This is a hazardous and controversial attempt to try and see how events can unfold in the Middle East in the next 10 years.
My reasons for these assessments are at the tail end of this post.
These are purely based on my pretensions to be a geo-political analyst and a psuedo historian. So please feel free to differ.
1. House of Saud unlikely to last out the decade. Don’t see another King from the Abdul Aziz family. Or maybe perhaps just one more.
2. Sectarian strife in Eastern provinces of Now KSA. Likely join Bahrain.
3. ISIS/DAESH will take over some parts of the Arabian Peninsula. In some cases already has through the AQITP in the Yemen. This area will eventually fall to DAESH who are a much much greater threat to the House of Saud than the Houthies can ever be.
4. Bahrain will be ruled by its majority Shia citizenry.
5. Other Monarchies in Gulf will follow KSA. Demographics in these countries will exercise their natural and logical state.
6. Iran will emerge as the one of the biggest Regional powers in competition with India and Turkey. And have a strong working relationship with USA. Pakistan could be another serious contender for Middle Eastern and South Asian leadership with India and Iran See 9.
7. Egypt will undergo another huge change dominated by the Right. Remain unstable.
8. ISRAEL will come under serious pressure from the USA for a rapprochement with Palestinians. Some sort of a half baked two state agreement witll be reached. Israel will side with any and all forces to dislodge Iran. Will not succeed.
9. Pakistan will become a game changer finally breaking it’s umbilical chord with current KSA. But with a dangerous possibility of a sectarian civil war. Unless there are serious political reforms and grass roots political engagement and governance the wood is dry and the flames plenty. If we do then we will be The Regional Power second only to India.
10. ISIS DAESH will take about a decade to die.
11. Syria will split into Shia and Sunni ruled parts with Daesh. Assad will be history.
12. Iraq will split into Shia, Sunni with Daesh and Kurd states.
13. Iranian clergy will lose its dominant role and liberals will actively share power.
14. China and not USA will dominate and influence the Region.
I say the above based on my assessment of the consequences of the Invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the sectarian battles that have erupted, the Rise of ISIS and DAESH, the Arab spring, the assertiveness of the dispossessed and the socially and economically disadvantaged in the Middle Eastern countries
And very importantly the manner in which seemingly rock solid police states like Shah’s Iran, Qaddafi’s Libya, Saddam’s Iraq, Mubarak’s Egypt, Zin El Abedeine’s Tunisia, Saleh’s Yemen, collapsed in months once these countries imploded through external and internal pressures.
Even the might of the Soviet Army and its dreaded KGB could not save the USSR from disintegrating. So what of these benign monarchies pretending to be Super Powers.
And for those holding a contrarian view…as my dear late departed father used to say, May Allah Bless His Soul….”enjoy the coffee my friend and lets talk in 10 years…” Insha Allah, if we are all around.
And a free coffee for every wrong deduction and assessment 🙂
And here’s an afterthought about Yemen not for me but from the Nation newspaper in Pakistan…worth reading to open the nostrils and smell the filth….