Global Affairs: The ticking Middle East time bomb

A new wave of unrest is roiling the region. Its rulers have long managed to avoid dealing with deep-seated problems, but they are running out of ideas, time and money.

The great and the good from the world of defence and security gathered over the weekend in Bahrain for the so-called Manama Dialogue, the counterpart of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, and widely considered the premier event of its kind in the Middle East.

The usual debate ensued, as representatives of the region's various states made their pitches. But although few were keen to admit it publicly, all the participants who attended the event in Bahrain's capital were acutely aware that the Middle East has hardly been in greater turmoil.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2019, with the headline 'The ticking Middle East time bomb'. Print Edition | Subscribe