The dynamic in the Middle East is changing. Recent events have pushed Turkey towards a more activist position against Islamic State (ISIS) and Kurdish forces, which is shaping the response of other regional players, and leading to new alliances that will impact the future of Syria, Iraq, and the wider region.
It is not the fear of Islamic State nor the desire to eliminate it that defines the strategies of the main players in the Middle East. Rather it is the fear of how the balance of power will shift after ISIS is eliminated.
If Mokhtar Belmokhtar is confirmed to have been killed by a US airstrike over the weekend, it would remove an obstacle keeping the al-Mourabitoun from pledging its allegiance to Islamic State.
The Harper government has shifted Canadian foreign policy from ‘peacekeeper’ to ‘player’ in the Middle East and beyond. But is the Canadian military ready for a more assertive role on the world stage?
Détente between Iran and the West is transforming the geopolitical landscape of the Middle East, and governments and investors the world over are scrambling to profit from the new normal.
Baathism may be dead in Iraq and endangered in Syria, but its tools and beliefs live on inside the Islamic State.