The POMED Wire

Libya: Parliament Rejects New Cabinet; Diplomats Meet in Madrid to Discuss Libyan Crisis

 Photo Credit: Reuters

Libya parliamentary spokesperson Faraj Hashi announced that the new cabinet list, presented by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni on Wednesday was rejected by the elected parliament. Lawmakers demanded that Thinni resubmit a cabinet list but with no more than 10 ministers.

The list presented by Thinni contained 16 names, including Human Rights activist Farida Allaghi as Foreign Minister. The rest of the names were not announced publicly. However, members of parliament told Reuters that Thinni had “decided to name himself as defense minister as well as Prime Minister.” In addition, they said that the list also contained names from the previous government, which might explain why it was rejected: Benghazi lawmaker Issam al-Uraibi told Reuters on Wednesday that “there is a big possibility that the House of Representatives is going to reject the new government formed by acting Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni, as it still includes ministers from the former government.” Hashim claimed that there was also general consensus that the prime minister position should be separated from the position of defense minister.

Meanwhile, representatives from 21 nations, the UN and the Arab League attended a meeting in Madrid in order to discuss ways to address the escalation …

Iraqi Parliament Rejects Nominations for Interior and Defense Minister

WireAP_22cbf6461c64443c8e5ba1acf3132305_16x9_992 Photo Credit: AP

Iraq’s parliament rejected Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi‘s nominations for interior and defense minister on Tuesday. al-Abadi is under internal and external pressure to fill these important posts both quickly and inclusively. The United States wants an inclusive Iraqi government to be formed as quickly as possible to confront the threat of ISIL. Strict sectarian power-sharing laws in Iraq make cabinet nominations a sensitive process.

The Prime Minister nominated Rhiyadh Ghareeb, a Shiite engineer and former labor minister, to interior minister. Ghareeb’s nomination was meant as a compromise aimed at consensus. Ghareeb was nominated for the post despite pressures from the Badr Corps, an Iranian-backed Shiite militia, on Abadi to nominate one of their members for their participation in Abadi’s governing coalition. However, nominating a Shiite militia member may have alienated Sunnis. Ihssan al-Awadi, a Shiite lawmaker, said that the problem with Ghareeb is that he has no background in security.

Abadi nominated Jaber al-Jaberi, a Sunni Islamist, to the post of defense minister, in an effort to appeal to alienated Sunni tribes. Mahmood al-Mashadani, a Sunni member of parliament and ‘runner-up’ for the defense minister nomination, said that parliament voted against Jaberi …

Wendy Sherman Outlines Goals and Strategies of U.S. Policy in Middle East

wendy sherman Photo Credit: State Department

Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman delivered remarks on U.S. policy in the Middle East at Georgetown university on Tuesday. Her speech was a comprehensive review of the various issues confronting the United States in the region. Above all, Sherman emphasized that any successful strategy for the region must address its problems holistically, as no one problem is independent of the others. “America’s policy in the Middle East begins with our understanding that the problems now plaguing the region have tangled roots,” Sherman said. These roots are in “internal divides, historic rivalries, and contemporary competitions” which “drive people in too many places into the snare of zero-sum thinking.”

She added that the basis for change must begin in the Middle East, although all global actors have a part to play: leaders in the region must live up to their responsibilities, the international community cannot remain divided, and the U.S. must help show the way. What is America’s policy in the region? It is to “assist those who believe, as [America] does, that people of different nationalities, ethnicities and creeds can live alongside one another constructively and in peace.” What is America’s agenda in …

POMED Notes: A Plan for the United States to help defeat ISIS: A conversation with House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon

AEI logoOn Thursday, September 11, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) hosted Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, to discuss American strategy for defeating the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

For a full summary, keep reading or click here  for the PDF.

Framing action against ISIL as vital to American security interests and those of our regional allies, Rep. McKeon laid out his vision for attacking and defeating the threat. McKeon said that leaders in the Middle East understand that ISIL is a threat to their existence and are concerned with American attempts to disengage the region. Within this context, McKeon stated that the minimalist approach President Obama laid out will not work to end the ISIL threat. He then presented a five part plan as an alternative to the President’s for engaging the ISIL threat.

The first point, McKeon said, is acknowledging ISIL as an imminent threat to the American homeland and to treat it as such.

The second point calls for swift action with a strategically realistic plan to defeat ISIL before it gains additional momentum. The U.S. should not wait to act because ISIL continues to gain more recruits, acquire …

POMED Notes: “Social Media and Social Activism”


On Monday, September 15 2014, the Wilson Center and the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs hosted a panel titled “Social Media and Social Activism: The cases of Brazil, Iran, and Mexico”. The panel was moderated by Daniel Calingaert, the executive vice-president of Freedom House; Paolo Sotero, the director of the Brazil Institute at the Wilson Center; Mariam Memarsadeghi, the co-founder and co-director of Tavaana; former vice-president and general counsel of Yahoo! Inc. Michael Samway; and Director of the Lucy Project at New York University Luis Daniel Palacios. Only Ms. Memarsadeghi and Mr. Samway’s comments are excerpted below.

For a summary of the event’s proceedings, click here (pdf) or continue to read below.

Mariam Memarsadeghi discussed the state of Internet freedom in Iran, which she regarded as the worst with regard to other nations discussed at the panel, including Brazil and Mexico. She noted that civic activity in Iran remains limited due to fear and paranoia on the part of activists due to the persistent threat of the Iranian regime. She also emphasized that Iran still has no independent newspapers or labor unions, which severely diminishes the capacity of civil society actors to achieve substantive reform, and noted …

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