Robert Crenshaw


“If the Grand Alliance happens, what can the Grand Alliance expect from the Middle East and what incentives should the Grand Alliance offer to counter a backlash??


?/span>           For the past few decades, the Middle East has been a criticizer of western politics.  Fake democracies, dictators, and Islamic beliefs have prevented the growth of true democracy and a strong economy to better support the states and its citizens.  If the Grand Alliance assembles within the given time frame, the Middle East will likely pose the most strife towards the Grand Alliance.  On that note, the Alliance needs to come up with certain incentives to help counter the animosity from the Middle East, stemming from its corrupted governments and radical religious beliefs.  The incentives will help to break down and persuade the states to join a unified economy.

?/span>           For the most of the Middle East, the spread of democracy and developed market economies never was able to take hold in the region.  Only in certain zones such as Dubai, Kish, Qatar, and other areas in the Persian gulf were able to take certain amounts of western influence to build on the oil riches in the area and allow for economic growth in the area.  Governments in the region are based on Islamic Law.  With this kind of government in place, it makes it difficult to spread democracy thus furthering its economic objective allowing for growth.  Saudi Arabia, the geographic centerpiece for the Middle East, has begun to adopt some western belief by joining the WTO and allowing a number of cities to economically grow.  Other states such as Iran however, has a tight grip on its oil production and most revenue is controlled by the state thus not allowing for growth in the private sectors.  Also, its plans to develop nuclear energy have further caused difficulties in the state.  The region has become a breeding ground for religious terrorism.  States supported terrorist have crippled the region, thus spreading fear though out the area.  With the Islamic regimes in the area create a never ending cycle of terrorism causing the opportunity for a free market to collapse.

?/span>           If the Grand Alliance forms between the major economies, an almost certain backlash can be expected from the Middle East.  Perhaps a feeling of western states uniting against the Islamic world could form.  An anti-alliance movement can spur from the fear.  There for oil now becomes a major factor.  As the book states, “if Saudi Arabia were to fall to a Jihad group, oil now can be used as a weapon by committing economic suicide in the name of their cause.? This alone could cause a serious problem in the Alliance.  With oil reserves in the Middle East consisting of more than sixty percent of the world oil reserves, a major economic earthquake could occur throughout the major economies.  In turn, if the Alliance was to be left out and China was the only profiteer from the oil, this could also cause an adverse action by allowing China to still thrive.  Also, if the presence of such economic uncertainty is there, the confidence of major states of the Alliance could wither and a break up could be on the verge.     
?/span>           With Iran pursuing nuclear energy, a Middle Eastern balancing could set Iran at the front of an anti-alliance guild.  Furthermore, if a Islamic regime such as Iran now having nuclear weapons can give power to fanatic terrorist if a weapon such as a nuke got into their hands.  Though, as the book says, the economies combined would be able to survive an attack on a major economic city, it would no doubtingly be a bad thing.  In turn, if states in the Middle East begin to fail due to the economic suicide, this could leave the entire region engulfed in violence for a number of years.  
?/span>           With no other major domestic products in the region besides oil, it becomes difficult to promote growth.  Also, with the reluctance of letting in private companies and free markets to stimulate the economy and allow for the chance to lower the soaring unemployment rates, thus allowing for opportunities for the chance of better education to further develop the economy and well being of its citizens, the states will continue in a path to slow development.  This is where incentives from the Grand Alliance becomes necessary.  

?/span>           Incentives to help counter a backlash should be done as the Alliance is in the formation period.  It would be better to begin talks to have the region feel as if there were to be an Alliance with the Middle East and also with India, Russia, and Japan.  Granted, the Middle East is not apart of the original Grand Alliance, but it would definitely be a very big partner and probably a big ally in getting the rest of the world to become apart of it as well.  If the Middle East were to join early on the in the formation, backlash can be prevented.  
?/span>           Free market zones in the Persian Gulf, such as Qatar, Dubai City, and Kish Island of Iran prove that there can be movement in the region for economic growth.  These areas are very wealthy and can be a consumer’s playground.  If this has been able to happen, it is possible to create cities near these trade routes inland and allow for the economy to grow from the borders into the capitals thus allowing for growth.  Granted, the Islamic way of life stands in the way, especially if the Islamic Law is still in effect in the constitutions of these states.  However in states like Qatar, the constitutional monarchy in place has relaxed the laws and Qatar has flourished because of it.  If influence from states like Qatar spread to states around it, perhaps a totally new middle east could form.  Therefore, pressure from the Grand Alliance to states like Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and a liberalizing Saudi Arabia, can influence Iraq and Iran to begin to participate in the economy led by the Grand Alliance thus stimulating growth.  
?/span>           Oil will forever be a big incentive in the area.  The incentive to include oil from the Middle East will benefit both the Middle East and more importantly the Grand Alliance.  Having said this, the movement to try to reduce the dependence of oil from the Middle East could be a bad thing.  The Alliance must include the major oil producers in the economy and not cut them off.  If states in the Middle East were to join, this could most likely be the main reason why they would.  Being that oil is bringing in the most revenue to the economies of this region, this idea makes sense.  More pressure can be made on Iran to weaken its grip on the oil revenue and find a way to help spread it through out the country.  
?/span>           The most important aspect of the incentive plan has to be to spread true democracy at a pace that would not cause instability in the area.  To move to fast like in Iraq, can lead to a very unstable state with terrorism and religious fanatics running amok.  A slowly but steady pressure of governments to become democratic must not be done in a hurry.  Therefore the Alliance must tie in the economy first and then after the economies become dependant on that of the alliance, begin to suggest democratizing.  Turning into democracies will allow for capitalism to spread in the region thus hopefully easing the minds of the Islamic people that a more liberal nation can lead to greater wealth.  On that note, making sure that autocracies and religious fanatics are slowly be banished from the government.  They must be able to separate a majority of their religion from the governments. This idea, though a hard one to make happen, will be key in helping democracy take hold a stay away from personal ventures of power seekers.
?/span>           However, military action should be a last resort.  If military intervention were to be an option by the Grand Alliance it would be a costly one.  To bring the states of the Middle East into an economic alliance, attacking the state would definitely have an adverse reaction.  This would only prolong the time in achieving the aims of the Grand Alliance.  This means diplomacy should be a top priority in gaining movement in the win-sets in states like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

?/span>           In conclusion, the Grand Alliance of the major economies of the world would be a great achievement.  However, the Alliance must expect a backlash from the Middle East.  In turn creating a well-constructed incentive plan for the Middle East to join in is key.  Also, this can perhaps bring peace to a region of the world that is know for violence and in turn create greater prosperity for the Alliance and for states of the Middle East.  Having no immediate signs of serious change, the Middle East must be persuaded into aligning with the structure of western economies in order to gain the full benefits of having the Middle East in the Alliance.          


World CIA Factbook.
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“The Future of Oil?  IAGS.  Institute for the analysis of Global Security.  2005.

Pelanda, Carlo.
 The Grand Alliance:  The global integration of democracies.  Milano, Italy.  FrancoAngeli, 2007.