The Center for American and Arab Studies (CAAS) is a non-profit policy research and analysis institution, dedicated to providing reliable insight and expert examination of the Think Tank community publications and policy papers which impact the U.S. aggregate policies towards the Arab World.
The Center assumes a unique task to explore, scrutinize and monitor the critical role, often ignored or overlooked, the Think Tanks play in shaping and formulating U.S. domestic and foreign policies alike. The community’s scholars, staff and researchers contribute a great amount of significant works, and recommendations often adopted or incorporated, in whole or part, by Congress and the Administration. Suffice it to say that many Think Tanks are either bi-partisan or tilt towards one of the two major political parties.
The Center issues a weekly bilingual bulletin surveying the various institutions’ publications on multiple topics, with particular focus on current affairs that shape the trends and policies towards the Arab World. The Center offers analysis, conducts research and publishes special reports to facilitate accurate understanding of the various currents and trends affecting the broader policy perception, and to foster an informed dialog within the American public discourse.
I. Shaping U.S. Foreign and National Security Policy
Think Tanks, by and large, play an aggressive role in guiding and influencing actions of U.S. Administrations, from both political parties. Their effect in shaping American foreign policy and America’s understanding of its core national interests in the Arab World is well documented. This has been especially true of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The recognizable presence of biased political, cultural, and ideological opinions is due, to a large extent, to the support they receive from powerful and influence-buying interests. The latter unfettered access to policymakers has led to misguided, sometimes detrimental, policies affecting U.S. relations with the Arab world.
Through a policy of “revolving-doors,” these interests have circulated freely between research centers and governmental institutions, regardless of party dominance. As such, these ideologues have gained semi-absolute hegemony and supremacy over the narrative guiding decision-making process, often concerning strategic issues of national security framework. In this context, a selected small group of Arab-descent specialists, their competence is often questionable and detached, were bestowed token consulting roles to various political and media organizations.
Given these implications, it is deemed necessary to establish an Arab-American Research Center to provide a viable informed resource to the public, the media, academia, and politicians. It intends to play an active role and offer comprehensive tools for the study, understanding, and decision-making that define the relationship between the United States and the Arab world.
The Center for Arab-American Studies will engage two complementary aims:
1. Academic Research
CAAS focuses on U.S. domestic and foreign affairs to provide Arabs and Arab-Americans with better and broader understanding of the factors that impact U.S. policies towards the Arab World. Simultaneously, the Center will provide unparalleled expertise and tools for research on the Arab world, benefiting the public, academics, and decision-makers.
2. Public Relations
CAAS intends to develop an independent presence and build more robust bridges of communication and interaction between the American and Arab peoples. It looks forward to amplifying Arab grievances, and fosters better understanding of their aspirations.