It is clear now that sooner or later the area will face a confrontation that is new of its kind. Today and after the arrival of the Arab spring that is bringing a change that will last for a long time and affect on many actors in the region, anything is possible.
There are four important factors that must be considered while trying to understand the next stage in the situation of the Middle East Post:
1. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2. The ongoing change in the Arab regimes.
3. The Iranian – Western confrontation.
4. The trigger that is needed to start a new kind of confrontation.
These four points affect directly on stability in the Middle East and would push international actors to get involved in any existing conflict easily in a way that shows the Middle East as the core of the stability of the world.
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict is becoming more complicated and is far away from being solved. The current Israeli leadership believes that the right way to deal with the Palestinian case is by trying to direct the conflict as long as possible without giving anything that would include a direct compromise of Israel’s control of the 1967 occupied lands. Instead, preparations on the Israeli borders are made day and night to prepare for the next stage that would include a confrontation with Syria, Lebanon and Iran. The Palestinians believe that they already compromised which no one would accept and that is the acceptance of 22% of the land of Historic Palestine in order to reach an agreement. The refusal and obstacles made in the way of the Palestinians to get their recognition of a Palestinian state made them more frustrated of what would happen in the next months in the field. Intentions to start a peaceful people resistance are becoming a fact in the Palestinian street.
The Ongoing Change in the Arab regimes changed the map of the Middle East and the awareness of the Arab peoples who are now more determined to be involved in the internal and foreign policies of their countries. New political parties are rising and other existing parties are becoming much stronger. Egypt will go to elections soon and this will make a deeper change in the Egyptian position in the area. Not only that change is taking place in countries were revolutions happened but this change is affecting other countries in the area to draw new alliances and attempt to create an effect. Turkey is one good example for these ambitions that are changing historical alliances and facts in the Middle East. The relations between Israel and those who were considered one-time allies are dramatically changing to become challenges that would result in confrontations.
The Iranian-Western Confrontation is closer than any time before and could be considered as taking place since the day sanctions and threats were made against the Syrian regime. It is known that the Syrian-Lebanese-Iranian-Hamas alliance whether political or armed brought a new challenge into the scene. Many of the Arab countries that were considered “moderate” and used as a part of the formation of an Anti-Iranian alliance is either witnessing a revolution or on the way to face a serious rise from its citizens. There is an expression “Proxy War” that would be perfect to describe what was going on in the area in the last ten years. However, the rules are being changed in which those who used third parties to fight each other are now getting involved directly and this would be a turning point in the kind of confrontation that would take place.
The trigger that is needed to start a new kind of confrontation can easily be created while living in circumstances where militarism, nationalism and alliances are invested in dramatically. The assassination of one Austria man and his wife resulted in starting World War I. The effect of the individual “Leader” is dramatic especially in countries that are lead by one person. One possible trigger for a local war in the Middle East that would bring in outside actors into it is the reaction of the Syrian President Bashar Alassad to any possible armed action against his regime. Several sources talked about threats that the Syrian regime sent to Tel Aviv, Ankara and Amman which all of them have borders with Syria. In a situation when a leader has nothing to lose and is about to fall any reaction is possible including the launching of a wide attack against every power that would be involved in an action against him. Add to that the President Bashar Alassad has a good alliance with Iran that knows very well it will be the next on the list, Hezbollah who cannot live without the Syrian support and other actors in the region. President Bashar Alassad enjoys a good diplomatic support from Russia and China that will do anything they can to prevent any action against him in the United Nations. The conclusion is that the Syrian President has enough Diplomatic and armed support and this what makes it difficult to face him easily. Only change from within Syria would succeed in bringing him down and until this moment the Syrian army and Intelligence agencies seem to be loyal to the Syrian President.
A realist would say that only an armed confrontation would bring in temporary stability while a Liberal would say that diplomacy would succeed in controlling the situation but nowadays it is hard to define what is liberalism and what is realism especially that those who represent both streams are changing in their thought and kind of actions. One thing whish is for sure is that change will take place and lets hope that it will not be the kind that will bring more sorrow and suffering for human kind.