Covid-19: Moulding Security And Political Landscape Of Middle East

Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Diplomatist|June 2020

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Covid-19: Moulding Security And Political Landscape Of Middle East
Since the modern Middle East came into existence in the aftermath of World War I, the region has been evolving as an intriguing conflict complex.
Dr Khushnam P N

The conflicting interests of the external and regional powers have accentuated the regional fault lines. Arab-Israeli wars, PanArabism, Ba’athism, and the Islamic revolution have produced a lethal cocktail for the political security landscape of the region. In the post-cold war, the US replaced its “Two Pillar Policy” with the policy of “Dual Containment” of Iran and Iraq, the subsequent invasion of Iraq, and ‘Maximum pressure’ on Iran. In the last decade, the Arab spring, civil wars and the rising specter of Jihadi violence with Al Qaida and ISIS to mention a few, have turned the region into a regional complex of multi-layered and multidimensional conflicts within the states, between the states, between the regional powers and external powers.

The lethal global pandemic underway has put the whole world on hold as never before and put the governments and regimes in the region into the test to prove their capacity and legitimacy. The humanitarian work done by the non-state entities during the pandemic may earn public support and gain political legitimacy in the war zones like Syria, Iraq, and Yemen in the absence of government machinery and their capacity. This can further diminish the weak states and regimes in the region and complicate the power structure and political stability.

The political regimes and political class buttressed by the foreign powers are under public watch during the pandemic lockdown. Sharp public criticism in Saudi Arabia against the Saudi-owned channel (MBC Network-comedy series called “Exit 7), praising Israel over the Palestinian forced the Saudi king, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, to reiterate that “The Palestinian issue was and is still the Arab and Muslims central issue and the first priority for the kingdom since its inception as it rejected any measure or type of occupation of Palestinian territories and stood steadfast by the side of the Palestinian people.” Thus the expansion plan of the new unity government in Israel in the West bank can bring the intractable Palestine question at the center once again.

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June 2020