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The great power game, geostrategic competition and strategic pattern in Middle East

WU Bingbing1

(1.Department of Arabic Language and Cultures at School of Foreign Languages, Peking University 100871)

【Abstract】The United States has assumed a dominant position in the Middle East after the Cold War, whose Middle East policy would exert profound influences on the geostrategic competition and strategic pattern in the place. Russia, seizing the opportunity of the Middle East crisis and taking Syria as its major focus, has successfully restored and expanded its regional influence. Yet its advantages are restricted within several countries and regions there. In short of independent Middle East policies, the Europe generally follows that of the US and generates limited influences. Four major geostrategic competitions currently exist in the Middle East. And since there is no effective regional cooperation mechanism to efficiently coordinate and manage those competitions, tensions are escalating. Three camps have emerged due to the great power game and geostrategic competitions, i.e. the Iran-backed Shia camp, Turkey- and Qatar-led pro-Muslim Brotherhood camp, and the anti-Iran and anti-Muslim Brotherhood (MB) camp supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel. The Trump administration supports the anti-Iran and anti-MB camp, Russia, while relying on the Shia camp, is drawing over the pro-MB camp, and the Europe adopts a neutral and detached attitude. The great power game and geostrategic competitions also have driven sharp confrontations, and civil wars and armed conflicts have broken out in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Libya, making those countries the focus of geostrategic competitions. As the representative sub-state armed actors among these countries, the Hezbollah faction in Lebanon and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) in Iraq are playing greater roles in the geostrategic competition and in changing strategic patterns in the Middle East.

【Keywords】 Middle East; great power game; geostrategic competition; strategic pattern; Syria civil war;


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This Article


CN: 11-5370/D

Vol 35, No. 05, Pages 42-70

September 2018


Article Outline


  • 1 Post-Cold War Middle East policy of the US
  • 2 Middle East policies of Russia and the Europe
  • 3 Geostrategic competitions in the Middle East
  • 4 Strategic patterns in the Middle East
  • 5 Conclusion
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