Die Sandsäulen des Westens im Nahen Osten

LONDON – Vor zwei Jahrhunderten läutete Napoleons Ankunft in Ägypten den Beginn des modernen Nahen Ostens ein. Heute, fast 90 Jahre nach dem Niedergang des Osmanischen Reichs, 50 Jahre nach dem Ende des Kolonialismus und acht Jahre nach dem Anfang des Irak-Kriegs, deuten die revolutionären Proteste in Kairo darauf hin, dass möglicherweise eine weitere Veränderung im Gange ist.

Die drei Säulen, auf denen der westliche Einfluss im Nahen Osten aufbaute – starke Militärpräsenz, geschäftliche Beziehungen und eine Reihe von dollarabhängigen Staaten –, brechen langsam weg. Infolgedessen könnte der in den kommenden Wochen und Monaten entstehende Nahe Osten für den Westen wesentlich schwieriger zu beeinflussen sein.

Die erste Säule – Militärpräsenz – geht auf die französische und belgische Besatzung von Teilen des Osmanischen Reichs nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg zurück und wurde in der Zeit des Kalten Krieges durch die militärischen Verbindungen gestärkt, die die Vereinigten Staaten und die Sowjetunion knüpften. 1955 war der Westen sogar stark genug, um eine bemerkenswerte Reihe von Ländern, bestehend aus der Türkei, Irak, Iran und Pakistan, zu einer Art westasiatischen NATO zu verpflichten, die als Bagdad-Pakt bekannt wurde.

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