New Political Realities and the Gulf

Egypt, Syria, and Jordan

by Mary E. Morris

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This report highlights points of vulnerability in Egypt, Syria, and Jordan that could lead to future internal and regional instability. The study finds that while there is little evidence of immediate instability in Egypt, the ingredients for it--massive economic and bureaucratic problems, along with a growing number of fundamentalists--exist. Syria's currently pro-Western mode is a pragmatic rather than ideological change; a reversal of course, if coupled with an Iranian alliance, could alter the regional balance of power. And the potential for internal instability in Jordan is high, extending to Palestinians throughout the region and affecting all Middle Eastern states, including the Gulf. The study concludes that the internal stability of the three states is integral to U.S. Middle East objectives and that by addressing regional problems with a multiplicity of approaches, by understanding the problems in context, and by choosing issues on which it can have the greatest impact, the United States can address causes of instability rather than symptoms.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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