The Cost of Conflict in the Middle East, 2009


I am certain that your report will offer valuable insights into the cost and detrimental impacts of the many conflicts that continue to mar the Middle East. Such studies and reports also serve to underline the dividend to be reaped by instituting peaceful and just solutions to the numerous dilemmas facing the Middle East.

Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Arab Republic of Egypt

I will read with great interest this book; while armed conflict has intensified in the Gaza strip, this demonstrates once again that peace is an absolute necessity for this region of the world.

Bernard Kouchner, Minister for Foreign Affairs, France

As the Secretary General of the Conference on Disarmament, I welcome the focus on arms race in the Middle East. The region not only has the highest military expenditure burden in the world but also registers the highest increase… The authors rightly note that this record military spending has done little to improve human security in the region.”

Ambassador Sergei Ordzhonikidze, Under Secretary General of the United Nations

I commend this very noble effort which breaks new ground that enables policy makers, researchers and whoever is interested to look at the cost of these conflicts through a new prism, hoping that will help point to the way to settle these conflicts for the benefit of the region’s people and the whole humanity.

Dr Ahmed Mohamed Ali, President, Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Arabia

I would like to thank you on behalf of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein for the report on the Cost of Conflict in the Middle East by the Strategic Foresight Group and to congratulate you on its recent launch in Geneva.

Nasser Lozi, Chief of the Royal Hashemite Court

An eye-opener for all in the region.

Dr Mohamad Shyatteh, Head of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction 

We have gone beyond numbers and figures. We are all on the losing side. We all stand to gain by ending the conflict.

Ambassador Hesham Youssef, Chief of Staff, Secretary General's Office, League of Arab States 

The costs have negative implications for the whole world. It is in the national interest of all to solve the conflicts in the region. The report shows that peace will bring results in the course of people’s lives.

Ambassador Thomas Greminger, Head of Political Div IV, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland 

The combination of parameters, introduced in the report in an innovative way, helps to understand the massive costs involved and highlights the need for a sustainable solution.

Office of Dr Steinmeir, Foreign Minister of Germany

This study reveals a price tag of enormous proportion on an enduring conflict and its human and material consequences. It enables us with the help of thorough data and analysis to tackle the real issues of the Middle Eastern conflict: deprivation of human development, of welfare and human dignity caused by militarization, rivalries and political impediments.

Ambassador Fred Tanner, Director, Geneva Centre for Global Policy, Switzerland

The report is an important initiative for conflict resolution and peace in the Middle East. It is especially important to assess the costs at a time when there is complete breakdown of negotiations. We hope that the report will be used by governments and international organizations, besides scholars.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, Member of Parliament and Acting Head of the Department on Foreign Affairs of the AK Parti, Turkey 

The enormous advantage of the Strategic Foresight Group undertaking this report is that they have created dialogue without the blame game and cause and effect. SFG has managed to bring together important parties around the table and create a potential group of partners. SFG has the capacity to create concepts and the coalition required for conflict resolution.

Professor Yair Hirschfeld, Director, Economic Cooperation Foundation, Israel

A wonderful and timely tool for discussing cost of conflict in the Middle East. I have never seen such a graphic presentation of the devastation and potential danger that has resulted from conflict in this region….. We are interested in using this study as the centerpiece of a course we have planned this June.

Ambassador John Maresca, Rector, University of Peace, Costa Rica

This is a valuable piece of work, which has captures the breadth and depth of the cost of conflict in the Middle East. Notwithstanding the margins of error associated with cost estimates of this type, the numbers speak volumes about the enormous costs (including foregone opportunities) that this whole region has been is still bearing not only in monetary terms but, as the study clearly underscores, in human life.

Dr Talaat Abdel Malek, American University of Cairo, Egypt

Truly eye watering. The figures are extraordinary. We hope this report will help people focus their minds on the terrible costs.

Lord John Alderdice, former Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assemby

The report shows how exposure and analysis of the cost of conflict may encourage peoples involved to resolve it.

Dr Ephraim Sneh, former Minister for Defence and Health of Israel, Chairman of the Strong Party 

An important and extremely timely publication.

Stein Tonnesson, Director, PRIO, Norway

I’m deeply impressed by the sheer amount of useful information your team has managed to pack in there. The graphics are exceptionally good, and consistently convey the meaning with utmost clarity.

Scilla Elworthy, Founder, Peace Direct, UK

The report has introduced a very interesting approach to conflict. We usually focus on ideological and religious factors, or historical as well as strategic ones. This approach is new and fresh.

Dr Heba Raouf, Prof at the American University, Cairo and founder of

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