This article is the English version of : John McLaughlin, « Moyen-Orient : en attendant la nouvelle administration américaine », published in Politique étrangère, Vol. 81, Issue 2, 2016.
Not since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire after World War I has the Middle East been wracked with so much change, violence, and uncertainty. When long building pressures erupted with the so-called “ Arab Spring” in 2011, Henry Kissinger presciently said that it was only “scene one of act one of a five act play”. Before we can venture even a guess about the next scene or act and how American policymakers might approach it, it’s necessary to step back and examine the region in its broader setting.