This chapter assesses the rising geostrategic and geoeconomic importance of Central Asian oil and natural gas for China and the United States, the most transparent source of Sino-American conflict in this region. The oil-rich states of Central Asia have been accorded a privileged place in the American and Chinese foreign policy calculations. As a consequence, these states may become the fodder in any Sino-American competition for geopolitical and geoeconomic predominance in the region. American diplomatic activity in Central Asia prior to September 2001 focused on creating an environment that would privilege American corporations in the exploitation of regional economic and financial opportunities. There has been a progressive realignment of the American military presence in Asia during the past decade. The United States has very slowly crept into the Chinese neighbourhood, from Singapore to Indonesia, from the United Arab Emirates to Oman, and from Uzbekistan and Pakistan to Kazakhstan.
This chapter notes that the incongruity of identity and territory continues to destabilise the politics of the Middle East and to significantly qualify the Westphalian model. While Arab states have consolidated their sovereignty in the face of supra-state ideology, in the making of foreign policy, legitimacy requires their leaders must still balance between the two. Inter-Arab politics arguably remains qualitatively different from ‘international’ politics. Irredentist conflicts continue to bedevil two near-nation-states, Turkey and Israel. Meanwhile, Iran embraces its communal mosaic and projects its foreign policy under an Islamic banner.
This text aims to fill a gap in the field of Middle Eastern political studies by combining international relations theory with concrete case studies. It begins with an overview of the rules and features of the Middle East regional system—the arena in which the local states, including Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Israel and the Arab states of Syria, Jordan and Iraq, operate. The book goes on to analyse foreign-policy-making in key states, illustrating how systemic determinants constrain this policy-making, and how these constraints are dealt with in distinctive ways depending on the particular domestic features of the individual states. Finally, it goes on to look at the outcomes of state policies by examining several major conflicts including the Arab-Israeli conflict and the Gulf War, and the system of regional alignment. The study assesses the impact of international penetration in the region, including the historic reasons behind the formation of the regional state system. It also analyses the continued role of external great powers, such as the United States and the former Soviet Union, and explains the process by which the region has become incorporated into the global capitalist market.
This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book considers security in relation to the political sector in terms of processes of democratization in the region and demands of new groups for wider and more meaningful access to political decision making. It establishes a theoretical context for redefining security in the Middle East by considering a range of concepts, debates and theories that have traditionally been absent from the field. The book provides an analytical model for redefining national security as a theory and as a practice in the post-Cold War era. It explores fundamental issues related to Islamophobia and the West, the relationship between Islam and democracy, and circumstances for groups and parties to gain political power and effect social change through indigenous tools and symbols.
This study takes the Middle East to be constituted around an Arab core, with a shared identity but fragmented into multiple territorial states; the core is flanked by a periphery of non-Arab states—Turkey, Iran and Israel—which are an intimate part of the region's conflicts and an integral part of its balance of power. This chapter argues that the Middle East is the epicentre of world crisis, chronically war-prone and the site of the world's most protracted conflicts. It also argues that that the roots of conflict and much state behaviour are found in the peculiar historical construction of the regional system.
Eurasian security governance has received increasing attention since 1989. The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the institution that best served the security interests of the West in its competition with the Soviet Union, is now relatively ill-equipped resolve the threats emanating from Eurasia to the Atlantic system of security governance. This book investigates the important role played by identity politics in the shaping of the Eurasian security environment. It investigates both the state in post-Soviet Eurasia as the primary site of institutionalisation and the state's concerted international action in the sphere of security. This investigation requires a major caveat: state-centric approaches to security impose analytical costs by obscuring substate and transnational actors and processes. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon marked the maturation of what had been described as the 'new terrorism'. Jervis has argued that the western system of security governance produced a security community that was contingent upon five necessary and sufficient conditions. The United States has made an effort to integrate China, Russia into the Atlantic security system via the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. The Black Sea Economic Cooperation has become engaged in disseminating security concerns in fields such as environment, energy and economy. If the end of the Cold War left America triumphant, Russia's new geopolitical hand seemed a terrible demotion. Successfully rebalancing the West and building a collaborative system with Russia, China, Europe and America probably requires more wisdom and skill from the world's leaders.
This chapter assesses the renewed destabilising impact of international attempts to reshape the regional order in an age of unipolarity and globalisation. For much of the world, globalisation is associated with growing interdependence and the spread of ‘zones of peace’. In the Middle East, the decade of globalisation was ushered in by war, was marked by intrusive US hegemony, renewed economic dependency on the core and continuing insecurity, and ended with yet another round of war in 2001. In the latest case, the 11 September events, the particular character of the crisis was shaped by the dominant features of the current international system, namely US hegemony and globalisation. The US response, an intensification of its military intervention in the region, appears likely to exacerbate the problem it seeks to address.
A wide range of institutions have appeared in the Eurasian region since the end of the Cold War that have a role to play in Eurasian security. Among these institutions the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) is unique, because it is the one institution that has a clear-cut mandate in the field of security that includes all of the parties involved in Eurasian security. The vital role in conflict prevention, management and resolution represents the comparative advantage of the OSCE, and it is to the OSCE that the United States should give its support to perform this role more effectively. In the aftermath of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the OSCE began to increase its capacity to manage conflicts despite the very modest mandate of the Conflict Prevention Center (CPC).
This chapter examines the role of multilateral cooperative efforts and institutionalised security cooperation in the Eurasian area through a study of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation's (NATO) Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme. It focuses on several aspects of the PfP's contribution to Eurasian security. Long-term civil-military exercise programmes across Europe and Eurasia were soon developed through the PfP. Non-predatory bandwagoning states, as those joining the PfP, generally try to attain gains not through aggression, but from extending the bandwagoning state's value system. The PfP processes represent a practical cooperative security framework between NATO and individual PfP states involving defence, operational and budgetary planning, military exercises and civil emergency operations. If it continues to receive significant support from the NATO countries, PfP can maintain the bridge of greater political and military understanding between Europe and Eurasia.
In the Middle East, security is strongly influenced by politicized forms of fundamental belief systems. This chapter examines the dual role of political Islam, with specific focus on Palestine and the case of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement, in the West Bank and Gaza. Hamas is gaining in popular support due to renewed violence in the Middle East and the Palestinian population's increased endorsement of suicide or 'martyrdom' operations against Israeli targets. Throughout its short history, Hamas has continued to depict its movement most fundamentally as a clear and viable alternative to the secular forces led by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The uncompromising position assumed by Hamas, toward both Israel and the PLO moderates willing to negotiate with the Israelis, is clearly intended to gain adherents to Hamas' more 'revolutionary' approach to the Palestinian issue.