U.S. pundits commenting on the wave of protests that have swept across the Middle East this past week have tended to focus on "finger-pointing and partisan sniping," as Greg Scoblete notes, with conservatives vaguely calling for Washington to show more "strength" and liberals advocating more "outreach." Few have wanted to deal with a far more unpleasant reality: The de facto coalition of Turkey, Israel and "moderate" Sunni Arab states that for decades worked to advance U.S. interests in the region is disintegrating.
The aftermath of the Iraq War and the outbreak of the Arab Spring were just the first tremors of this regional reconfiguration. Moving forward, long-established geopolitical landmarks in the region will continue to disappear, especially if the coming year sees the collapse of the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus and military action taken against Iran in an effort to halt its nuclear program. Ian Bremmer is right to warn that, whether it is President Barack Obama who returns to the White House or Republican nominee Mitt Romney who takes residence there come January 2013, the next U.S. president will be forced to navigate "undiscovered country" in charting policy toward the Middle East. ...
To read the rest, sign up to try World Politics Review
- TWO WEEKS FREE.
- Cancel any time.
- After two weeks, just $11.99 monthly or $94.99/year.
Request a free trial for your office or school. Everyone at a given site can get access through our institutional subscriptions.
- Global Insights: When it Comes to Nonproliferation, China Has Been a ‘Free Rider’
- Diplomatic Fallout: Why the International System Is Still Worth Fighting For
- Iran’s Rouhani Stokes Domestic Backlash With Attack on Critics
- The Realist Prism: Time for the U.S. to Make Hard Choices on Russia, Middle East
- World Citizen: After Election Victory, Turkey's Erdogan Unlikely to Change Ways