After analyzing the crises that have beset Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, Jacques Neriah ventures some predictions about what will become of the Middle East once the dust settles:
Five years after the outburst of the so-called Arab Spring, the Middle East has changed radically. Not only have nation-states crumbled, transformed, or become failed states, the moderating forces that used to hold the structures together are no longer present. . . . Arab states are questioning U.S. policy and raising questions about [America’s] resolve to lead the military coalition against the Islamic State. Russia found the cracks in the geopolitical wall and easily replaced the United States with its traditional clients. Russia’s success in Syria is but another sign of the weakness of the United States in these dire times.
Five years from now, what Middle East can we expect? It would be foolish to prophesy. But it would not be adventurous to say that we will be confronted with a new map with new entities born or reborn. . . . [S]ooner or later, the traditional forces will destroy [Islamic State]. But this does not mean that the jihadist, Salafist ideology will be eradicated and that jihadist cells will no longer be established. Unless the roots of the problem are dealt with—the financing of [extremist] religious institutions—the jihadist movement will continue . . . receiving funds from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and even Morocco.