Welcome to the Middle East Today

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 21, 2012

The Ongoing Arab Spring Revolution

The Arab Spring Revolution is still an ongoing process, reflecting      democratic political progress, as is the case in Tunisia and Egypt.  On the other hand, political and military struggles are still going on in various forms, as is the case in Syria, where the regime is conducting a military civil war against its people.  No relief is in sight in Syria, except by the removal of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, which has already killed more than ten thousand Syrians.

The situation in Yemen reflects an ongoing struggle between the supporters of the previous Yemeni president, Ali Saleh, and the new transitional government, headed by A.R. Mansour.  Many of Ali Saleh’s relatives are still in important military positions and have refused to surrender their authority, which has led to a division and conflict in the Yemeni army.  This situation enhanced the emergence of al-Qaeda in southern Yemen, which is posing a threat to the security of the Arab Gulf states and the U.S.  This situation led President Obama to sign a new law, which will penalize any state that contributes to the instability of Yemen.  Furthermore, the U.S. military is helping the Yemeni military forces attack al-Qaeda’s forces in southern Yemen.  The Yemeni situation is more complicated than the presence of al-Qaeda there.  More than half of the Yemeni population is living below the poverty index level, and in addition, the unemployment rates are high.  Also, Yemen is among the world’s five states that are most water poverty stricken.  This has impacted the agriculture sector.  Yemen depends on food imports.  Yemen needs a comprehensive economic development program that will lead to the creation of new jobs, which will impact the strength and influence of al-Qaeda in Yemen.  The U.S. and the oil-producing Arab Gulf states could play a constructive role that will be more influential in defeating al-Qaeda.  This would be more effective than the current military strategy.

The Libyan situation is still in a state of reorganizing its political situation to bring harmony to the various political groups and tribal affiliations that will lead the country to its first free political election.

Egypt will experience its first free and democratic presidential election in a few days (May 23rd and 24th, 2012).  Regardless of who will be elected, the Egyptian political model will have an impact on the rest of the Arab world.

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