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The Future of Turkey: Preliminary Survey Results
Source: CSIS
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In the Middle East, the Web of competing interests among major players for influence is hampering the fight against the Islamic State.
Turkey cares more about defeating Kurds; Saudi Arabia and its Arab Gulf allies care more about defeating Iran and its proxies in Iraq, Yemen and Syria; Qatar cares more about promoting the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria and annoying Saudi Arabia; Iran cares more about protecting Shiites in Iraq and Syria than creating a space for decent Sunnis to thrive; and many of the non-ISIS Sunni activists in Syria and Iraq are still Islamists — and they’re not going away. How do you weave a decent carpet from these threads?
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In the Mideast, Competition among major players for influence is hampering the fight against the Islamic State. 
In the Mideast, national and religious leaders seem as eager as ever to stoke the fires, mobilizing followers using implicit or naked sectarian appeals that are transforming political conflicts into religious struggles and making the bloodshed in the region harder to contain
This is unprecedented, and  neither experts nor leadersin the region have a road map on how to bring the genie of extremism back into the bottle.
When political dynamics fail, people turn back to religion. We are in this terrible moment of transition where sect is very high in people’s minds.
Radical individuals are deliberately fomenting this violence.And irresponsible governments allow it to happen.
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The low-level civil war between Islamist and nationalist groups, and the emergence of Islamic State in Libya has further complicated political transition to elected institutions. In light of this new shifting dynamic, here are four policy questions to ask that might illuminate the political and economic outlook:
1) How long is the conflict likely to last, and will it lead to a political settlement?
2) How likely is foreign military intervention?
3) What will be the macroeconomic impact?
4) How are the implications for the oil sector?
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The recent shift in Saudi regional and foreign relations is not how outspoken it has become, but how muscular it has become. It has long prided itself on acting behind the scenes.
The perpetual tectonic shift in the Middle East has led to significant disagreements between American officials and the Saudi royal family. In light of these disagreements, it is fair to say that the Saudis have found themselves hard pressed to think of any country that can do what the United States can do. At the same time, they are worried that the United States intentions are changing at a time when they don’t have an alternative or even the structure to find an alternative.
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Many U.S. and European intelligence officials fear that a wave of terrorism will sweep over Europe, driven by the civil war in Syria and continuing instability in Iraq. Many of the concerns stem from the large number of foreign fighters involved. The model below shows how the various mitigating factors and effective policies can (though not necessarily will) lessen the danger presented by foreign fighters.
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The broadest problem challenging American interests is neither Russian ambition nor Sunni extremism by itself, but the vacuum of governance that tempts both to prey on splintering neighboring states. American grand strategy should identify these weak countries before they turn on themselves; bolster their political mechanisms for living together in pluralism; declare our unyielding opposition to any outside forces that would seek to divide them. America’s military strength could assure the third part. The rest is work for political and diplomatic experts.
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Egypt’s second attempt at a transition to democratic rules has begun against a backdrop of serious social and political divisions and dire economic conditions. However, aside from the constitutional issues raised by the military’s move, the prospects for the transition and for economic recovery look gradually positive. Receipt of considerable and immediate financial support, a focus on competence and experience in forming the government, and a firmer grip on state institutions are positive factors. Downside risks remain large, deriving primarily from internal political and social tensions and from the enormity of economic challenges.
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