Nations that have taken in refugees must prioritize economic development while seeking political solutions to the crises that have forced migrants to flee their homes.

Matthew T. McGuire, the US executive director at the World Bank Group, said “one of the biggest indicators for someone returning to their home country is how well they’ve fared economically or how well they’ve been accepted into their host community.” He said that logically, “the only way you go back home and rebuild your house is if you’ve accumulated some wealth.”

McGuire asserted the need to focus on strategic investment designed to mitigate crises.

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Executive Summary
In recent decades, Muslims have been debating political and social aspects of their religious teachings in new ways. The religious debates are connected to and sometimes stem in considerable part from underlying political and social trends—demographic shifts; rising education; unaccountable and authoritarian governance; stuttering economic and governmental performance; and corruption. They cannot, however, be wholly reduced to those trends. Religion is not an isolated field, but neither is it simply a mask for other struggles; the terms and outcomes of religious debates matter in their own right.

It is precisely for that reason that the debates are receiving increasing attention not merely from those involved in them but also from non-Muslims in various policy communities. In particular, there is escalating alarm in security-oriented circles that radical individuals and movements, making their arguments in Islamic terms, are threatening global and regional security through terrorism, revolutionary activity, and other forms of political violence.

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The forced displacement of unprecedented numbers of people within and beyond national borders has become an enduring yet fluid phenomenon across the Middle East and North Africa over the past decade. The Middle East Strategy Task Force's Rebuilding Societies: Strategies for Resilience and Recovery in Times of Conflict report, published in cooperation with the United States Institute of Peace, discusses what can be done now to plant the seeds for a full recovery and social cohesion in societies that are in the midst of protracted violent conflicts, and provides more sustainable, coherent, and substantive answers to the ongoing refugee crisis.

The increased risks being taken by refugees and asylum-seekers, including those who are crossing the Mediterranean in very dangerous conditions, and the sharp increased flow through the Balkans and Europe illustrate their level of desperation. They are also a reflection of the failure of both national leaders and the international community to address the violent conflicts as well as the elements of fragility that lead to them in a sustainable way.


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The security situation facing the Middle East is grave and appears to be trending toward greater violence and instability. The Middle East Strategy Task Force's Security and Public Order report, published in cooperation with the Brookings Institution, demonstrates that states of the region have tended to focus on traditional, external threats but the internal threats they face—from domestic unrest, state failure, and civil war—have become both more common and dangerous.


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As the Middle East and North Africa wrestle with a number of security and geopolitical challenges, subtle societal shifts--such as increased access to technology and a youth boom--can create an opportunity for economic revitalization in the region. As much as these energies can contribute to popular unrest, they can also lead to a technologically driven entrepreneurship with the potential to transform transitioning economies.

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Economic Recovery and Revitalization - Executive Summary
Even as the specter of political instability weighs heavily on the region, the Middle East is quietly experiencing a technological and societal transformation that could hold the keys to a better future. The foundation of this change is based on two powerful components: the rapidly increasing access to technology in the Middle East, and the region's comparatively young population, over 30 percent of which are between the ages of fifteen and twenty-nine ("Middle East Youth," The Brookings Institution, The interaction of the two, combustible as it can be, is also likely to provide a historic and unparalleled opportunity.

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Former British Foreign Secretary says United States, too, must 'up its game' and take in more refugees

Europe’s “feeble” response to the migrant crisis—the largest displacement of people since World War II—is threatening the European Union, and European countries as well as the United States need to step up to do more to help these refugees, David Miliband, a former British Foreign Secretary, said in Washington September 18.

“The current uncoordinated, haphazard, feeble European response to this crisis is not just threatening the refugees, it is threatening an extraordinary institution, which is the European Union,” Miliband, a son of refugees and President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP).

“What you’re seeing now is a daily arms race between different countries in the east of Europe to move from fences to water cannon to tear gas to keep refugees out,” he said, adding that “the politics is going in the wrong direction… and the threat to the most basic norms and values of the European Union is very, very substantial at this stage.”

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Web-savvy extremists dominate discourse on social media

Web-savvy extremists belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and their online cohort of supporters dominate the conversation on Twitter leaving little hope for the success of US efforts to counter that propaganda, according to a former State Department official.

“ISIS has created, using this kind of jihadist counterculture, a large network of online supporters, and volume matters,” said Alberto Fernandez, a former Coordinator for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications at the State Department.

“On our best day we were outnumbered by ISIS by ten to one. Sometimes it is much worse,” he added.

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Panel looks at view from the Middle East, examines US’ role

Few people would be surprised to learn that people in the Middle East—just like Americans—care first and foremost about bread-and-butter issues, their lives, and the lives of their families.

“Contrary to the myth that [people in the Middle East] go to bed at night hating Israel, wake up in the morning hating America, and spend the day in the mosque hearing some preacher teach them to hate a little bit more, they actually went to bed at night thinking about their kids and woke up in the morning worried about their jobs, and spent the day working real hard to try to get a better life,” pollster James Zogby said at a June 4 meeting at the Atlantic Council.

“Their values and their concerns stacked up pretty much with what [the] man on the street in America would say they want with their lives,” said Zogby, Managing Director of Zogby Research Services LLC and founder of the Washington-based Arab American Institute.

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International Rescue Committee President and CEO David Miliband delivered a commencement speech to the graduating students of Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government on May 27, 2015.

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