The Middle East in the New World Order
Louis J. Cantori
Political trends in the Middle East in the aftermath of the Gulf War can be viewed from the three levels of analysis perspectives of the international system, the regional or subordinate system, and the domestic system. The recent dramatic global changes in the international system profoundly impacted the Middle Eastern regional system and significantly affected its politics.
The end of the cold war in 1989 prepared the way for a U.S.- dominant unipolar international system in the 1990s. The political dissolution of the USSR reinforced that outcome. Concomitant with this, U.S. foreign policy needed to readjust from one attuned to the global activities and ambitions of the Soviet Union to one with new definitions of security and political interests. 1
The international system's long-term future is likely to be one of regionally based multipolarity, such as Germany in Europe, China and Japan in East Asia, and Russia in Eurasia. Such great powers' interests are likely to compete in third regions, for example, Russia and the United States in the Middle East and China and Japan in Southeast Asia. Thus the current unipolarity of the international system represents a likely transitional phase from bipolarity to a possible regionally based multipolarity.