The Nightmare Years to Come? Dangerous Era in the Near East and South Asia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Afghanistan, Israel, Yemen, Violent Sectarian Environment, Majoritarian Authoritarianism
Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this unique book examines the current situation in the Near East and South Asia, and outlines the worrisome trajectory of aggregate dangers that serve as a forewarning. More
Professionally converted for accurate flowing-text e-book format reproduction, this unique book examines the current situation in the Near East and South Asia, and outlines the worrisome trajectory of aggregate dangers that serve as a forewarning.
Executive Summary * Introduction * Part I: The Near East * Syria: Far More than a Civil War * The Return of Sectarian Violence in Iraq * Iran's Strategic Fears * Jordanian Vulnerabilities * Whither Egypt? * Elsewhere in North Africa, Violence May Become a New Normal * Palestinian Leadership and Unity Challenges * Israeli Challenges * Apprehensive Monarchies * Multiple Challenges in Yemen * Part II: South Asia * Gathering Dangers in Afghanistan, Potential Consequences for Pakistan * Continuing Indo-Pak Tensions * India * South Asian Storm Clouds * Part III: Mitigating the Nightmare Years * Beware of Fiction Masquerading as Wisdom * Historic Interplay of the Policy Wish and Intelligence Failure: Distortion, Distraction, and Disregard * Inattention to Unintended Consequences * Beyond Cautionary Tales: Prescriptions for the Policy High Table and Bureaucratic Trench * Part IV: In the Trenches * Part V: A Final Comment
Throughout the Greater Middle East, it is difficult to underestimate the potential role of a state, nonstate, or individual evil genius employing cyber war/terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and/or precision weapons targeting sensitive infrastructure. Drone warfare will become more sophisticated, deadly, and available. Information on developing weapons of mass destruction will be increasingly accessible. In the coming decade or two, it is prudent to judge that at least four Greater Middle East states—Pakistan, India, Israel, and Iran—are likely to have nuclear weapon capability and/or other weapons of mass destruction, precision weapons, drones, and cyber war know-how, including the possibility of threatening the U.S. power grid.
In this context, it may be important to take notice of incremental overt and/ or possible covert technological advances. Incremental concerns may include such military-related advances as Iran's November 2013 unveiling of its surveillance and combat drone, Fotros, with a range that covers much of the Middle East, including Israel. More ominously, the same technological advancement that will permit Amazon's drone delivery of online purchases could also turn a weaponized, miniature drone into a weapon of choice for a 21st-century jackal. Finally, the concerns of the Defense Science Board, a U.S. Department of Defense advisory panel, include the need to track small inventories of nuclear material, covert facilities, the use of non-traditional technologies and new nuclear players, according to the Wall Street Journal. In the Journal article, the Defense Science Board is reported as judging that "For the first time since the early decades of the nuclear era" the United States needs to be just as concerned about new nuclear nations and transnational groups as it is about existing nuclear weapon countries. To this end, the Defense Science Board advocates "analyzing vast amounts of data to unearth anomalous events that could signal threats such as a covert nuclear operation."
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