Ground Breaking Report Measures Cost of Conflict in the Middle East

January 27, 2009

MUMBAI, India, January 27 /PRNewswire/ — The opportunity cost of
conflicts in the Middle East since 1991 is 12 trillion dollars, says a new
research report on the Cost of Conflict in the Middle East by Strategic
Foresight Group, a leading Asian think-tank.

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For the first time in 60 years, the report presents a comprehensive
assessment of costs of various conflicts in the Middle East on 97 different
parameters- from the social to psychological and economic to environmental.
Supported by the Governments of Switzerland and Norway, the AK Party of
Turkey and Qatar Foundation, the Strategic Foresight Group involved over 50
leading experts and leaders from the region to gather input for the report.

If the conflict in the Middle East had been resolved in 1991 at the time
of the Madrid peace process, almost all families in the Arab world as well as
Israel would be enjoying double the per capita income they have today. Iraq’s
GDP would have been $300 billion instead of $59 that it is expected to be in

The environmental costs are staggering. The First Gulf War accounts for
10 million barrels of oil spilt into the sea and 45 million barrels spilt in
the Kuwait desert. In a future war, if the volume of spilt oil doubles to 100
million barrels per day, it would equal 1 day’s oil supply for the world.
Similarly, a future conflict in the Middle East could account for more carbon
emissions than of an industrialized country such as the UK.

The Palestinian people have lost over 100 million man hours waiting at
the checkpoints between Ramallah and Jerusalem since 2000. At present there
are more than 11,000 Palestinians in Israeli Detention Centers. The
unemployment in Gaza reached over 50% with the suspension of 95% of the
industrial operations even before the December 2008 attack by Israel.

Israel’s costs are also significant in human and psychological terms with
the country suffering over than 34000 missile attacks since 2000. Almost 1000
Israeli citizens have lost their lives during the same period and 123 minors
have been killed in attacks on cafes, schools and buses. More than 90% of
Israelis live in fear.

The report argues that a comprehensive peace agreement would make a
number of projects feasible including gas deals, railway lines and the much
talked about Red-Dead Sea Canal. It would also provide peace dividends to all
the countries in the region, including $4429 per year per Israeli household,
$500 per Egyptian household and $1250 per Jordanian family.

The report by Strategic Foresight Group does not suggest solutions for
peace. It outlines four scenarios as to what could be the impact of various
policy options. Presented in a graphical format, the report is a
user-friendly resource for anyone interested in the future of the Middle East.

For more details, please visit http://www.strategicforesight.com

Contact: Ilmas Futehally, Phone: +91-22-26318260, Email:

SOURCE Strategic Foresight Group

Source: newswire

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