Would the middle east be open to land reform?
The large amount of constant unrest in the Middle East shows that underlying issues exists. One old wound that might still be unhealed is the issues that European Imperialism caused in the Middle East. Noam Tibon said “The last time borders were drawn in the Middle East was in 1914, when European diplomats drew illogical borders based upon British and French zones of influence, while completely disregarding issues such as demographics, sectarianism, the economy, natural resources and other factors.” European colonization and imperialism was a large destabilizing factor in the history of the middle east. Many of the large imperial states like Britain and France actively sought lands rich in natural resources among them being the fertile oil-rich lands of the Middle East. The diversity in factors like religion and ethnicity were not taken into account causing the grouping of many people with bad histories and active rivalries with each other chief among them being the Sunni-Shia conflict. Although a possible solution presents itself if the countries and governments agree to redraw their borders. “The solution offered here will not please everyone. Turkey will fear the establishment of a Kurdish state on its border. Iran will resist the decrease of its net influence in Iraq. Israel and Jordan will also surely have concerns about the rise of a new Sunni state on their borders.” speculated Noam. The rise of new states will not please everyone but they might be the one thing needed to start the areas of conflict on a new slate that discourages violent actions made by individuals and governments. This action though will not be possible without strong foreign intervention to oversee these geopolitical transitions the de facto being the United States.
What should the US foreign policy be in the middle east?
With the situation in Syria and most of the surrounding nations shifting constantly, the recent exchange of power in the U.S. government should spark a reevaluation U.S. policy toward ISIS and the Middle East in general. Obama’s cabinet behaved every hostile toward the Assad regime; Actively supporting rebels that are fighting against them. The Strait Times noted that “Obama rejected any cooperation with Assad in the fight against ISIS, describing his rule as part of the problem.” Funding of the rebel groups has yielded some results with the establishment of a new Kurdish state of Rojava has yet to be legitimized but shows great promise with the creation of its own constitution that promises religious freedom and equal gender rights all things that most Middle Eastern governments lack. Other opposition groups have arisen that are more lenient towards ISIS and their views are not to interested in opposing them. This makes it hard to fund rebel groups since many motives of different groups and individuals can be very unclear or even outright deceptive making the funding of multiple groups a big risk and in the end not a good investment. The other option is direct intervention which hasn’t worked out too well in Iraq or Iran. Noam judges that “We [the U.S.] should forgo the notion of parachuting democracy in from above, as attempted by the Bush administration in Iraq.” America’s war on terror hasn’t been seen as particularly successful and some even view it as a massive failure this would make the option of sending boots on the ground once again extremely unpopular. This leaves one more clear option the cutting of ties and involvement in the conflicts of those foreign nations. This act would lead to much of the Russia’s and Turkey’s agendas to go unchecked and could possibly damage any positive work done by opposition groups but America’s hands would be clean of any more bloodshed and reduce tension in the long run. All of this of course will be decided not by the average person but by the bureaucrats and politicians who hold their own opinions, viewpoints, and motives; and the citizens of the world will live with the consequences and results.
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Shaheen, Kareem. "Russian airstrikes accidentally kill three Turkish soldiers." The Guardian. Guardian News and Media, 09 Feb. 2017. Web. 05 Mar. 2017. <https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/09/russian-airstrikes-accidentally-kill-three-turkish-soldiers>