Do you agree with the statement that the Middle East countries are doomed to instability? Why or why not?
It is undoubted that at present, the whole Middle East is under threat. Its volatility has been increased with the emergence of new extremist group ISIS after the Al-Qaeda lost its powerful leader Osama bin Laden and even with the death of dictator Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muamar Gaddafi. Even with the removal of so-called threats to achieving peace in the Middle East, the region remains a bastion of political instability. However, to say that the region is doomed to political instability is overreaching. The region’s problems are human-made and can thus be solved.
The reasons for Middle East’s instability are complex and historical and is influenced by the region’s chaotic geopolitics (Amirahmadi, 2015). Amirahmadi traces geopolitical disorder in the region with the fall of the Ottoman Empire (Amirahmadi, 2015). Despite their support for the Ottoman Empire’s overthrow, Arabs were however waylaid as the Europeans fashioned a region chopped up into small artificial states and colonies which created ethnic and religious strife.
Since then, the Middle East has been drawn and redrawn by imperialist powers and along with it, conflict and war came. Colonialism then became neocolonialism before transforming into dictatorships as foreign powers facilitated the reign of local elites. Imperialist nations formed new nations as a consequence of Europe’s “divide and rule” policy where inter-ethnic and inter-nation conflict became rampant.
When the Cold War came, the Europeans abandoned their reign in the region and then came the United States and Soviet Union wresting control over the region. Frustrated by the colonial powers, national liberation movements sprouted across the region challenging imperialist domination in Arab states.
The formation of the State of Israel with the backing of the United States made things worse and led to the bloody Arab-Israeli War. Imperialist intervention fueled religious extremism and from there rose Islamist fundamentalist movements. At present, the chaos in the Middle East is a disastrous consequence of the United States’ attempt to redraw geopolitics in the region by launching the “war on terrorism” during the Bush administration which was continued under Obama (Cinatti, 2015).
The Middle East problem is the result of its geopolitics which created artificial and inherently unstable states. However, while the problems of the Middle East are many and complex, there is hope for resolution. Until imperialist intervention in the region is removed and autonomy is given to the states, political instability will be a mainstay.
- Amirahmadi, H. (2015). “Dark Geopolitics of the Middle East”. The Cairo Review of Global Affairs. Retrieved from: http://www.thecairoreview.com/essays/dark-geopolitics-of-the-middle-east/
- Cinatti, C. (2015). “The Middle East or a Geopolitics of Chaos.” Left Voice. Retrieved from: http://www.leftvoice.org/Middle-East-or-Geopolitics-of-Chaos
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