Regional Map of Middle East
[[image:data:image/jpg;base64,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Middle East Oil Reserves

-The Oil-Dry Nations of the Greater Middle East: * Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Cyprus
  • Comoros
  • Djibouti
  • Eritrea
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Somalia
-The Mideast's Oil Produces, by Known Reserves-


Rank, Country, Reserves (in billions of barrels)



1
Saudi Arabia
262.3
2
Iran
136.3
3
Iraq
115
4
Kuwait
101
5
United Arab Emirates
97.8
6
Libya
41.5
7
Kazakhstan
30
8
Qatar
15.2
9
Algeria
12.70
10
Azerbaijan
7
11
Oman
5.5
12
Sudan
5
13
Egypt
3.7
14
Yemen
3
15
Syria
2.5

Significant Actors in Middle East Regional politics

Turkey


There was agreement that Turkey had been a successful mediator in the region—some thought
this was because the Islamic AKP government had credibility, and some thought this was because
it was not a party to any conflicts. Others said that Turkey’s mediation role disguised the fact that
it was a party. Yet others argued that a mediator could be both biased and effective; e.g. everybody
calls for US mediation in the Middle East even though they knew that the US is biased. Two
limitations to the Turkish role were identified: the Kurdish question and the fact that another
government would not engage so actively in regional conflict management. The Islamic dimension
of the current Turkish government was the reason why many actors accepted Turkey as a
mediator—this could change with another government. Also, participants doubted whether Turkey
could remain an important mediator in the future, because it lacked real influence over important
actors such as Hamas or Hezbollah.


The Arab League, Qatar and Egypt


Whereas many criticized the Arab League to be weak, others emphasized that its attempts to mediate
in Lebanon and Somalia had been constructive but undermined by the US and France. The
strength of the Arab League was that it talked to everybody relevant to the conflict, its weakness
that it was a voluntary organization dependent on political will. It was positive that it had
no agenda. Also, participants demanded for the Arabs to enter into direct talks with Israel and to
develop a peace strategy. Without talks with Israel, the Arab Peace Initiative could never be implemented.
Until now, the only successful mediation in the Arab-Israeli conflict had been accomplished
by the US—regional actors had played no role. Participants disagreed on Qatar’s future
role in mediation. Some thought that it only had the money and the political will to mediate but
not the manpower and the institutions to sustain long regional intervention; others stressed its
good relations with Iran and Syria and its reputation of being frank with everybody and were less
skeptical about its future role as a mediator. Egypt was estimated to be a weakened actor that was
now being forced to act on an agreement regarding the Palestinian issue, because it was the only
player that could speak to both parties.


Non-state Actors


There was dissent about the significance of non-state actors such as Hamas or Hezbollah. With
regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, one participant asked not to focus on Hamas but on the
Palestinian Authority. Governments should talk to governments and to differentiate between the
“good” and the “bad” guys within the government would not work. Others highlighted the significance
of Hamas and Hezbollah that were “semi-state actors:” They were the most powerful
resistance movements in the modern Arab world. Not the Arabs but only they could make peace
or war with Israel. A ceasefire or reconstruction in Gaza was not possible without Hamas. Therefore
they had to be integrated. It was emphasized that for Hezbollah, it would be possible to meet
with officials from Europe—even if Europe had to review its Middle East policy—but not with US
officials. In this regard, it was stressed that the difficulty was not to meet with Hamas or Hezbollah
but to negotiate with them.
||


external image tl_1916_1.gifThis is the best map of the partitioning of the Middle East after World War I that I could find. I thought it might be a useful reference for postings on regional politics.


Throughout our discussions in class, we routinely come back to one point in particular that seems to be the common denominator in Middle Eastern conflict...Israel. It seems to me that Israel, although not innocent, is often identified as the root of all evil in the region.
As discussed in class over the last couple of days, the PLO mistreated Sh'ia Muslims in Southern Lebanon...to quote Dr. Tamari, "they completely took over the southern portion of Lebanon". So my question is this...because Israel forced the PLO out of what is now Israel and into Lebanon, can all the suffering caused by the PLO be blamed on Israel? What about the role of Syria in Lebanon, there is enough evidence to suggest that its government is not without blame. Why is it that when a country other than Israel commits an offense within the region it is downplayed or minimized; but when Israel is involved it is met with condemnation and outrage? For example: Iraq, (Hussein) invading Kuwait. Yes there were some Arab countries that condemned the action...but not with the same passion as they have condemned Israel for some of its actions.
I have copied a timeline of the role of Israel in the Middle East that I find very interesting. Most of these events were discussed in class or mentioned in our various texts.
I believe that most Arab Nations have a deep seeded hatred of Israel, which can be argued is much deserved. Intelligent and influential people for decades have tried to solve the conflict that continues today, with little success. It is my opinion that one major step towards a more peaceful region would be to make Palestine a recognized (flagged) country. The sticky part of this solution of course is where to place the borders...I am interested in my peers opinions/edits to this information.
Source for timeline: www.mideastweb.org/timeline.htm

Concise Timeline of Recent Israeli-Palestinian History

Nov 2, 1917
British issued the Balfour Declaration, viewed by Jews and Arabs as promising a “National Home” for the Jews in Palestine.
1936-1939
Arab Revolt led by Haj Amin Al-Husseini. Over 5,000 Arabs were killed according to some sources, mostly by British. Several hundred Jews were killed by Arabs. Husseini fled to Iraq and then to Nazi Germany.
May 15, 1948
Israel War of Independence (1948 War). Declaration of Israel as the Jewish State; British leave Palestine; Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia declared war on Israel. Egyptian, Syrian and Jordanian invasion began. See 1948 Israel War of Independence (1948 Arab-Israeli war) Timeline (Chronology) and Israel War of Independence
April 3, 1949
Armistice - Israel and Arab states agree to armistice. Israel gained about 50% more territory than was originally allotted to it by the UN Partition Plan.
Oct. 29, 1956
Suez Campaign. In retaliation for a series of escalating border raids as well as the closure of the straits of Tiran and Suez canal to Israeli shipping, and to prevent Egyptian use of newly acquired Soviet arms in a war, Israel invades the Sinai peninsula and occupies it for several months, with French and British collaboration.
May, 1964
PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) founded with the aim of destroying Israel. The Palestinian National Charter (1968) officially called for liquidation of Israel.
May, 1967
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser closes the straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping and dismisses UN peacekeeping force. Negotiations with US to reopen the Straits of Tiran fail.
June 5-10,1967
6-day war. Israel destroys the Egyptian air force on the ground, conquers and occupies Sinai and Gaza, then conquers the West Bank from Jordan, and Golan Heights from Syria. UN resolution 242 called for Israeli withdrawal, establishment of peace. 1967 Six Day War Timeline (chronology)
Oct. 6, 1973
Yom Kippur War (October War). In a surprise attack on the Jewish day of atonement, Egypt retook the Suez canal and a narrow zone on the other side. Syria reconquered the Golan Heights. Following massive US and Soviet resupplying of the sides, Israel succeeded in pushing back the Syrians and threatening Damascus. In Sinai, the IDF crossed the Suez Canal and cut off the Egyptian Third Army.
March 26, 1979
Peace treaty signed between Egypt and Israel.
June 7, 1981
Israel destroys Iraqi Osirak nuclear reactor in daring raid.
Oct. 6, 1981
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat is assassinated while on the reviewing stand of a victory parade.
June 6, 1982
Massive Israeli invasion of Lebanon to fight PLO.
Sept. 13, 1993
Oslo Declaration of Principles - Israel and PLO agree to mutual recognition.
Sept 28, 1995
Oslo Interim Agreement signed. Palestinian Authority to be established.
Nov. 4, 1995
Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin assassinated by right-wing Israeli fanatic Yigal Amir. Rabin is replaced by Shimon Peres
June, 1996
Right-Wing Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu elected Prime Minister in Israel, replacing Shimon Peres.
Sept, 1996
"Al-Aksa tunnel riots - Arab sources spread the false rumor that a gate opened in an underground tunnel tourist attraction by the Israeli government, endangered the foundations of the Al-Aqsa mosque. This caused several days of rioting and numerous casualties.
Jan 18, 1997
Israel and Palestinians reach agreement on Israeli redeployment in the West-Bank city of Hebron
Oct. 1998
Wye River Plantation talks result in an agreement for Israeli redeployment and release of political prisoners and renewed Palestinian commitment to correct its violations of the Oslo accords including excess police force, illegal arms and incitement in public media and education.
May 17, 1999
Israel elects Labor party leader and Former General Ehud Barak as Prime Minister in a landslide. Barak promises rapid progress toward peace.
March, 2000
Israeli-Syrian peace negotiations fail when Hafez Assad rejects an Israeli offer relayed by US President Clinton in Geneva.
Sept. 28, 2000
Palestinians initiated riots after Israeli opposition leader Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount, which is also the location of the Haram as Sharif holy to Muslims. Start of Second Intifada See Second Intifada Timeline Second Intifada
Feb 6, 2001
Right-wing Likud leader Ariel Sharon elected Prime Minister in Israel replacing Ehud Barak and promising "peace and security."
Sept. 11, 2001
Terror attacks on World Trade Center in NYC and the Pentagon carried out by fanatic Islamic Al-Qaida group headed by Osama Bin Laden initiate US war on terror. Israel and Palestinians agree to a cease fire, but it is not implemented.
March-April 2002
Israel conducts operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank, following a large number of Palestinian suicide attacks on civilian targets. Saudi peace initiative adopted at Beirut summit.
Jan 28, 2003
Elections in Israel give wide margin (40 seats) to right wing Likud party, returning PM Ariel Sharon for another term.
March 19,2003
US begins invasion of Iraq by a strike against a building where Saddam Hussein and other leaders are meeting. Baghdad falls, April 9.
July 9, 2004
International court of Justice (ICJ) rules that the Israeli security barrier violates international law and must be torn down.
Nov 11, 2004
Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat dies.
Jan 9, 2005
Mahmoud Abbas elected President of the Palestinian National Authority.
Jan 10, 2005
Ariel Sharon forms unity government with Labor and United Torah Judaism parties in Israel.
April 2005
Ariel Sharon visits US President George Bush at his Texas ranch. Syrian Army leaves Lebanon, officially ending Syrian occupation.
May 26, 2005
Mahmud Abbas visits US President George Bush at the White House, an important symbolic gesture signaling US backing for Abbas and Palestinian aspirations. Israel releases 400 Palestinian prisoners including some with blood on their hands. Britain confirms "low level" negotiations with Hamas.
June, 2005
Violence flares in Gaza. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice visits Palestinian and Israeli leaders to ensure coordination of Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Israeli PM Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meet in Jerusalem June 21. Sharon announces that Palestinians have promised to coordinate regarding Gaza withdrawal. PM Abbas postpones Palestinian legislative elections in order to change the election law, amidst growing concern that Hamas will trounce Abbas's Fatah party in the elections. Lebanese elections give a decisive majority to the opposition to Syria, led by Saad Hariri, son of slain leader Rafiq Hariri.
Aug. 15, 2005
Disengagement - Israeli evacuation of Gaza settlements and four West Bank settlements began on August 15 and was completed August 24.





Approaching Crisis: Water Resources in the Middle East


  • With population rates among the highest in the world, countries in the Middle East are consuming water at a much higher rate than can be replenished naturally. Rising populations, estimated to reach 423 million by the turn of the century (and double 25 years thereafter), have increasingly affected water resources in the region
  • In an area already critically short of water, this depletion has been compounded by domestic pollution, which has contributed to a deterioration of usable resources and a general decline in the quality of available water; and
  • Expanding initiatives in agriculture and industry have further eroded regional water availability. Spurred by growing populations, many nations have begun to over-exploit their agricultural capabilities, resulting in desertification (reduction of arable land).

As a result of these factors, per capita water availability in the Middle East has become the worst in the world, representing only 1/3 of Asian and 15% of African levels.4 While progressive agricultural methods – such as drip irrigation – exist, they have, as a result of prohibitive costs, been implemented by only a handful of states. Nor have current desalination efforts in the region proven capable of meeting growing demands. The high energy and large costs associated with seawater desalination have limited efforts to cash and energy rich oil-exporting countries such as Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Influenced by declining availability and reductions in overall quality, crisis zones have begun to emerge along the major rivers of the region. Evolving conflicts – between Turkey and Syria over the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers; in the Jordan River Basin between Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Jordan; among Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia over the Nile River; and within Saudi Arabia – are manifestations of water’s growing role as a strategic and political force.



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The Oil Revolution:
Occurred in the Middle East around the 1970's. It refers to the gradual take over of foreign oil consortia by Middle Eastern states. Eventually, by buying out the consortium little by little, the state achieved nationalization of its oil. This Oil Revolution had many effects on the Middle East region. It essentially created those countries which had and exported oil and those that did not.

The oil states became rich, while the non-oil states stayed relatively poor.

The non-oil states export labor to the oil states. The oil states have been able to use this as a tool, threatening to expel migrant workers when they want to punish or influence that non-oil state which is providing the workers. An example of this manipulation was seen during the Gulf War period. To protest Egypt's involvement in the Gulf War coalition, Iraq kicked out one million Egyptian workers. After the Gulf War, Kuwait kicked out around 70,000 Palestinian workers, accusing them of having supported Iraq during the recent conflict. Saudi Arabia exiled one million Yemeni workers on the same premise.

There are conflicts and tensions between citizens of the oil states and the migrant workers that come to work there. Citizens enjoy the many benefits of their rich oil state's government while the migrants do not.

Because oil states do make a lucrative amount off their oil, some are able to provide services and benefits like health care for their citizens without taxing them for it. It has been suggested that such social luxuries dissuade the citizens from getting involved in the politics of their country because they usually do not desire a change in the status quo. Thus, traditions of democratic debates, healthy opposition, and so forth do not develop as much.

Labor-exporting states, by contrast, have become economically dependent on remittances- money sent home to families by migrant workers. This money goes to individual families, however, and not the government. The argument for this being a dangerous economical situation for the state has been made, as has the opposing argument. For instance, some say that remittances lessen the dependence of the people on their government which could be dangerous. However, others say that exporting labor is essential to some states' economies because the presence of economic opportunities is not growing fast enough within their own state. Thus, the option for the people of migrating to work helps stave off unemployment and destitution. Whatever the case, it is staggering to see how the numbers of migrant workers from certain Middle Eastern states have increased. Looking at Egypt specifically, only 10,000 workers labored abroad in 1968, but by1978 that number had jumped to 500,000.

Social conditions in the labor-exporting states have been affected as well. Because so many men leave to work abroad, women are becoming increasingly depended upon to run households and participate in new ways in society. Their roles are shifting.

Lastly, oil wealth has produced rivalries and conflicts between the oil states of the region. For example, Saudi Arabia wants to keep oil prices low to keep the world buying oil from OPEC because Saudi Arabia depends heavily on oil revenue for its economy. On the other hand, Iran has been building industrial infrastructure for decades in order to become an industrial power, decreasing and eventually ending their reliance on oil revenues. Thus, they want higher OPEC prices to gain as much immediate profit as possible to put towards their industrial economy. Another example of a conflict between two states over oil arose between Iraq and Kuwait, which as we all well know led to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and consequently the Gulf War.


OPEC:
external image opec-f.gif

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was proposed by Venezuela in 1947 in order to bring the oil exporting countries together to prevent the Unites States from pitting them against each other in a price war. OPEC didn't actually come into existence until 1960 when oil companies lowered prices in the wake of a recession in the West. Because this drop in prices lowered the revenue in their countries, Venezuela, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq officially formed OPEC for "the unification of the petroleum policies of member countries and the determination of the best means for safeguarding their interests." OPEC really became a major player during the international financial crisis in the 1970's when the value of the American dollar, which oil was priced in, was slashed. The Arab members of OPEC used the Arab-Israeli war as a guise to temporarily decrease production. This limited supply caused oil prices to skyrocket 380 percent and money to pour into these countries. In 1982, OPEC officially became a cartel, enabling them to ensure high prices for oil. In order to keep prices high the OPEC countries decided to assign themselves shares of the international market. Representatives of OPEC countries meet regularly to decide how much oil each member country gets to produce. Member countries often disagree during these meetings. For example, Saudi Arabia traditionally argues for lower prices because it is dependent on its oil revenues. Iran, on the other hand, is a much more industrialized country and often argues for higher prices so they can get immediate profits that they can reinvest into their other industries. This system of international oil control has caused many Westerners to decree that they are "being held hostage" by a greedy cartel. While this may or may not be true, the emergence of OPEC had a significant impact on relations between Western and Middle Eastern countries.

Social and Economic Change in the Inter war Period and During World War II It is hard to overemphasize the degree to which the Middle East region was transformed between the wars and during World War II. One factor was industrialization. For a variety of reasons (the effects of World War I, relaxation of tariffs, colonial investment), a process of industrialization took place following World War I. By 1939, there were a wide range of light industries (food processing, textiles, building materials, and simple chemicals) in Egypt, Turkey, Iran, Palestine, Iraq, and Lebanon, an the beginnings of heavy industry (coal, iron, steel), in Turkey. Petroleum was also making a significant contribution to the Iranian and Iraqi economies. (Charles Issawi, *An Economic History of the Middle East and North Africa* (New York: Columbia University Press, 1982), 160). The development of the Middle East Supply Center during World War II was even more dramatic in its effects. According to Gelvin, "The MESC fostered a 40 percent increase in manufacturing output in Egypt. Investments in Syrian industry quadrupled during the war years." A related factor was demographic, particularly the flight of rural people to the cities. Here are some population figures from Baghdad and Cairo.



· Baghdad
1908: 150,000
1957: 793,000
1983: 3 million
· Cairo
1882: 375,000
1952: 2.3 million

2000: 16 million


Interpol in the Middle East
Interpol is the worlds largest international police force with 188 member countries it was created in 1923. Its primary mission is to combat international crime. It even functions when two countries have no diplomatic relations to one another and helps facilitate cooperation to catch criminals. Interpol is a organization which main function is to catch international criminals, that are terrorists, drug cartels, and organize law enforcement internationally, for instance if a warrant goes up for a mans arrest in Iraq they would send notifications to neighboring countries so their law enforcement officers would be aware of then perpetrator.

Middle East Goals
  • To provide adequate support at regional and national levels
  • To make available relevant regionally-based information
  • To increase the exchange of information within the region
  • To expand the flow of information related to specialized crime areas
  • To encourage the exchange of good practice between NCBs in the region

Major Priorities in Middle East
  • To perform secretariat services for INTERPOL General Secretariat activities in the region, including the Middle East and North Africa Contact Officers' meeting.
  • To enhance the performances of NCBs through identifying problems and assisting NCBs in overcoming difficulties in international co-operation.
  • To organize training for NCB officers on Interpol programs, initiatives and activities of interest.
  • To raise interest among Middle East and North Africa member countries in Interpol activities.
  • To develop and enhance relationships with regional organizations and non-member countries.
  • ** To increase the exchange of information among member countries and with the General Secretariat.
    (Information gathered from http://www.interpol.int)

News Article: "Iraqi Sunnis Pin Their Hopes on Elections"

New York Times
By Marc Santora
February 26, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/27/world/middleeast/27diyala.html
27diyala_CA0-articleLarge.jpg
The article is about the current relationship between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq. Although the once dominate minority Sunnis have mistrust in the government and the Shiite dominated security forces, they are determined to participate in upcoming political elections. The article discusses the continuing violence between the Sunnis and Shiite Muslims in Iraq. The Sunnis Muslims, once in power under Saddam Hussein, and the minorities in the country are now finding struggles with the new Shiite dominance. The article discusses that, “In Diyala, a quarter of provincial members, all Sunnis, have warrants against them. Most don’t show up for votes, fearing they will be jailed.” But Sunnis are still determined to take part in the elections. Nevertheless, violence between the two groups continues, and the elections seem to be the “only way to forge a more formal and enduring political role.” Sami Dawoud, a local leader of a branch of the Sunni militia explains, “If the government does not change, there will be a problem between the Sunni and the Shia, and it will not be good.” Sunnis are also suffering in an economic stance as well, as Shiite towns are busy with commerce, and Sunnis communities are full of tensions and uncertainty. The article also makes a point to point out this shows how Iraq has changed in just a few years by explaining, “In some ways, it is an inspiring measure of progress in Iraq that Sunni Muslims, the minority that long ran Iraq under Saddam Hussein, are trusting in the ballot box to improve their fortunes.”

News Article

Iran begins military drill in Persian Gulf

CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/04/22/iran.exercises/index.html?hpt=Sbin
4/22/10
By Barbara Star

t1larg.jpg

This article details Iranian military excersises. These excersises cover several portions of the iranian military. The excersises are also occuring on the 31st anniversary of the Revolutionary Guard Corps. This new technology has all been domestically created and produced. Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy chief of the Revolutionary Guard said that the excersise was to show the "strength, will and national resolve to defend independence and territorial integrity." These events are happening near the Strait of Hormuz region which is a major transit point for the world oil supply. These events are relevant because of the increased tension between the U.S. and the Iranian government with its controversial nuclear program.