Today, regional economic integration in the Middle East continues to remain at an unusually low level compared to other regions of the world. This is especially problematic because traditionally, regional integration has long been seen as an effective tool for encouraging regional peace, stability and prosperity, with also the added expectation that economic growth may also help or facilitate transition to democracy. This paper asks the question of whether the Arab uprisings might provide a new environment in which Turkey and the USA, together with the European Union, could cooperate to bring about some degree of regional economic integration. The paper discusses Turkey’s increasing economic engagement of its neighbourhood since the end of the Cold War and argues that this experience constitutes a good basis for cooperation, even if there remain a number of challenges stemming from Turkey as well as the Middle East. As much as these challenges may seem insurmountable, initiating a tri-lateral dialogue is of critical importance as the rewards of regional integration in the Middle East in terms of stability, peace and prosperity would be huge and of a ‘win-win’ nature for Turkey, for the EU, for the USA, and of course for the region.
The United States, Europe, and the zombie Western liberal order
[The exchange of threats and military posturing between the United States and North Korea] raises the stakes. With the United States and others talking far too loosely about the prospects of a pre-emptive strike, that’s what would trigger retaliatory actions by North Korea.
[With the current level of tensions over North Korea,] [w]e could stumble needlessly into what would be the biggest crisis in East Asia since the United States intervened in the Korean War in 1950