Estimation: The Islamic State – Doomed Legion of the Lost and Drifting

isisIslamic State fighters lift their rifles and shout victory slogans. (Al Jazeera)

Army of the lost and drifting
The Islamic State stands no chance of survival. It now has almost every single regional and international player as an enemy. Its ranks are filled with the lost and drifting of the world, who seek easy solutions to their miserable lives.

The Middle East as a whole, though, and the situations in Iraq and Syria in particular, do not allow for such illusive way out of one´s personal identity crisis. Soon, this army of the hopeless will turn into an army of the disillusioned and erode.

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Comment: The Iranian Elephant on the Middle East Table

iran dealSome of the main negotiators of the Iran nuclear interim deal at the table (from left): Russian Foreign Minister of Sergei Lavrov Russia, the EU´s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Cathrin Ashton and Iran´s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. (BBC)

Comment: The Iranian Elephant on the Middle East Table

The US can´t handle everything in the world at the same time. Its focus shifts to the Pacific, away from Europe and the Middle East.

In Syria, Iran has manoeuvred itself into a position allowing it to extract concessions from its foes. It can´t dominate, but now it sits like a huge elephant on the table, in the middle of the region and just won´t go away. Its opponents have to deal with that, and they obviously don´t know how.

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Estimation: 2014 – Year of turnarounds in the Middle East (Part 2)

hariri-netherlands-aFormer Prime Minister Saad Hariri stunned his fellow countrymen with his readiness to build a cabinet together with his foe Hezbollah. (DW-TV)

Summary
An explosive and dangerous mixture of war and several security incidents has accumulated in the Levant. Lebanon is seen by many in the “eye of the storm”. We don’t think such is on the horizon for the time being.

With its engagement in Syria, Iran has carved out chances to broaden its influence in the region. It cannot dominate, but it has manoeuvred itself in position to force others into making significant concessions. A new balance of power is being established that could safe the region from catastrophe.

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