Origin of Conflicts
The dispute in this region can be dated back to the early years of 20th century. The European Nations overthrew the Ottoman Empire, which dominated the area since the 1300s. They used the San Remo Agreement to subdivide the region into new countries (Smith, 2008). However, the European Nations were more interested in diluting the political power in the region than forming functional states and did not consider all the factors when creating these nations. The ignorance led to the development of countries that had different ethnicities and religious groups, which now act as catalysts in the conflicts within the region.
Another major reason for conflict was the exodus of Jewish people out of Europe into the Middle East after the event of the Second World War. That led to the development of Israel in one of the most disputed areas in the world. Israel occupies the ancient land of Christians, where the events described in the Bible occurred. Additionally, it is a historical Muslim land where Koran was set and the ancient land of the Jews (Smith, 2008). Specifically, the Jerusalem city is one of the sacred places of all three ofthese regions and, thus, always acts as a catalyst for more conflict.
Principal Actors Involved
There are several players in the Middle East conflict, and the most worrying trend is that new players keep emerging. The well-known cause of conflict in the region since the ancient times is religion. Muslims predominantly occupy the area, and other faiths like Christians and Jews are often not welcomed to settle there. It is the main contributor to the constant conflicts of Israel and Arab states (Smith, 2008). Moreover, the division of the Shia and Sunna groups within Islam acts as a significant reason for conflict.
The need for superiority and recognition in the region also brings the other players into the conflict. The Gulf countries are the major economic powerhouse in the area; however, other countries like Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq have always opposed them, bringing a perpetual conflict of regional control (Smith, 2008). Western powers like the United States and European countries have immense interest in the region due to its rich oil fields. Hence, they trigger instability within this region.
One major key event that has marked the Middle East conflict is the continuous Israel and the Palestinian war. These two antagonistic groups have been in conflict since 1948 after the formation of Israel (Smith, 2008). Their conflicts have caused a lot of deaths, with the most recent ones occurring in the year 2014. In this conflict, more than 2,200 civilians died, and 500,000 became homeless (Rodley, n. d.). Israel was also at war with Syria which led to Israel occupying parts of Syria in the past.
The Arab spring of 2011 has changed the face of Middle East, as it has caused the fall of two nations. Yemen and Syria wars commenced which have continued to increase instability in the region and even further to Europe (Pollack, 2016). Also, the US invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan marked a critical event in the war in this region and accelerated the fragmentation of government and rebels.
Steps Taken to Resolve the Conflicts
Attempts to Solve this Problem
The Middle East nations are among the biggest players when it comes to solving the regional problems. First, in the domineering war between Israel and the Palestinians, countries like Egypt have always been in the forefront to see these two nations stop their conflict. It has always given proposals aimed at solving their conflict, such as reducing the control of the Gaza strip, which was a critical solution in ending the 2014 confrontation (Rodley, n. d.). The United States has also been a huge player in the Israel-Palestine conflict due to its acting as the primary intermediary in finding solutions.
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Other key plays include the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council members, the European Union, and Turkey. Some of these nations have been critical in solving the current Syria conflict, which has stopped after five years of war. They have developed a negotiation among all the warring group to settle their differences. These nations have also assisted in the elimination of Iranian nuclear threat by having open negotiations with the country (Pollack, 2016). Some of these nations have also increased the military presence in the Iraq region, where war and killing of innocent people have continued for over a decade now.
Theories of International Relations Applied
In the described intervention by key players in the region, liberalism theory of international relations has been predominantly used. The theory suggests that international relations and cooperation play a significant role in the development of better relations and a nation is not the key player in the development of diplomacy (Dunne & Smith, 2013). Major players in the Middle East conflict like the United States and other western countries have always worked on their international cooperation in the region. They keep trying to develop institutions similar their home institutions, because they believe these systems can work there as they have worked somewhere else.
In the current Syria war, the United States, its allies, and Russia have decided to solve the war by making the warring group negotiate on a common solution. The same approach also helped to address the conflict between Palestine and Israel (Ibrahim, 2016). These types of problem solving have worked in the western world in the past. Thus, they believe they can work in the Middle East. Western nations also attempt to force democracy in the region because democratic states have collaborated well in the West.
Problem of the Past Solutions the Problem
Two main reasons prevented the Middle East conflict solution from working in the region. One of these reasons is the nature of the Middle East societies. Unlike any part of the world, Middle East contains the most diverse communities regarding religions, ethnicities, races, and cultural beliefs (Ibrahim, 2016). The above diverseness has made it hard to apply some of institutions and policies that are used in homogenous societies like Europe or the US. The proposed solutions work for a limited time and then the communities head back into conflicts.
The region also faces stronger international influence than any other part of the world due to its rich oil fields. For the better part of the 20th century and now in the 21st century, oil has been the most crucial material as it determines country growth and development as well as military power. Most countries like the United States and the European Nations have intervened in this region just to improve their oil positions (Ibrahim, 2016). Therefore, the solutions are not societal driven, but selfishly economically driven, hence they are less efficient.
Personal Argument for Solving the Problem
According to Snow (2016), the conflict in the Middle East has persisted for so long because the key players know the best solutions, but none of them are willing to do the right thing. One of the biggest problems with the solutions proposed is that they have not focused on the main causes of this problem. Snow (2016) states that the Middle East faces difficulties because of social segmentation, poor governance, and international influences, which all have resulted in the conflicts. I believe that all three elements must be dealt with conclusively for a feasible solution.
The issue of social segmentation needs to be addressed at the state level, so that states can have their identity. The current wave of Shia and Sunna Muslims has emerged in the region as social issues remain regional concerns and not national. I believe that addressing social differences like religion and governance at a nation level can reduce the current international interference as well as conflicts in the region.
In addition, I propose that a realism theory should be applied to the present issue as it offers the best way out. This international relation theory is perfect as it accepts that nations are capable of managing their affairs and are the only monotonous players in the international field. Nicula (2014) finds that the conflict in Syria is entirely different to the conflict in Yemen and Iraq, meaning that these nations have various social patterns in wars. I suggest that a most feasible solution will be enhancing national unity before concentrating on the whole region.
The above solution is entirely possible because of the diversity in the area. The formation of national borders was done recklessly by the European nations. Therefore, the need to ensure that these societies understand themselves is high. The above will be possible by providing genuine support to the currently existing governments and pushing them to create strong national cohesion and understanding. I believe that if a single nation like Syria unites itself to the extent of being resilient to external influences, then such country shall serve as a key player in solving the regional conflicts problem.
On the issue of Palestine and Israel, the same theory can be applied. Past suggestions have argued that giving total sovereignty to the Gaza people and allowing them to forge their destiny can reduce their aggressiveness. The idea is that Gaza people always engage in conflict with Israel due to a constructive theory about Gaza operations (Rodley, n. d.). However, if Israel can approach this conflict using the realism technique, Gaza could change its aggressive behavior.
I believe this is a great solution for the region as nothing makes humans behave more appropriately than giving them respect. The current situation in Gaza depicts Israel’s lack of understanding with the people of the country. Only independence and recognition will make them feel better. The recognition of Gaza as a free and independent state will pressure the leaders in the country to create institutions that are functional and recognized worldwide. Such systems, when properly installed, will ensure internal stability at all times, and no parties will cause unreasonable conflicts.
In conclusion, this paper has provided personal advice to President Donald Trump on how he should handle the Middle East conflicts once he assumes the office. The focus has been on the history of the conflict, steps that have been taken to solve it, and personal recommendations on how to deal with the conflict. It has emerged that conflict has persisted in this region as key players use liberalism approach, which so far has not worked. The paper has suggested that use of the realism theory as it is more feasible to segmented societies like the ones in the Middle East.