Watching Government - Gulf promises

Those who subscribe to the conventional wisdom that the Middle East is a hopeless political quagmire assume too much and understand too little, according to foreign policy analysts speaking on Capitol Hill this winter.The Atlantic Council of the United States, the Middle East Institute, the Middle East Policy Council, and the Stanley Foundation recently hosted an informal briefing for congressional staff called "US Challenges and Choices in the Gulf: Political Liberalization.""Given that many (Persian) Gulf states only achieved independence in the 1970s and have only enjoyed one or two generations of formal education, swift progress toward mature and stable democracies may be too much to ...

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