December 1, 2022
Dr. Emile Nakhleh
The Middle East in 2021-2022 has experienced major developments and faced many challenges, politically, economically, militarily, and socially. In addition to the ongoing disastrous war in Yemen, the protests in Iran, and the massive human rights violations across the region, the Middle East has been affected by Russia’s war in Ukraine, economically and politically. Several Middle Eastern states are on the verge of collapse, including Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon. Bloody confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians in the Occupied Territories continue with no resolution in sight and will be exacerbated by the resurgence of ultra-right politics in Israel following the November 1 elections.
The Middle East has also seen a disconcerting rise in poverty, unemployment, corruption, serious environmental degradation, and distrust of political and social institutions. US policy in the region, especially with Saudi Arabia, in being tested and challenged. Tribal illiberal nationalism, much like in the United States and other countries, is also on the rise in the Middle East. Yet some new alliances and relations have been forming among several states in the region. Many of these developments, including terrorism, pose a challenge to American interests in the region. Understanding the Middle East is best achieved through five major themes: Geography, Religion, Natural Resources (oil and natural gas), Relations with Foreign Powers, and Governance (Rulers and Ruled).
Dr. Nakhleh is a former Senior Intelligence Service (SIS) Officer (CIA), a former Research Professor and Director, GNSPI (UNM), a Founding Director, Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program (CIA), a Founding Director, Global and National Security Policy Institute (UNM), a Life Member, Council on Foreign Relations, a Consultant on the Middle East, political Islam, radicalization, terrorism, and intelligence. He has published frequently on these issues, been awarded several senior commendations and distinguished medals for his service, and been a Senior Fulbright Scholar in Bahrain and Israel. Dr Nakhleh has been a frequent speaker for the Santa Fe World Affairs Forum.