22 Οκτωβρίου 2016

The Beginning Of A Dynamic Century In The Middle East.


By Gregory R. Copley - Oct 20, 2015 - Crude Oil Prices Today | OilPrice.com

Historical trends are combining once again to make the Mediterranean-Red Sea-Indian Ocean linkage the nexus in a dynamic phase of the evolving global strategic architecture. The relationships of states within the region, and the relationships of the regional states to the rest of the world is changing, and will evolve significantly over the coming few years.

This Mediterranean-Red Sea-Indian Ocean region is an indissolubly-linked set of subzones, a reality which has often been inadequately understood from a strategic perspective.

The great societies and the historical and modern states at the linkage between Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, are rarely considered in a holistic fashion. Focus on the region has been mainly about crises and superpower competition. The prospect now exists, however, for the region to gradually emerge as a major, integrated economic trading zone; perhaps the next major global marketplace, linking Africa, the Middle East, and the Mediterranean.

So if I can make one point today it is that all of the elements of this greater strategic theater are intercon-nected, interactive, and collectively are critical to the emerging global balance. What happens around the Eastern Mediterranean littoral and around the Indian Ocean theater impacts the Persian Gulf, Arabia, and the Red Sea/Horn; and vice-versa. If we look just at the littoral states of the Suez-Red Sea-Horn, we see a population base of some 316-million people, and a combined 2014 GDP estimate of at least $1.5-trillion. And this grouping interacts, of course, with its neighbors in Africa, Europe, and the Indian Ocean basin.

Stepping back for an even broader perspective, we saw in the 20th Century the creation of some 100 new Westphalian-style nation-states in the process of cratogenesis: the birth of nations. We witnessed the demise (the cratocide, or murder), or cratometamorphosis (total restructuring), of others. Major structural change in human society began with the end of the Cold War. As a result, and particularly in the Middle East and Africa, we are often seeing a reversion to more historical and basic human groups: clans; linguistic, cultural, or religious groupings; some ancient groups, such as Persia, Egypt, Ethiopia, and so on. These emerging, or reviving, divisions demonstrate that there are durable strands in human identity which survive thousands of years.

In the past two decades or so, in either the heart or the peripheries of the Suez / Red Sea / Horn of Africa region — the nub of the Mediterranean-to-Indian Ocean linkage — we have already witnessed, for example:

  • The break-up of Ethiopia with the separation of Eritrea;
  • The break-up of Sudan to create a separate South Sudan;
  • The de facto break-up of Yemen;
  • The de facto break-up of Iraq;
  • The breaking-up of Syria;
  • The de facto break-up of Libya; and
  • The return to separate status of what had been the Italian and British Somalilands into Somalia and Somaliland, and the concurrent fracturing of the rump Somalian state.
  • And there is now speculation as to the possible break-up, or breakdown, in the coming decade or so of Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two of the most significant economies in the region.
Yet this is only the tip of the iceberg; the start of a dynamic century. Neighboring Europe is, for example, undergoing massive transformation, and at least two European Union member states still face significant separatist tendencies: the United Kingdom and Spain. The EU as a geopolitical entity is also, itself, undergoing unplanned transformation - Συνέχεια άρθρου: OilPrice.com (Oct 20, 2015).



Historian, author and strategic analyst — and onetime industrialist — Gregory R. Copley, 66, has for four decades worked at the highest levels with various governments around the world, advising on national security, intelligence, and national management issues. He has authored more than 30 books, including "The Art of Victory" (2006) and "UnCivilization: Urban Geopolitics in a Time of Chaos" (2012). An Australian, he is President of the International Strategic Studies Association, based in Washington, DC, and Editor-in-Chief of the "Defense & Foreign Affairs" group of publications, including the government-only intelligence service, the Global Information System. Among his international recognitions, he was, in 2007, made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Queen's Birthday Honours.