Systemic change is coming to the Middle East as revolts sweep the region. Common grievances, so long suppressed, are reconfiguring nations, governments, and politics. Some regimes have fallen; others are under siege. Revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries employ new and old tactics to decide the fate of millions. Without a doubt, a new Middle East is emerging–one in which the people are empowered, governments must choose between violence and reform, and relations within and among nations are subject to change.
At the same time, American power is being challenged anew by regional developments, domestic pressure, and rising powers around the globe. Many worry about America’s debt and global profile. And in the Middle East, where for so long the United States has invested so much, the foundations of American dominance are in question. The country’s physical presence is declining steadily in Iraq and Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the collapse of friendly and unfriendly regimes presents Washington with new opportunities and dangers. Challenged in so many ways, America’s approach to the region must be sensitive to all these factors, including those not yet apparent.
Al Ajnabee offers humble but informed analysis focusing on the region and America’s role during this critical period.