Keep an Eye on Pakistan…

The so-called “War on Terror” is hardly over now that Bush has left office – in fact, it is intensifying and spreading across the borders from its original locations.

In Iraq, all eyes are on the Iranian border, especially as Iranian forces appear to have seized a lucrative oil field near the often-disputed national boundaries.  Turkey has made a few moves and is posturing to influence the Kurdish north, but they’re also a bit more interested in maintaining amicable relations with the U.S.

In Afghanistan, the problems of terrorism and fundamentalism don’t stop where the border with Pakistan was drawn.  Tribal influences don’t always respect political or cartographic lines.

As such, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise to hear that the U.S. military has been increasingly active in Pakistan, Yemen, and possibly even inside Iran as well (in relation to the protests against the latest elections).

Instead of spreading democracy and building stability, the military interventions have disrupted a delicate and vulnerable balance of powers across the Middle East.  Yet while the pre-existing order was somewhat stable, prior to meddling, it was a fragile situation that forced conflicting cultural ideologies into a single political unit.

As the war continues in search of some new order, it will increasingly ignore the arbitrary borders of the Middle East, and more nations will come to be involved.  Intended or not, the ultimate result of our actions abroad may lead to a new united Islamic super-state – a sort of regional power not unlike the European Union or the United States.

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