To better understand the complexities of the ongoing regional civil war across the Middle East over the past two decades we have been modelling it as a regional civil war with multiple competitors that are seeking Islamic self-determination. Noticeably, as the regional competition becomes more overt and British, French and American influence in the region has reduced to the lowest ebb in a century. Simultaneously, exported Islamic terrorism into the West is at its lowest for many years. However, it has found fertile ground in parts of Africa where it must not be allowed to take root.
Meanwhile, the genocide of the Uighurs portends to the threat of the Chinese to the region and the alignment of Western and Islamic forces against the CCP as occurred in Afghanistan against the Russians. This external threat will inevitably force all the parties in the region to unite in common cause and, as such, within the next four years it could the future cessation of the Middle Eastern Regional Civil War. To better understand our construct of a Middle Eastern War of regionalisation, please read:
As the main players have become stronger so has the intensity of the conflicts. There are now three main power blocks contesting power in the region.
- Turkey The Rise Of The Second Ottoman Empire
- The Sunni Arabic nations lead by Saudi Arabia with its new official ally Israel who have come together because of their common enemy Iran
- Shia Iran, who although weakened is a significant ongoing threat.
- The economy is in trouble without foreign investment.
- Seeks to balance US/Russian/Chinese influence to further its growth of building a second Ottoman empire.
- Expansive in seas around Cyprus and in support of Libya- as Erdogan's Turkey seeks it own energy resources.
- Baulked at championing the Uighurs' cause in return for Chinese investment.
- Erdogan then compensated for this via a PR campaign of changing the Hagia Sophia back into an active mosque (in 2020) to cover his tracks and to increase his pro-Islamic credentials
- In short, not going as smoothly as it could have done with better judged strategic decisions.
The Arab Israeli axis
- This has been driven by the axiom of "the enemy of my friend is my friend" and the threat provided by Iran and its nuclear weapons.
- Includes Jordan, Egypt, The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other smaller states.
- Under this alliance the UAE-Israeli alliance has now extended to other Arab nations giving all members access to Israeli technology and regional trade which will benefit members considerably.
- Syria, as the black sheep of the region, is not included but is working hard to get back into the Arab fold
- Notably Egypt faces an existential crisis over the Ethiopian dam that places its economy at risk until it has filled up. The key will be the agreement that allows the dam to fill at a rate that does not significantly reduce the downstream flow. The risk of Egyptian military action in the case of disagreement cannot be ruled out. Although as the Dam busters raid in 1943 found out, destroying dams especially one of this size may be beyond the aircraft and weapons in service with the Egyptian air force
- Economically starved due to US sanctions but still resourceful and always close to a nuclear breakout
- Ally of Russia and China.
- Proxy agents like Hezbollah and Hamas continue to be used as strategic levers in the region.
- ls losing its battle for Regional dominance.
Meanwhile In Israel
The current conflict is the direct product of the regional civil war, although Palestinian factions are fighting inside their own West bank for power and which has catalysed the recent attacks on Israel. There seems to be little mention in the Western press of Hamas acting as a proxy for Iran and who has been faring badly in its regional ambitions under Israeli and American attacks . Both Hamas and Iran hate the Jewish people and its State. So much so that they have made its eradication their prime goal, using the cause to polarise support for its ambition to eventually control the region. Thus, until Iran adopts a peaceful stance in the region and against Israel this struggle will inevitably continue. The only hope of a change is through regime change otherwise the conflict between the Palestinians and Jews will be continue to be fanned. The map below shows the expansion of Jewish territory via its settlement policy and it demonstrates the intractable nature of the Palestinian Jewish conflict along with the almost inevitable outcome of total Jewish control of the country. Even if it was the Arabs that started the whole process by initially selling what they thought were worthless salt marshes to the early Jewish settlers. Yet they, like the Israelis, deserve a homeland, be it in Israel or by agreement with Egypt in the Sinai. The sadness of the situation is one of "the abused has become the abuser" and until the Jews, as the most powerful element of the relationship, truly rise above that subconsciousness and repeating pattern, there will be no lasting peace.
The recent wave of rockets being launched at Israel by Hamas have been built locally using designs provided by Iran. Significantly, they have a longer range, greater accuracy and more destructive power than previous models. They are being moved around via an underground network, a tunnel system of many tens of miles nicknamed the "Metro" and which has been the IDFs (Israeli Defence Force's) main target in its counter air strikes, on the premise that with the Metro's destruction the rocket attacks will cease without the need for a ground invasion.
Only the highly capable Israeli designed and built Iron Dome defence system has prevented a much larger civilian death toll as they have intercepted over 90% of incoming Hamas rockets. However, Hamas only needs to get lucky once to inflict large scale casualties. No wonder Israel is determined to protect its people, many of whose families fled the Holocaust, suffered expulsion from Muslim countries or persecution elsewhere. As part of that continuum, Hamas is engaged in a genocidal war against the Jewish people. Yet one must look behind the veil, so as make no mistake that this war is a product of Iran’s aggression. As such, the West should uphold Israel’s right of self defence, whilst it ensures that Israel uses its overwhelming force with judicial restraint to prevent unnecessary civilian casualties. If it does not, Israel risks risking losing all Western support. That being said it must be assumed that Hamas has located its military infrastructure within its very own civilian population, to camouflage it and to inflict PR reversals on Israel if they are hit and civilian casualties emerge. The classic "human shield" tactic.
In the big picture, America and the West must increase pressure on Iran to bring about regime change which is the only way of creating a lasting peace in the Middle East, and to remove a regional threat to stability. With Chinese power extending further into the Middle East at an accelerating rate, the window for such a strategic shift will close in just a few years as the risk of a major US-Chinese proxy war increases, thereby amplifying the current regional civil war,
Consequently, bold and hard line policies to further constrain Iran are required by Biden's America going forward. As part of a strategy that should not include another attempt at a very flawed Obama-type Iran nuclear deal, which was driven by presidential narcissism and delusion and would only strengthen Iran's hand.