Tuesday, October 01, 2013
How 5 Muslim/Arab Countries Could Become 14 by the Western Powers
Slowly, the map of the Middle East could be redrawn.
SPILLOVER TO IRAQ
In the simplest of several possibilities,
northern Kurds join Syrian Kurds. Many
central areas, dominated by Sunnis, join
Syria’s Sunnis. And the south becomes
Shiitestan. It’s not likely to be so clean.
In a more powerful twist, all or part of South Yemen could
then become part of Saudi Arabia. Nearly all Saudi commerce
is via sea, and direct access to the Arabian Sea would
diminish dependence on the Persian Gulf — and fears of
Iran’s ability to cut off the Strait of Hormuz.
The poorest Arab country
could break (again) into two
pieces following a potential
referendum in South
Yemen on independence.
As a result of powerful
tribal and regional rivalries,
Libya could break into its two
historic parts — Tripolitania
and Cyrenaica — and
possibly a third Fezzan state
in the southwest.
Long term, Saudi
Arabia faces its
internal divisions that
could surface as power
shifts to the next
generation of princes.
The kingdom’s unity is
further threatened by
tribal differences, the
Sunni-Shiite divide and
economic challenges. It
could break into the five
regions that preceeded
the modern state.
The Sunni heartland
secedes and then may combine with provinces in Iraq to form Sunnistan.
A Syrian Kurdistan
could break off and eventually merge with the Kurds of Iraq.
, a minority that has controlled Syria for decades, dominate a coastal corridor.
SYRIA: THE TRIGGER?
Sectarian and ethnic rivalries could break it into at least three pieces:
STRAIT OF HORMUZ
THE NEW YORK TIMES/ANALYSIS By ROBIN WRIGHT