August 18, 2014 | Quote

How America Lost the Middle East

The US invasion of Iraq “started this new round of competition” between Iran and Saudi Arabia, according to Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. It was “one hundred percent the Iraq war, and the Arab Spring.” The power vacuum in Iraq created an opportunity for Iran to build a Shia client state, which terrified Saudi and Gulf strategists. The Saudis began opposing the Iranians wherever they could be fought, as both sides believe a world where the other dominates is a fundamental threat to their national security. Competition between the Gulf States themselves, particularly Saudi Arabia and Qatar, fueled even more escalation.

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