The idea of a new Middle East is not new. Ever since the fall of the Soviet Union there had been questions about the new order that is expected to rise in this corner of the world. In the few I followed I saw two types of discussions. One focuses on how each individual state will evolve/devolve given the shifts that are happening. The other, more systemic discussion focuses on the form of alliances that will emerge and the fault lines of the coming conflicts.
The Middle East’s predicament
The fact is that the main factor that had shaped the Middle East order in the past century had been – and will continue to be - the competition of super powers over regional hegemony.Abdullah Hamidaddin
The best Russia can do today is to retain its already dwindling regional assets. This may change for sure, but not anytime soon. Not that I like an outcome where the U.S. continues to “rule.” Its policies in the region had caused more suffering than all of the Middle East’s despots put together. But one deals with reality as it is, not as one wishes it to be. Thus the primary question needs be asked in order to imagine a new Middle East is: What is America actually doing now? And whatever answer one formulates, it must be done thoughtfully as it would contain most of the answers regarding the future of the Middle East.