The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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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.

Published on December 13, 2013
Russia is back. At least that’s what they say—especially the Russians. 2013 marks the year that the Kremlin reasserted its power abroad in ways not seen since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and nowhere has this reassertion been more obvious than in the Middle East. From Syria to Egypt to Iran to Israel, Moscow is now seen to be moving in on America’s turf, usurping the only superpower’s traditional role as safeguard of a region that, whether or not it cares to admit it, has always looked to the United States to solve its problems. But now a...