I read this PAPER by Marina Ottaway, pretty interesting, it jotted down many of my thoughts which appeared to me like a pattern but I didn’t think much about its significance I certainly knew that the U.S is being isolated and lost a lot of its soft power in the region. The U.S can a no longer manipulate the current regimes to do whatever it demands. There is some autonomy however that minimal autonomy is never used against high profile American interests.
From some of the themes in the Article; Leadership in the Middle East is shifting east away from Egypt (and Syria) towards the G.C.C (Gulf Cooperating Council) namely more towards Saudi and Qatar and to a lesser extent U.A.E and Kuwait.
However all of the efforts of G.C.C policies and initiatives are not planned or institutionalized, they are largely the efforts of individuals of the ruling royal families. These efforts are mostly pragmatic and against U.S Hawkish hardline policies of demoralizing, alienating and isolating its adversaries in the region. Namely Iran, Hezbolla and Hamas. These adversaries however all have direct links with Arab regimes.
King Abdullah of Saudi has always tried on many occasions to have Hamas and PA/Fatah (Palestinian Authority) to Negotiate Also the Same has been done by Egypt, and Egypt has made several broked Deals between Israel and Hamas. Also King Abdullah like all the other Emirs met with Ahmedi Nejad and proclaim that Iran is their neighbor not an enemy, they basically did not give any official positive to America’s desire for a Strike on Iran.
Yet Egypt is only forced to deal with the situation because of its borders with Gaza., which were broken causing security issues in Egypt. Otherwise Egypt and Jordan are basically enslaved to American monetary aid and also Egypt more specially has isolated itself from the Regional arena and went inwards to address problems over succession in the presidency.
Qatar has Brokered a Deal between all the factions in Lebanon saving the country off a political catastrophe and what could have been as later showed a civil war. Despite the U.S putting a grim face towards the talks, Hezbolla representatives, were on the negotiating tables in Qatar. Hezbolla is obviously a winner in all this (not mentioned in the paper) but if one pays close attention to the new constitution Hezvollah could be interpreted as having the same credentials as the Lebanese Army where the “Muqawama“ (Resistance aka Hezbollah) and the Lebeanse army have the right to free Lebanon from occupiers (aka Israel) . And a victory for Hezbolla is also a victory for Iran. Not to mention the situation in Iraq I will address this issue later in another post inshaAllah..
All of these many issues among others, are marking somewhat an autonomy of regional policy of the major Arab Regime players and more specifically the G.C.C states. The G.C.C no longer relies on the U.S to buy its oil and now there are other buyers who are equally thirst for oil. Also the Policies of America are just incosiderate and simply contribute to anything but stability.
One Could also draw from Clement M. Henry and Robert Springborg’s Book “ Globalization and the Politics of Development in the Middle East” Which he classifies the G.C.C (and Morocco Which I don’t agree qualifies in their choice) as “Globalizing monarchies” and are the most likely to advance and respond to challenges of globalization in the Middle East.