DIA Alumni Association. The Mess in the Middle East August 19, 2014 Presented by: John Moore

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1 DIA Alumni Association The Mess in the Middle East August 19, 2014 Presented by: John Moore

2 The Mess in the Middle East

3 Middle East Turmoil Trends since Arab Spring started Iraq s civil war; rise of the Islamic State Syrian civil war; Islamic State and spillover Iran and the nuclear negotiations Egypt s coup and moves toward stability Mid East Peace Dead in the Water Just a few more countries in crisis How bad is the future?

4 Trends in the Middle East Arab Spring was a mirage Sunni Shia sectarian conflict expands Intra Sunni fighting Islamists failed at ruling Democracy loses to monarchs and autocrats Instability the norm for the future US tried to back away from the region as Russia doubled down

5 Iraq s Civil War, Part II Radical Sunnis (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS/ISIL) takes control of north and west, declares Islamic State and pressures Kurdistan Kurds seize Kirkuk; but don t opt for independence, yet! PM Malicki finally removed and new Shia Prime Minister, Kurdish President and Sunni Speaker of Parliament named; government still to be formed US back in again with military advisors, humanitarian aid and daily airstrikes on ISIS

6 ISIS Declares Islamic State Consists of northern and western Iraq and eastern Syria Consolidating gains in Iraq and Syria Showing military capability Captured plenty of arms and money, plus selling oil/gas

7 Islamic State Spreading Out Starting to govern in Iraq; has a year s experience in Syria Still dependent on Sunni allies as force is relatively small (10 20,000?) Slowly enforcing strict Islamic laws; forcing out Shia, Christians & Yazidis Likely to over reach but who can beat them?

8 Fourth year of war more than 175,000 killed, and over 9 million people displaced War was stalemated but advantage to Asad; second civil war between rebels (IS squeezing moderates ) Asad re elected in June declared victory over uprising Regime controls Damascus and key line of communication in the center and to coast; rebels control countryside in north, east and near Jordanian border Iran, Hizbullah and Russia provide strong support to Asad regime Sunni Arab and Western support to rebels disjointed and ineffective Syria s Civil War

9 Syrian Civil War Areas of Control

10 Spillover from Syria Exacerbating Sunni Shia tension and violence region wide Over 4 million refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and other Middle East countries Sunni Jihadists from around the world fighting in Syria 10,000) including from the US and Europe (blowback?) Shia volunteers from Iran, Lebanon, and Iraq have helped Asad s forces as well as served in Iraq

11 Iran and the Nuclear Issue Iran has all the structure, materiel and scientific capability in place to make nuclear weapons US and West have placed heavy economic sanctions on Iran; devastating the economy Permanent 5 members of UNSC (Britain, China, France, Russia and the US) + Germany negotiating with Iran over nuclear issue July 2014 deadline extended to Nov 24 th ; both sides want deal but strong internal opposition

12 Iranian Nuclear Facilities

13 Iran Wants Nuclear Deal Supreme Leader Khameini backs a deal President Rouhani has mandate to get agreement on Iran s terms Conservatives on defensive

14 Key Issues Needing Solution Number of centrifuges (Iran says 190,000 vs West wants a few thousand What level of enrichment (3.5% vs 20% plus)?

15 Egypt The Army is in Charge President Sisi is fourth autocrat from the Army elected President Existential struggle between Army and MB Army winning Terrorism emanating from Sinai threatens stability and key tourist industry Economy struggling subsidies cut and second Suez Canal? Saudi Arabia/UAE backing the current regime with $$ US reluctantly works with Sisi, particularly on latest Gaza war

16 Middle East Peace A Pipe Dream? Kerry s drive for an Israeli Palestinian agreement failed Palestinian unity (Fatah Hamas) spurred additional Israeli settlement building Israelis invade Gaza for third time since withdrawal Leadership on both sides sadly lacking Peace agreements between Egypt Israel and Jordan Israel still strong No negotiations with Syria or Lebanon until Syrian civil war decided

17 Other Crisis Points Libya: heavy fighting between Islamists and secularists; east west split Yemen: US drone strikes and fight against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Bahrain: Shia majority wants share of power but Sunni monarchy unwilling; US Navy HQ Lebanon: sectarian tension high over Hizbullah role in Syria and Sunni jihadist attacks Jordan shaky but monarchy secure for now

18 What to Expect More turmoil probably decades long as sectarian and political conflicts play out Sunni Shia conflict to intensify; plus existential struggle for who leads Sunni Islam Youth and activists won t give up Autocrats won t share power; winner take all mentality prevails and more bloody days ahead Several Yugoslavia like break ups are likely (Iraq, Syria, Libya) whether de facto or de jure Israeli Palestinian drama will continue to fester as neither has leaders willing to make deal

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