The Plan to Build Democracies at Gunpoint Turned into a Disaster
President Trump's decision to violate the Iran nuclear agreement and to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem are unlikely to make the world's most combustible region any safer. Rather, they are representative of a long history of reckless and muddled great power involvement in the region.
All of the world's great powers, Western or not, have interests in the region. But none of them currently has the might and the will to dominate this part of the world so that competing regional powers (Israel, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey) will claim an increasing share in determining the region's future. That's not necessarily good news, for two reasons: first, the Middle Eastern seesaw rarely settles into an equilibrium that could be called a balance of power, with or without outside involvement. Second, no regional security mechanism is available to help moderate or mediate conflict.