Typically my article focuses on past or current events in the Middle East so I figured this time I would toss out a curveball and try to predict the future. More specifically I wanted to look at the where I think the Middle East will be at the end of President Obama’s first term. My focus will be the future of Israel, Iraq and Iran.

I think the future of Iraq is becoming fairly clear to most. The war in Iraq seems to have been a mistake for the United States as it sucked a lot of military resources from places of larger need and created too many broken families back home. For Iraq it may prove to be a mistake as I think the country will be left leaderless in the short term which could toss it into chaos as the US forces pull out. For the region it was a mistake as for good or bad Iraq provided a balance of power to Iran which will now will become unbalanced. So in three years I see the country as leaderless, without the protection of the US army and tail spinning into disaster. This normally creates the perfect storm for an extremist leader to come to power and basically put the country back on path to where it was ten years ago.

As for Iran, I believe the outlook to be much brighter, from their perspective anyway. Iran will become a nuclear power in the next three years. The efforts being put forth currently by the UN and US will be ineffective as Obama is not militant enough to make any realistic threats. In my opinion, this actually creates the most concern for Iran’s Arab neighbors and not Israel. Despite what most think the Arabs have a lot of internal conflicts and I could see Iran using a nuclear weapon on its Arab enemies. Israel is already a nuclear power so I believe that Iran will only use their nuclear power in rhetoric to threaten Israel but by default will actually have more of a “mutually assured destruction” mentality with neither side willing to commit suicide just to eliminate the other.

My second to last prediction is that Ahmadinejad will lose his seat in government. I think his course has run and his usefulness is diminishing. Besides popular belief he is a puppet character that is useful in taking international heat but yield little power. Lastly, the world will see more outbursts of human rights violations similar to what happened after the elections. Iran has never been a nice place but till now things like the war with Iraq and now the nuclear issue detracted from bigger issues facing Iran. With Iraq being eliminated as a super power and Iran going nuclear there will be no bigger storyline then human rights.

Lastly, Israel will probably be sitting in the same place as it currently sits. The economy will keep chugging along, settlements will be built and they will have to deal with terrorist attacks. The two places that I think Israel may make headway on are the way they deal with terrorists and their negotiation with the Palestinians. I believe, Israel is slowly learning that they can be harsh with terrorists and then simply dismiss bad press from things like tainted UN commissions. Israel is realizing that its own security is more important than public image. On the other hand I think Israel still does not realize how to deal with the Palestinians so in the next three years I predict more unbalanced deals, more concessions and no closer to peace.

Hope you all enjoyed, feel free to comment as this is not history but predictions so there is lots of room for error on my side.

2 Comments

Share this article via email

Peter Rabbit writes a monthly column on politics and world events for The Casual Observer, specializing in the Middle East. His articles can be found in Carrots of Wisdom.

Like this site? Subscribe via RSS, Subscribe via Email, or Follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

The permanent URL for this article is:
http://www.thesoapboxers.com/the-middle-east-outlook/