Middle East Notes and Comment: Arab Politics Undone
June 17, 2013
Arab politics used to be simpler. The traditional “Big Three”—Egypt, Iraq, and Syria—all squabbled for primacy, against a backdrop of Saudi conservatism. Palestine was a unifying cause. The United States and the Soviet Union competed for clients. The games were nasty, but they had rules.
All of that is gone.
Amidst the region’s rivalries is a simple fact: a fundamental power vacuum is enveloping the region as formerly powerful states succumb to internal political change.