Robert M. Danin

Middle East Matters

Danin analyzes critical developments and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East.

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A Final Note From 2012

by Robert M. Danin
January 2, 2013

The late Saudi crown prince Nayef at a news conference in Mecca (Awad/Courtesy Reuters).


Last week I posted my take on the most significant Middle East developments of 2012. The ten developments that I identified, in chronological order, were:

  1. The cold war with Iran heats up
  2. The Muslim Brotherhood’s election in Egypt
  3. Syria’s descent into civil war
  4. The Innocence of Muslims anti-American riots
  5. The killing of U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi
  6. Political unrest in Jordan
  7. The Israel-Hamas November conflict
  8. The United Nations recognition of Palestine as a non-member state
  9. International failure to stop Syria’s bloodshed
  10. The Muslim Brotherhood’s struggle to consolidate power in Egypt

Two readers of Middle East Matters provided thought provoking alternatives worthy of mention: One colleague suggested that the death of Saudi crown prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, following the death of his brother and former heir apparent Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz the previous year, marked an important generational change underway in the kingdom’s leadership. A second colleague suggested six excellent alternatives:

  1. Political paralysis in Saudi Arabia
  2. The descent into civil war between the Kurds and other groups in Iraq
  3. The diminished Middle East role of Turkey’s prime minister Erdogan
  4. The success of Israel’s new Iron Dome system
  5. The rise of Middle East Salafists
  6. The spread of Qatari influence in the Middle East

These were indeed important developments in 2012, a difficult and eventful year for the Middle East. The year ahead promises to be no less turbulent and momentous. In my next blog we’ll look at the year to come.

Remembering Chris Stevens: The tragic death of Ambassador Stevens continues to touch those who knew him. He was the best of the best and a friend. His family has set up a very moving website to remember him, share memories, or give to a fund established in his honor to build bridges between the people of the United States and the Middle East. I urge you to take a look:

Post a Comment 2 Comments

  • Posted by Omar I B Nashashibi

    According to Ms Rice somewhere here a Palestinian state (though of incomplete rights and standing) at the UN is an obstacle to peace; which is why the US voted against its admission !
    Going by the same American rationale the Palestinian people are a greater obstacle to peace!
    and if no Palestinian state is step forward towards peace then no Palestinian people is greater step forward to peace; which is the real fundamental spring board and intrinsic original source of all US policies towards the Palestinian issue past present and future.\
    Being clever with words is one thing being too clever with words is another thing which is something the US should have discovered by now….but seems determined not to!

  • Posted by Omar I B Nashashibi


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