The most likely victims of a nuclear armed Iran are not the U.S. or Israel, but the Gulf states -- countries that are engaged in intense competition with the regime in Tehran, but that lack the power to deter any threat or aggression with a nuclear-strike capability of their own.
Sixty-three suspected al-Qaeda militants escaped from a jail in Yemen, highlighting its growing insecurity as the U.S. pushed for political transition in a country that borders the world’s top crude oil exporter.
The use by Bashar al-Assad’s armed forces of ever-deadlier weapons to crush the 18-month Syrian uprising at the expense of greater civilian casualties is a sign of the regime’s weakness, military and Middle East analysts say.
President Barack Obama’s new national security team will contend with a volatile Middle East that’s far removed from his 2009 pledge in Cairo to create “a new beginning” between the U.S. and Muslims around the world.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s denial that he ordered the violent crackdown on protesters suggests that he is either a “tool” of others in the regime or he is “completely disconnected” from reality, said U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-Israeli rhetoric fuels his popularity in the Arab world as he seeks to become a leader in the region. He’s increasingly antagonizing the West as he takes on that role.
The attacks on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Egypt and Libya, where Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans died, have fueled growing concerns about what will replace long-standing Arab dictatorships that kept order at the expense of freedom.