- Greater Middle East
The Greater Middle East (also known as "'The New Middle Eastcite web|url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=NAZ20061116&articleId=3882
title=Plans for Redrawing the Middle East: The Project for a “New Middle East”
work=Global Research] '") is a political term coined by the Bush administrationcite news|url=http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/FC04Ak06.html
title=Concocting a 'Greater Middle East' brew
last=Haeri] to englobe together various countries, pertaining to the
Arab world, Iran, and Turkey, marginal countries such as Afghanistanand Pakistan. [Ottaway, M. & Carothers, T., 2004, The Greater Middle East Initiative: Off to a False Start, Policy Brief, "Carnegie Endowment for International Peace", 29, Pages 1-7 ] Various Central Asiancountries and the lower Caucasus( Azerbaijan, Armenia, and GeorgiaPerthes, V., 2004, America's "Greater Middle East" and Europe: Key Issues for Dialogue, " Middle East Policy", Volume XI, No.3, Pages 85-97 ] ) and Cyprusand Greeceare sometimes also included. Some speakers may use the term to denote areas with significant Muslim majorities, but this usage is not universal.
This expanded term was introduced in the U.S. administration's preparatory work for the
G8summit of 2004Perthes, V., 2004, America's "Greater Middle East" and Europe: Key Issues for Dialogue, " Middle East Policy", Volume XI, No.3, Pages 85-97 ] as part of a proposal for sweeping change in the way the West deals with the Middle East. This initiative is aimed at the Muslim world in the region and promoted heavily by neoconservativethink tanks such as Project for the New American Century.Fact|date=February 2008 It was outlined around the Helsinki Accordsfrom 1975.Fact|date=February 2008
Introduction to the Public
The concept of a "New/Greater Middle East" was first proposed by
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.Fact|date=February 2008 The term and conceptualization of a "New/Greater Middle East" was subsequently heralded by the US Secretary of State Rice and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert at the height of the Anglo-American sponsored Israeli Siege of Lebanon.Fact|date=February 2008 They both announced that the plans for a "New/Greater Middle East" was being launched from Lebanon.Fact|date=February 2008 The announcement was a confirmation of an Anglo-American "military roadmap" in the Middle East. This project, which has been in the planning stages for several years, consists in creating an arc of instability, chaos, and violence extending from Lebanon, Palestine, and Syriato Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Iran, Pakistanand the borders of NATO-garrisoned Afghanistan.Fact|date=February 2008 The "New/Greater Middle East" project was introduced publicly by Washington and Tel Aviv with the expectation that Lebanon would be the pressure point for realigning the whole Middle East and thereby unleashing the forces of "constructive chaos." This "constructive chaos" - which generates conditions of violence and warfare throughout the region - would in turn be used so that the United States, Britain, and Israel could redraw the map of the Middle East in accordance with their geo-strategic needs and objectives.Fact|date=February 2008
The Anglo-American Military Roadmap in the Middle East and Central Asia
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s speech on the "New Middle East" had set the stage. The Israeli attacks on Lebanon - which had been fully endorsed by Washington and London - have further compromised and validated the existence of the geo-strategic objectives of the United States, Britain, and Israel. According to Professor Mark Levine the "neo-liberal globalizers and neo-conservatives, and ultimately the Bush Administration, would latch on to creative destruction as a way of describing the process by which they hoped to create their new world orders," and that "creative destruction [in] the United States was, in the words of neo-conservative philosopher and Bush adviser Michael Ledeen, 'an awesome revolutionary force’ for (…) creative destruction…"Fact|date=February 2008
Anglo-American occupied Iraq, particularly Iraqi Kurdistan, seems to be the preparatory ground for the balkanization (division) and finlandization (pacification) of the Middle East. Already the legislative framework, under the Iraqi Parliament and the name of Iraqi federalization, for the partition of Iraq into three portions is being drawn out.Fact|date=February 2008
Moreover, the Anglo-American military roadmap appears to be vying an entry into Central Asia via the Middle East. The Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are stepping stones for extending U.S. influence into the former Soviet Union and the ex-Soviet Republics of Central Asia. The Middle East is to some extent the southern tier of Central Asia. Central Asia in turn is also termed as "Russia’s Southern Tier" or the Russian "
Near abroad."Fact|date=February 2008
Many Russian and Central Asian scholars, military planners, strategists, security advisors, economists, and politicians consider Central Asia ("Russia’s Southern Tier") to be the vulnerable and "soft under-belly" of the Russian Federation.
U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, alluded to the modern Middle East as a control lever on an area he calls the Eurasian Balkans. [ Zbigniew Brzezinski, "The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geo-strategic Imperatives" pn] The Eurasian Balkans consists of the Caucasus (Georgia, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Armenia) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan) and to some extent both Iran and Turkey. Iran and Turkey both form the northernmost tiers of the Middle East (excluding the Caucasus) that edge into Europe and the former Soviet Union.
The concept of a "New/Greater Middle East" that puts together different regions has been criticized by several people. According to the
Al-Ahram Weekly, it is unclear whether widening the Middle East facilitates the control of its numerous conflicts. "The question is, however, whether there is such a thing as a Greater Middle East extending beyond the traditional geographical boundaries of the region. And, if so, what are the common features shared by the different countries now identified as parts of a body that would extend from Pakistan in the east to Morocco in the west? Take, for example, the call for the creation of an independent Arab state in Palestine. Does it follow that there should be a similar call for an independent Kurdish state or for an independent state in Kashmir? If all these countries are parts of one entity, should there not exist similar solutions for similar problems?" [Mohamed Sid-Ahmed, [http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2004/679/op3.htm On the Greater Middle East] , " Al-Ahram"] Dominique de Villepinhas said "One has also to avoid a uniform approach, as one can not treat the Maghreb with the same pattern as the Middle East or the Persian Gulf states, nor can one concentrate everything on the security issue. To be successful, our approach must be global, taking into consideration all the political, economic, social, cultural, educational aspects."
Partitioning of the Ottoman Empire
* [http://mondediplo.com/2004/04/04world Greater Middle East: the US plan] , "
Le Monde Diplomatique"
* [http://www.al-bab.com/arab/docs/international/gmep2004.htm Greater Middle East Partnership]
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