After the murder of General Qassem Soleimani and the subsequent Iranian missile strikes on American bases in Iraq, members of Congress, political experts and various media started talking about a possible war in the middle East.
However, in the opinion of the President of the International Crisis Group Robert Malley of large-scale military conflict in the region has provoked a paradoxical feature of the Middle East. In his article in the journal Foreign Affairs, a former aide to Barack Obama wrote that as communities, countries and the entire region are becoming increasingly fragmented, the middle East is becoming increasingly integrated thanks to the emergence of cross-border movements and the intervention of external actors in domestic disputes. According to mally, these two phenomena have turned the region into a “powder keg” and any internal event can spark a major war between the two countries.
So, the division of Iraqi society led to the fact that some of the Shiite community of Iraq closer to Iran — they become the voice of Iranian politics and power. Support for Soleimani and his collaboration with Iraqi Shiite armed groups are a clear manifestation of this phenomenon. Therefore, any confrontation between the U.S. and Iraqi Shia groups could provoke a war between America and Iran. Mally believes that Syria and Yemen — countries where can also be unleashed by the war, which will almost certainly be drawn into the United States or other countries.
However, many observers do not agree with malli and are not willing to consider the middle East as a “powder keg”. Countries intervening in the internal conflicts of the middle East, demonstrate a reluctance to aggravate the situation, when their interests are under threat, writes in The National Interest middle East expert Eric Bordenkircher.
Reflections and projections only on the basis of recent events in Iraq, Syria and Yemen, it is difficult to call a full-fledged analysis of the situation in the region. A careful study of history Lebanon is the key to understanding the internal mechanisms of the Middle East and it is unclear why’malley was expelled from his analysis of this country.
Lebanon is not Iraq, Syria or Yemen — embodies’malley identified the paradox of the region (continuity and integration). Lebanon has more than seventy years of deep social divisions and conflicts that are associated with external intervention and transnational movements. All this makes Lebanon a laboratory for the understanding of what is happening and to develop effective policy to overcome the conflicts in the middle East.
For decades, Lebanon had a weak state structures and powerful non-state actors. As a member of the Arab-Iranian-Israeli conflict and confrontation between Sunnis and Shiites, Lebanon was and remains a microcosm of the various faults of the region. The country is also the site of the confrontation between the US and Iran.
the Increasing fragmentation and integration in the Middle East are creating new, similar to Lebanon of the country. Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya increasingly repeat the fate of the Lebanese in peace and war. Sudan, Algeria, Egypt and other countries may soon follow suit. We are seeing a growing number of States without Nations in the middle East — the status of Lebanon in 1943
a state without a nation leads to the emergence of an Autonomous administrative authorities and socio-economic structures, while national identity remains weak. Religious/ethnic identity, ideological movements and tribal relationship in these States, compete with national identity. The absence of a cohesive society and undermines the effectiveness of the state, poor governance generates and stimulates the intervention of external players.
a state without a nation demonstrates a particular behavior during war and peace. The presence of the security dilemma in communities and movements created tensions and violence within communities and movements, as well as between them. All this leads to unwillingness to compromise onthe claim of external influence on the internal Affairs of and sensitivity to regional developments.
unfortunately, the formation of a middle East policy based on the experience of Lebanon does not guarantee success. An effective policy will be difficult, slow and sometimes painful. In addition, as in the case of Lebanon, the region, in the near future will not be able to overcome most of the problems.