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Fascinating Middle East Predictions

Victor Davis Hansen is a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. This article by him appeared in the Washington Times newspaper May 3, 2013. His grasp of the past forces that have shaped the Middle East as it now exists and his projections for the future are groundbreaking and worthy of careful consideration.

Since antiquity, the Middle East has been the trading nexus of three continents- Asia, Europe and Africa-and the vibrant birthplace to three of the worlds’  great religions.

Middle Eastern influence rose again in the 19th century when the Suez Canal turned  the once dead-end Mediterranean Sea into a watery highway from Europe to Asia.

With the 20th century development of large gas and oil supplies in the Persian Gulf and North Africa, an Arab led OPEC more or less dictated the foreign policy of thirsty importers such as the United State and Europe. No wonder US Central Command has remained America’s military command hot spot.

Yet insidiously the Middle East is becoming irrelevant. The discovery of enormous new oil and gas reserves  along with the use of new oil-recovery technology in North America and China, is steadily curbing the demand for Middle Eastern oil. Soon,  countries such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Iran are going to have less income and geostrategic clout. In both  Iran and the Gulf, domestic demand is rising while there is neither the technical  know-how nor the water to master the new art of fracking to sustain exports.

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