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The New Middle East: A decade-old forgotten project or a slow moving plan?

Updated on August 24, 2015
Dahiyeh, a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, and Hezbollah stronghold, after Israeli air strikes in August 2006. (AP photo by Hussein Malla)
Dahiyeh, a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, and Hezbollah stronghold, after Israeli air strikes in August 2006. (AP photo by Hussein Malla)
Condoleezza Rice with Tzipi Livni in Israel.
Condoleezza Rice with Tzipi Livni in Israel.

The New Middle East Phrase

On June 2006 in Tel a Viv the phrase "New Middle East" was authored and acquainted with the world affability of the then US secretary of state Condoleezza rice. The term was intended to diminish the more forcing incredible center east. It is a term that was joined by trust and hopelessness in equivalent measure. Secretary Condoleezza Rice asserted that in a question and answer session that the demolition of Lebanon and Israel assaults was the rise of the new Middle East and on the off chance that the United States joins in the race they must verify they are moving to the new one however not the old Middle East. Her stance was that the USA should push for change in the Middle East, being careful not to slide backward, remarks she was criticized for due to their biased nature. Then again her announcements were reprimanded in view of communicating the indifferences to the misery of a nation which had been bombarded unpredictably by the Israel Air forces.

The twin towers attack on 9/11/2001
The twin towers attack on 9/11/2001

September 11/2001

There was a paradigm shift in the way the west dealt with the Arab world after the twin attack in September 2001. The west realized that issues of democracy, Women rights and civil liberties needed to be emphasized. The new Middle East map was meant to curtail regimes and cultures that were hindering democracy and progress in the Middle East. It is understood that the west premised that if it managed to infiltrate and dominate political systems, then it would have an indirect control over the policies advanced by the Arab world. The west and more so the United States policy of hear and see no evil from the Arab world as long as they traded in oil had been challenged.

Col. Ralf Peters' map of the new Middle East
Col. Ralf Peters' map of the new Middle East

Colonel Ralf Peters' Map

The redrawing of the map leaves some countries with more land and others with less. A map was first introduced by a former US lieutenant colonel, Ralf Peters. In it he suggests such changes as Israel returning to pre 1967 borders as well as Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq all losing land to make a free Kurdistan. Lebanon and Jordan would gain territory from Syria and Saudi Arabia respectively, Sunni and Shia territories should be created within Iraq, and an Islamic Sacred State, similar to that of the Vatican would be instated in Saudi Arabia. These and other sweeping changes it’s believed will ease tensions and make a better more peaceful Middle East according to Ralf Peters book; Blood Borders: How A Better Middle East Would Look. However, The proposed new Middle East map was met with disdain from the Arab world. Whereas the west thought of it as a chance for Regimes in the Arab world to embrace concepts of equality, liberty, and democracy, Arab countries saw it as an attempt by the western nations to impose their ideals on Arab cultures. Many of these countries were unequivocal that no such plan would see the light of day as far as Israel continued to occupy Palestine territory. It was also thought that such a plan would allow the western governments to interfere with domestic affairs not forgetting that they would dominate the political systems. Some countries were to lose land contributing to the rejection of this initiative.

New Middle East Map

Do you think a new Middle East map would solve the problems of the Middle East?

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Arab Spring Effects on the redrawing of the ME Map

Arab Spring

The Arab spring is a popular uprising that originated in Tunisia and quickly spread like bushfire to other Arab countries. It was meant to overthrow autocratic and monarchs that the citizenly thought were oppressive. Many saw the hand of the United States trying to use the masses to overthrow their governments and thus have control over subsequent governments. The Arab spring withered when Syrian army with support from Iran and other allies stood its ground. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are in many quarters blamed on the west. It is understood that the falling of regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq gave the west entry into these countries and give impetus in the installation of the new Middle East map.

Mr. Peters' map was drawn up before the events that unfolded making up the Arab Spring. Although the uprisings have changed the political landscape slightly, most of the changes discussed in his theory would still usher in peace in a lot of the regions. By changing political powers, making resources available where needed, and giving different groups their own territories to rule under their own government. Changing the political powers in the Middle East, from a western standpoint, would increase trade with these countries and it would mean renegotiation of contracts with oil cartels such as OPEC among others. The map however doesn’t consider the lands that are being taken away from certain countries, and it also takes the power away from the Middle East in determining their own fate. Leaving western countries in the position to offer their advice but ultimately allow the Middle East to find their own solutions.

Current Status

Currently, the situation in the Middle East is that of unrest in a lot of the countries. Syria struggles to hold power against a rebellious population and Iraq is split by religious beliefs. Both of these countries problems go far deeper than just a redrawing of maps, and no matter who is right or wrong in both cases, if western countries want to have a say in how the borders are drawn, then they should also step in and offer humanitarian aid where necessary.


Is the new Middle East map an old dead project, that the US and the west couldn't apply it to the Middle East? or is it a slow moving plan that is on the move, with all what's going on in the Arab world? Is it possible that the Arab Spring is just a cover to validate applying the map, and ensure it's acceptance among the Middle Eastern people and regimes? or it just happened out of the misery that people suffer there? or is it possible that the Arab Spring happened naturally, and the US with the western countries want to benefit from it by playing their part to dividing the Middle East?

These questions are the most asked on social media nowadays. Share your opinion in the comments below and participate in the next poll.


The New Middle East map is:

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