Report of the Commission on the Eastern Mediterranean
Authoritarian politics, energy and computer technology and war are rapidly transforming the Eastern Mediterranean.
Political instability – triggered by the Arab Spring – has made the region extraordinarily violent. Syria is disintegrating; millions of refugees from the conflict have spread across the region. Civil war has decimated Libya and Yemen. Turkey, a NATO member, is fighting the PKK and Islamic State as its increasingly authoritarian president transforms the country’s domestic politics. Further complicating the situation, Russia and Iran are capitalizing on American disengagement from the region to expand their military presence on the land, air and sea.
Nevertheless, the region has a few bright spots. Among the brightest are the large offshore energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. Such reserves are already benefiting Israel and creating potential for cooperation between Israel and its neighbors.