25 February 2013
The internal conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Shiite Iran’s confrontation with Sunni powers such as Saudi Arabia and Turkey, challenge any observer of modern Middle Eastern politics with the implications of the many theories that have characterized the study of the area. One of the most important premises in the approaches to the study of the region was the role of the military in the process of modernization, nationalism, and secularization. Beginning with Turkey and Iran in the earlier part of the twentieth century, the military establishment as a corporate body led by strong and charismatic leaders engaged in the structural modernization of the societies they were leading with the final aim of turning their states to a level of political and economic development comparable to France, Germany, or England. By the 1950s, in Egypt, Iraq, and Syria, this process was going to be repeated to the extent that Arab nationalism saw its embodiment in the sometime charismatic leadership of officers such as Nasser in Egypt who became an inspiration for military leaders in many parts of the Arab world. This was to be the case in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and Sudan. The establishment of new military regimes in these Arab states saw, opposition to Britain and America as a cardinal principle, war against Israel, a shift toward a socialist economy inspired by the Soviet , and the eventual promise of return to ancient Arab glories.