship—to Lebanon. He was sworn in on July 22, 2004, as the United States’ top diplomat in Beirut, and stayed until January 2008.
 
Feltman became a controversial figure in Lebanese politics during his tenure as ambassador. In fact, he was accused of committing “flagrant interference” in Lebanon’s politics by pro-Syrian groups before Feltman had even submitted his credentials to the Beirut government. His ambassadorship covered a period of considerable turmoil in the country as a result of power plays within Lebanon’s government between pro-Syrian elements and those seeking closer ties to the West. In 2005 Lebanon’s prime minister, Rafik Hariri, was assassinated, setting off a series of large protests against Syria, which was accused of being behind the plot. Then in the summer of 2006, Israel launched an invasion into Lebanon in a failed effort to cripple Hezbollah.
 
Opponents of Hariri’s successor, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, came to refer to the Beirut government as “Feltman’s government,” because of the United States’ influence on Lebanese affairs. Before vacating his post as US ambassador, Feltman gave a speech that some American critics labeled as being too partisan, with respect to Lebanon’s political situation, and filled with “artless zeal.” He was on his way out when a diplomatic convoy carrying him was hit by a car bomb on January 15, 2008. Several people were killed, although Feltman escaped unscathed. U.S. officials privately suspected Syria of being behind the attack.
 
Upon arriving back in the United States, Feltman was bumped up to Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Office of Near Eastern Affairs during George W. Bush’s last year in office.
 
With the election of President Barack Obama, Feltman was made Acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East Bureau in December, before he was nominated to permanently take over the position. His first big assignment was to visit Damascus and end the diplomatic embargo imposed by the Bush administration following the Hariri assassination in 2005.
 
Lebanese Car Bomb Attack a Warning to US (by Rick Moran, American Thinker)
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