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Published on: December 13, 2013
Nature Abhors a Vaccuum
Russia’s Return to the Middle East

U.S. fatigue and distraction in the Middle East has made ample room for Russia to step in as the new patron, power-broker and custodian of the region. Washington should think twice about welcoming this development.

Michael Weiss is the editor-in-chief of The Interpreter, an online journal that translates Russian news content into English. He’s also a columnist for NOW Lebanon and Foreign Policy.
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  • Anthony

    Very interesting overview/assessment of Russia’s Middle East honing strategies and tactics. “Usurping the only superpower’s traditional role as safeguard of a region” appears to be function to not supplant but to strengthen Russia’s power gradient among “wily collaborators”. Essay certainly compels one to question vitality of United States and Israel’s historical political, cultural, and religious connections ( yet in Middle East Israel remains strong ally).

  • ttaerum

    It’s remarkable it has taken Obama and the Foggy Bottom this long to realize our CIC is a babe by comparison to Putin. I warned about this a year ago (not that I care if anyone listens), particularily in relation to Syria but the Obama flock bleeted out their approval for the WH. I was accused of hate – why else would I disagree with the great One. It couldn’t be because of his limited intellect, his lack of experience, his arrogance, what else could it be? As we recently saw, China doesn’t worry in the least about this administration, Israel and Saudi Arabia know they’re out in the cold. Oh yes, I was right about South Africa’s multiple layers of incompetent security (as demonstrated by Obama’s sign language expert – wake up Secret Service). But the left will argue, once again, that my observations are based on hate. Really?

  • bscook111

    Good job AI in getting a few of the more obscure facts on the table. America needs a break from the MI; especially from ourselves and the ever perfidious house of Saud. I supported Bush’s project in Iraq and learned a great lesson. America was unprepared to take the long hard view and support the effort longitudinally across administrations and politics for as long as it takes. Ironically those Americans that opposed Iraq often supported the same objectives in Afganistan and vice-versa. The support and opposition were clearly and simply a matter of which presidential ideologue was in charge, facts be damned. The Vulcans must be (certainly should be) astounded by our own fecklessness. The liberals less so as I think their program in Afganistan was never more than cynical personal agrandisement (as you can see I am in camp R. I have friends in camp D who espouse exactly the converse of my opinion). I digress. God bless the Russian and here’s to his success in the MI and Central Asia for that matter.

  • Beatrix17

    Russia’s time in the sun has come and gone. The sad thing is that America acts as though our time is over when it isn’t.

  • TommyTwo

    Putin might be an amoral self-interested SOB, but at least he is consistently so, and one can thus work with him. When it comes to the U.S. however, friends are abandoned, enemies courted, red lines discarded, interests unfathomable… How is one supposed to work with such a wildly unpredictable country?

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