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The Middle East: Better Off Without Us?

Maybe less (of this) is more (of a good thing).

Special note: This originally appeared on my political blog, Crisis and Cure. But I thought it was worth repeating.

Interesting article by Jon Gambrell over on the AP site recently, “Analysis: As US focus wanes, Mideast turns inward for talks.” In it, Mr. Gambrell looks at how the various nations of the Middle East are hurriedly forging new relationships as the USA pulls out of the region. People who had before been pariahs, like Colonel Gaddafi’s son, Seif al-Islam al-Gadhafi, are suddenly major players. Countries which would otherwise never talk to one another, like Iran and the UAE, are quietly having little chats in diplomatic circles.

What’s happening, of course, is that the Great Powers, and the particularly the United States, are exiting the region. The USA isn’t as interested in oil as it once was, and we are way more concerned militarily with China and Russia than we are with Egypt and Iran. This has forced the Middle Eastern and Central Asian nations to deal with their own problems as best they can.

Maybe this is a good thing. It would be nice if America didn’t lose too much influence in the Arab World and Central Asia, but, maybe…maybe…it would do everyone a bit of good if the nations of region didn’t look to the USA as the umpire of last resort.

If only so that boys and girls from Iowa didn’t end up dying in distant deserts for problems that were none of their own, and not of their making.


Source: “Analysis: As US focus wanes, Mideast turns inward for talks, by Jon Gambrell,


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