Strategic Comments

Strategic Annual Report 2019 : The Middle East: Intensifying Competition for Hegemony over a New Regional Order

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Since the "Arab Spring" there has been a continuing power vacuum in the Middle East at three levels: national, regional and international. At the national level, countries such as Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Iraq have fallen into a state of civil war due to their weak cohesiveness as nation-states and their inability to govern, allowing other countries to intervene and armed non-state actors to run rampant. On the other hand, certain states exempt from civil war have become more authoritarian, neglecting to solve the fundamental problems raised by the "Arab Spring." A power vacuum has also occurred at the regional level as countries in the Middle East prioritize their own interests rather than fulfill their responsibility to establish an order for the entire region. What makes these crises even more serious is the Middle East policy of US President Donald Trump, who places top priority on strengthening his domestic support base.