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The Modern Middle East

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The Modern Middle East

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The Modern Middle East

The Middle East is a region of Western Asia and Egypt; some of the countries in this region are Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Iraq. According to Anderson, Seibert & Wagner (2006), this region is of vast geo-economic importance and since ancient times, it has been a center of world affairs. This part matters to almost all superpowers. The geographic factors that contribute to the strategic importance of the Middle East are; trade routes, oil, terrain or geography, ideology, and faith. The Middle East has always been a destination for both tourists and entrepreneurs.

One of the geostrategic success factors to the Middle East is oil fields. Oil fields in the Middle East, which stretch from the Persian Gulf around Iran and Iraq, comprise of the largest oil reserve and deposits in the world, Pollack (2011). These oil fields contain approximately two-thirds of the world’s petroleum deposits. Access to this oil by superpowers such as the United States and Western Europe has always been considered to be vital, Pollack (2011). These regions would not be economically sound as they are if they lack access to the oil that is regarded as black gold of Kuwait, Iraq, Iran and Bahrein. Western world needs for oil will increase almost by half for the next half-century, despite the nuclear power development.

The other factor that makes the Middle East to be strategically important is that the Middle East is a communication and transportation hub, Anderson & William (2000). This is because the Middle East serves as a land bridge between three continents. Therefore, the Moslem lands of North Africa and the Nile valley open up the underdeveloped Africa continent. The air routes through the Middle East, that is from the Far East to Europe, and the oil pipelines crosses the deserts of North Africa. Communication as a means of access to information is so crucial today.

The geography of Middle East is another factor that endows its importance. Soviet ships and submarines debouched into the Mediterranean is controlled by the Turkish Dardanelles, according to Anderson & William (2000). The rugged mountains landscape and miles of deserts from Caucasus to the Himalayas, in the Middle East, provide protection to the Middle East from any land invasion that would come from the Soviet republic. Military facilities and bases of the Soviet are closer to the Middle East; this implies that Soviet control of this region is of strategic importance as it shields the Middle East from the West.

The geostrategic importance of Middle East is also derived from its psychological and political significance, Pollack (2011). It is a symbolic area serving as the center of the shrines of the three world’s greatest religions, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. The influence of Islam extends from this region to Morocco and profound inside Africa. Therefore, Middle East has changed foreign policies of many world states.

In conclusion, the strategic importance of Middle East benefits most if not all nations in the World. However, the parameters to measure this have to be in a globally extended framework. This means that any conflict, especially that which may between the West and the East, May ultimately spell the Middle East doom by defeating its strategic importance, Anderson & William (2000). However, the Middle East is to maintain its geostrategic importance if foreign relations between the West and the East and also the entire globe continue to be as they are.

References

Anderson, Ewan W., William Bayne Fisher (2000). The Middle East: Geography and Geopolitics. Routledge. pp. 12–13.

Anderson, R; Seibert, R; Wagner, J. (2006). Politics and Change in the Middle East (8th edition.). Prentice-Hall.

Pollack, K. (2011). The Arab awakening America and the transformation of the Middle East. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution.…...

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