Scimitars to Plowshares

Middle Eastern regimes waste national wealth on armaments supplied by an opportunist West, and ordinary people suffer. Responsible Western nations must help break the cycle.

Issue: Fall 2004

TO SUCCEED in its Middle East policy of promoting democracy, peace and regional stability, the U.S. government (with the support of America's private sector) must bring economic prosperity to this troubled region. After years of dismal economic performance and high population growth, unemployment in many of these countries is around 20 percent. As things stand, there is little hope for a better economic future for the youth of the region. Unemployment and economic despair have become the order of the day, and this, along with rampant corruption, breeds resentment and extremism. To turn the unemployment picture around, most countries will need sustained annual growth in excess of 7 percent.

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