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The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

May 25, 2010

Revoking the 1929 Nile River Water Treaty

The new agreement which has been developed by the eight Nile River basin countries is being implemented gradually. As of May 14th, 2010, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda have signed the new agreement and canceled the 1929 Nile River water sharing treaty. Both Egypt and Sudan have objected and refused to go along and stated publicly that such an action is in violation of international law. The Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenowi responded by saying publicly that Egypt can’t decide how to use the water anymore. He also said that Ethiopia will continue to build dams to generate power and develop the agricultural sector because Ethiopia is poor and needs to develop its economy. He stated that Egypt will be better off if it will join the Nile River group. The most difficult part of this situation is the fact that Egypt is located at the end of the Nile River, which flows more than 6,600 kilometers before it reaches t Mediterranean Sea. Furthermore, the rainfall on the East African region, which excludes the Nile River basin countries, has been estimated to exceed 1,600 billion cu. met. of water per year. Compare that to the meager rainfall on Egypt, which has been estimated at 1.3 billion cu. met. per year. It is unfortunate that nearly half of the rainfall on the East African region is wasted. It flows into swamps and valleys and only 84 billion cu. met. of water reaches Sudan and Egypt through the Nile River. So far, there has been no attempt to save the wasted rain water that could be used by all. However, during the past few decades there has been a foreign penetration in the East African region by the U.S., China, India, Iran, Israel and others. All are seeking to cultivate the region’s natural resources. At the same time, the Nile River basin countries are poverty stricken and they welcome the financial, economic and military aid being offered to them.

In its May 22, 2010 issue, the Economist revealed that China is lending Ethiopia billions of dollars, including $460 million to build a controversial dam on the Omo River. It is a well known fact that Ethiopia is among the poorest and hungriest countries in the world. Any financial and technical aid given to the Ethiopians will be accepted by the government. The critical question here is: what will be the impact of the construction of dams by China or any other states on countries down stream such as Sudan and Egypt. Both depend on the water of the Nile River.

There are some countries that have their own undeclared political strategy that they want to achieve. Israel is among the most active and will be discuss

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