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The Middle East: security and stability issues
Material posted: Publication date: 01-12-2022
The Middle East, for a number of reasons, is replete with nuances of politics. Often, the complication of intra-state and regional contradictions is facilitated by the intervention of external forces, which, as experience shows, can sharply exacerbate them. All conflicts and contradictions in this region are of a multi-level nature. There are serious contradictions in the States themselves. The political systems of the countries of this region are relatively young, from the point of view of state and political development, and are still at the stage of formation of their institutional structure and search for their political identity, therefore, the situation in the countries themselves sometimes leads to internal political crises, destabilization of the situation as a whole, such as internal contradictions in Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, etc.

To these internal contradictions are added powerful external factors, such as the confrontation between Israel and the Arab world, the strengthening of the rivalry for regional leadership between Saudi Arabia, Iran and Turkey. Other multi–level contradictions are already taking place from them: Syria- Turkey, Israel–Turkey, Turkey - Egypt, Yemen-Saudi Arabia, and Iran has already reached directly to Israel through the Shiite arc of Iran-Iraq-Syria and is capable of using missiles of almost tactical range to strike at Israel, which leads to to a significant activation of Israel militarily.
The Republic of Turkey has become a serious and powerful regional player over the past 5 years, whose military power is almost directly projected onto Syria and Libya. The Turkish Armed Forces are one of the largest in the Middle East and in the NATO bloc as a whole. If we leave out the possession of nuclear weapons, the Turkish armed forces are considered the second after the American ones in terms of combat potential among NATO member countries. They are distinguished by strict discipline and manageability, professionalism of the personnel. In the Global Firepower military power rating, the Turkish Armed Forces are in the top ten countries of the world. The Turkish Armed Forces have combat experience gained during their participation in operations on the territory of Cyprus, Iraq, Syria and Libya. Their creation is based on the historically determined geopolitical, military-political and ideological goals of the current leadership of Turkey. Even such a powerful military framework as NATO cannot keep Turkey from military activity. It seems more that the NATO bloc itself is hindering Turkey in the realization of its vital strategic interests.

Today, Turkey, as a state politically, economically and militarily dependent on Western countries, is gradually trying to transform into a state that implements foreign and domestic policy independent of its Western partners.

The conduct of independent military operations of the Turkish Armed Forces on the territory of Syria, Iraq, Libya, the use of large proxy formations, the increase in the effectiveness of logistics of combat support demonstrate the improvement of combat experience in the use of troops in conditions of independent cross-border military operations. This indicates the increased readiness of the Turkish Armed Forces in conducting low- and medium-intensity military operations, without relying on the help of Alliance allies.

The policy of Turkish President R. Erdogan is aimed at the establishment of the Republic of Turkey as a regional power, which has led to a cooling and deterioration of relations with NATO countries and with neighbors in the region. Despite this, Turkey does not hide its ambitions, which can be expressed in words: "we remind everyone that we are descendants of the empire that made the Mediterranean Sea a Turkish lake."

The presence of world reserves of hydrocarbon raw materials, which are of paramount importance for the economies of Western countries, China and Japan, and the proceeds from the sale, which exporting countries direct to the purchase of weapons and modernization of the military infrastructure of their states, also contribute to maintaining tension in the Middle East region. The fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran is actively developing nuclear technologies and Pakistan has a serious nuclear arsenal also increases regional and international tensions. Moreover, it should be noted that the signing of the nuclear deal with Iran is slow, at the moment, the situation is developing so that the nuclear agreement with Iran, the "Comprehensive Plan of Action Agreement" (JCPOA) will not be signed, at least until after the midterm elections (in the United States) in November. If the Republicans win this election in the United States, they may have to forget about the deal, and then the confrontation between the United States and Israel with Iran may begin to intensify, which may make it unlikely that an agreement on the revival of the JCPOA will be signed at all and will further aggravate the military-political situation in the region.

Tensions remain in the region between Israel and the Arab States. Tensions in the Gaza Strip have increased recently. In August of this year, Israel, as a response to the activities of the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, announced the start of a military operation called "Dawn".

Islamic Jihad is a small group compared to the ruling Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel believes that it enjoys direct financial and military support from Iran, initiating rocket attacks and other clashes with Israel.

The expansion and intensification of hostilities throughout Israel could contribute to the outbreak of violent clashes between Jews and Palestinians inside Israel, lead to unrest in the West Bank and shelling of Israeli territory from Lebanon, which would be a very serious test for Israel, which is in a state of political crisis.

Nevertheless, the expansion of the military confrontation and the aggravation of the whole situation did not happen due to the fact that Hamas itself did not enter into this conflict, and a number of factors contributed to this:

First, the Hamas movement, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, assumed responsibility for the population of this impoverished enclave. The leadership of this organization understands that the weak economy of the Gaza Strip is dependent on Israel and cannot afford another military operation after the last war led to widespread destruction. If the conflict expands, the situation will worsen, and Palestinian dissatisfaction with Hamas' rule will begin to intensify. For its part, Israel has done everything possible to emphasize that the military operation "Dawn" is aimed exclusively at the "Palestinian Islamic Jihad" and not at Hamas. In turn, the Islamic Jihad has no such responsibilities, and the group has turned into a more militant faction, sometimes undermining the authority of Hamas.

Secondly, the Hamas leaders did not want to antagonize Egypt, which mediated in ending this confrontation. At the same time, Egypt has proven its effectiveness as an intermediary factor affecting peace and stability in the Gaza Strip.

The fact that, in general, the "Palestinian Islamic Jihad" did not achieve its goals did not contribute to the escalation of tension either.

Firstly, this group failed to position itself as a mature leader of the Palestinian resistance and rally all the elements of the anti-Israeli resistance around itself and remained alone. It has also not received support from outside, namely in the Arab world, where it is probably perceived as one of the Iranian "proxy" forces.

Secondly, the "Islamic Jihad" weakened the verified and precise actions of the Israeli army, the IDF, the Israeli special services and their operational potential based on good intelligence. This led to good results that made the Islamic Jihad realize that it was better for it to stop attacking Israel. So, one example is the quick arrest by Israeli intelligence services in the West Bank of the Jordan River of the high–ranking commander of this group Bassam al-Saadi and the liquidation of the commander of the group Taysir Jabari in the Gaza Strip. Such actions were primarily aimed at disrupting the management structure of this group and creating disorder in its ranks. The principle of using such tactics is the same here, as soon as a blow is struck against the leadership or commanders of such organizations, it definitely affects the entire organization for some time. Further, even more activists and the military infrastructure of this organization itself were attacked. Such an active offensive initiative by the Israeli army, the IDF and the Israeli special services had an additional deterrent effect on Hamas, since its inclusion and participation would also lead to arrests and liquidations in its leadership and strikes against its extensive structure.

Thirdly, the "Islamic Jihad" failed to provoke an increase in tension in other territories of Israel, despite the fact that the fighting was given the name "Unification of sectors". The Arab population of Gaza, Israel, the West Bank of the Jordan River and East Jerusalem did not join the confrontation, and this did not lead to the scaling of the conflict.

The peculiarity of this confrontation was also the fact that it unfolded when Israel plunged into another political crisis, because of which the country will hold its fifth election in less than four years on November 1.

The current military confrontation in the Gaza Strip has become a test for the Acting Prime Minister of Israel Ya.Lapid on the eve of the elections, in which he hopes to remain in office. He has experience in diplomacy, he worked as a foreign minister in the outgoing government, but there is little experience in the field of security in his track record.

Many Israelis consider it an important component for a country's leader to have good experience in the field of security. Therefore , the pre - election position of Ya .Lapida became dependent on the ongoing operation and its course: either he will receive support if he shows himself to be a capable leader, or his authority will suffer from a prolonged military operation and then the likelihood will increase that his rival Benjamin Netanyahu, who is considered more experienced and even a "hawk" in security matters, may become Prime minister of Israel.

Ganiev T. A.

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