Republican claims on Israel missile cuts unfounded
The cause of secularism and moderate Islam is in headlong retreat in our region.
The events of the past few days, from Libya to Afghanistan and from Syria to Mali indicate a huge region descending into anarchy, chaos and entropy.
At first there appears to be a lack of any discernible pattern, but gradually the following is beginning to emerge: (1) Al Qaida, confidently declared close to defeated by the West not long ago, is spreading with astonishing rapidity not only throughout the Near and Middle East but also North Africa and the Muslim parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Al-Qaida has morphed into an effective loosely connected network of local and regional adherents with headquarters providing general policy directives and some resources only. These groups or cells are effectively connected through electronic means and have shown themselves capable of many more or less simultaneous operations. (2) The Moslem Brotherhood has broken out of its decades-long marginalization and in cooperation with other Salafist groups has talken control of Egypt and is active in Tunisia, Libya, Syria and elsewhere. Al-Qaida is seen as a resource, along with other terrorist groups such as Hezbollah. Elections, where held, are simply seen as a route to power, not to be relinquished ever.
All this is superimposed on the ongoing saga of the Iranian search for a nuclear weapon capacity and planning for domination of the Gulf and its resources through the Sh'ia populations of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.
In this model the losers are: the secularists and moderate Muslims; Saudi Arabia and the Gulf kingdoms; Assad and the Alawites; Turkey with its regional ambitions thwarted and its Kurdish problem; the West with its astonishing abdication of leadership (as illustrated by Obama's refusal to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu), and faced with the prospect of escalating oil prices.
The position of Israel is unique. This emerging chaos makes a traditional military onslaught very unlikely but it also makes nontraditional attacks more likely. An Israeli attack on Iran, whether "successful" or not, would certainly add to the spreading disorder in the whole region under consideration, which could well be a good thing.
The Chinese curse says "May you live in interesting times". These times are VERY interesting indeed.
Norman A. Bailey, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor of Economic Statecraft at The Institute of World Politics, Washington, DC, and a lecturer at The Israeli National Defense College (MABAL), 2011-2012 session.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 20, 2012
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012
You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
Load more comments
Republican allegations that Obama has reduced funding to joint US-Israeli missile defense programs are inaccurate.
Israel and California sign R&D agreement
The agreement signed by Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerry Brown covers water technology, cyber security, energy and storage technology.
Truth is proving stranger than folktale as Turkey's spins out of Prime Minister Erdogan's control.
Prof. Zvi Eckstein supports NIS 3.30-3.40/$ floor rate
The former deputy Bank of Israel Governor is the first senior figure from the financial system to advocate a floor rate.
2014 will be year of change
Forces reshaping the Middle East are coming to a head, with Russia taking a close interest, and the West seemingly indifferent.
Gains and losses for Middle East secularists
Recent developments in Egypt, Syria and Turkey have clarified some issues, and obfuscated others.
Developing robots for warfare
Israeli research sees the future battlefield dominated by robots and unmanned devices.
Geneva changes Middle East strategic map
As the consequences of the nuclear agreement with Iran emerge, regional powers are scrambling to adapt.
Egypt has no time to lose
Unless economic reforms are introduced quickly, the country is liable to relapse into Islamic extremism.
Strange goings on in Turkey
Two recent decisions by Turkish prime minister Erdoğan make it look as though he is losing his grip.
See you in six months, Rouhani
Israel may look isolated over the nuclear deal with Iran, but the cards could yet fall its way.
China is changing
The Third Plenum of the Communist Party of the Peoples' Republic of China marks a turning-point in all areas of Chinese life - with consequences for Israel.
French gov't proposes building 2 Tel Aviv light rail lines
The Green Line from Herzliya to Holon and the Purple Line from Kiryat Ono to Tel Aviv would cost NIS 30 billion to build.
Israel's factious coalition looks wobbly on Iran
Besides US opposition, the state of Israel's government makes an attack on Iran unlikely.
Budget cuts threaten 10,000 defense industry jobs
Senior executives warn many factories are in danger of closing due to the drying up of defense ministry's orders.