Dr. Jonathan Spyer is a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center in Herzliya, Israel, and a fellow at the Middle East Forum. He is the author of The Transforming Fire: The Rise of the Israel-Islamist Conflict (Continuum, 2010) and a columnist at the Jerusalem Post newspaper. Spyer holds a PhD in International Relations from the London School of Economics and a Masters' Degree in Middle East Politics from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
Despite escalating worries about Russia in past weeks, the skies did not fall in as a result of the American-led punitive raid on Syria’s chemical weapons storage and research facilities Saturday morning.
In the collapsed and fragmented space that comprises much of today’s Middle East, the key to success increasingly lies in the ability to combine political strategy with military muscle, under a single banner, and in a single structure. Examples abound.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud is here to rebrand. If all goes well, his visit to the US this week will wow Americans with Saudi Arabia’s new progressivism, increase US investment in the Saudi economy, and align the US and Saudi strategies in the Middle East.
A common but mistaken reading of the current strategic situation in the Middle East presents the region as approaching the end of a period of instability. The “return of the Arab state” is one of the more arresting refrains that this perspective has produced.
The protests in Iran appear, for now at least, to be subsiding. The key moment was the decision to task the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps with security in the three provinces that formed the center of the unrest – Hamadan, Isfahan and Lorestan.