Monday, August 18, 2008

The Russian-Georgian War: Implications for the Middle East

By Ariel Cohen

The long-term outcomes of the current Russian-Georgian war will be felt far and wide, from Afghanistan to Iran , and from the Caspian to the Mediterranean . The war is a mid-sized earthquake which indicates that the geopolitical tectonic plates are shifting, and nations in the Middle East, including Israel , need to take notice.

From Jerusalem Issue Brief, Institute for Contemporary Affairs

The Russian-Georgian war indicates that the balance of power in western Eurasia has shifted, and that U.S. power may be deteriorating in the face of its lengthy and open-ended commitments in Iraq , Afghanistan , and the Global War on Terror, which are leading to a global overstretch.

While the Middle East, and especially the Persian Gulf, will remain a top priority in U.S. foreign policy regardless of who wins the White House, Israel is heading towards a strategic environment in which Russia may play a more important role, especially in its southern tier, from the Black Sea to Afghanistan and western China . Twenty-first century geopolitics is presenting significant survival challenges to the Jewish state and the region.


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