Is Russia Back as a Power in the Middle East?
November 12, 2013
The September Kerry-Lavrov agreement for Syria to give up its chemical weapons has lit up the Cold War Hotline with reams of calls that Russia now has more power and influence in the Middle East than at any time in the last 40 or 50 years and that this rise comes directly at the expense of the United States. Unquestionably, American power and prestige in the Middle East has taken a multitude of blows since the Iraq invasion of 2003 and the emergence of the Arab Spring nearly three years ago. But are other regional leaders clamoring for facetime with Vladimir Putin? No. Aside from its continuing tenuous ties with Tehran and Bashar Al-Assad, Russian ties with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and most of the Arab Gulf States have worsened since the onset of the Arab Spring in January 2011.