“What we are seeing is the U.S. losing its ability to shape events in the region, even though it remains by far the pre-eminent military power,” says Waleed Hazbun, director of the Centre for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at the American University in Beirut.
“You’re seeing others moving in to fill the gap.”
In some ways, experts say, there are echoes of 19th and 20th century scrambles for resources, territory and influence.
“Bottom line: there will be more players in the sandbox,” says Hayat Alvi, lecturer in Middle Eastern studies at the US Naval War College. “The Middle East has always been the venue for the “Great Game.”.. Rising powers will see opportunities and advantages in engaging in (that), just like the colonial powers.”
Continue reading article: Global “great power politics” returns to Mideast (Reuters)