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The Middle East's Backwater Blues

Major political and diplomatic developments in the Middle East have upended much of the conventional wisdom about – and within – the region. But if one old truth still holds, it is that too many Arab leaders refuse to accept the need for fundamental governance reforms.

AMMAN – The year 2021 brought major developments across the Middle East and North Africa, the effects of which will extend far into the future. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan was only the latest sign that the region is not only changing fast but also falling down the international community’s list of priorities.