The security situation facing the Middle East is grave and appears to be trending toward greater violence and instability. The Middle East Strategy Task Force's Security and Public Order report, published in cooperation with the Brookings Institution, demonstrates that states of the region have tended to focus on traditional, external threats but the internal threats they face—from domestic unrest, state failure, and civil war—have become both more common and dangerous.
It is highly unlikely that these security problems will solve themselves or that regional states will be able to resolve them on their own. Given the ongoing importance of Middle Eastern energy resources to the international economy, the region’s central geographic location, its multiplicity of terrorist groups, and the extent of regional anger at numerous other countries for their predicament, it would be a mistake to assume that these security problems will not affect the wider world. Already the problems of terrorism and refugees generated by Middle Eastern upheaval have made many Americans, Europeans, Russians, and Middle Easterners want to take action themselves.
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