Sunday, February 2, 2014

International Crisis Group : The Arab World into the Unknown

International Crisis Group

"... For now, US aloofness and mixed signals have spelled significant mayhem. Friends are baffled, left to their own devices and having to improvise hectically. A clear example is Syria where the US contracted out to Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar the task of dealing with the armed opposition, and now seems keen to withdraw further. Foes such as the Syrian regime, Hizbollah and the Iranian Republican Guards are equally perplexed, tempted to overreach in the absence of a clear US point of reference that has served in recent decades—for better or worse—to structure the regional balance of powers, whether by securing the Gulf, pushing back on Soviet designs, negotiating peace deals with Israel, or containing alleged “rogue” states. New players have jumped into the void, adding to the confusion more than producing decisive outcomes. Syria – which has fallen victim to a mix of Iranian hubris, Saudi adventurism, Qatari ambition, Russian obstructionism and French brinksmanship, not to mention its own leadership and a host of other complicating factors – best encapsulates this state of affairs..."

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