The Mideast’s Front Burner Issues

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The Middle East went through maelstrom developments during the Obama Administration. Some of these were put into motion by the 2003 American invasion of Iraq. Others, such as the Arab Spring, were the direct result of corrupt and brittle authoritarian regimes no longer capable of responding to their citizens’ aspirations and needs. Now, after eight years of Obama, it is difficult to argue that much has improved.

In fact, save for a spike in the price of oil, the region has suffered deeply from the after effects of the Arab Spring; economies were battered, tourism revenues collapsed, civil wars and foreign intervention created an image of interminable uncertainty. Only the Gulf region managed to wall itself off from these negative influences. After the oil price collapse, even the Gulf countries have had to tighten their belts and look for alternative business models.

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