A number of commentators have discussed a middle east worse case scenario over the past couple of months. The Futurist joined in with their September-October issue. The discussion is interesting and you can see a summary online here.
The lead article acknowledges that a regional war engulfing the Middle East is still a “low probability event,” but argues that such a war would have enormous consequences for the West, particularly the United States, likely resulting in greater incidents of terrorism, a dizzying spike in petrol prices, and the possible destabilisation of the nuclear-armed regime of Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. A number of wild-card scenarios are also discussed such as Russia and China, less dependent on the Middle East for oil than the United States, leverage the ensuing chaos from a Middle Eastern war for their own financial gain.
What becomes clear from the WFS discussions is that the US is the solution to the Middle East (and therefore also the problem). It is the US that can mollify sectarian discontent by promoting economic and social equity throughout the region evenly, without this change in approach (which may be beginning) there is no hope of peace in the Middle East and the possibility of deterioration is real. Here are noted some of the main points and a couple of quotes:
- US disengagement from Iraq.
- Intervention with Israel on behalf of Palestine.
- Supporting reform in Islam.
- Defanging Pakistan.
- Preparation for a war in the Middle East.
- Development of shale oil.
- Develop alternative energy sources faster.
“The United States must be seen to seek peace in between Israel and its neighbors in a way that most Muslims will view as fair to the Palestinians. It is the only thing Washington can do to insulate its nation, even in part, from violence once it leaves Iraq.”
“There is little evidence to indicate that the US security, economic growth, or position of leadership in the world could benefit from a regional war in the Middle East.”