Middle East and North Africa Publications
Oil spills, water shortages, earthquakes, and desertification are only some of the potential environmental threats to the Persian Gulf region’s security, but multilateral and regional efforts to address these problems could help build bridges between nations, writes Rear Admiral John F. Sigler, USN (Ret.).
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Involvement in the Middle East is not something new for the states of East Europe, especially those in southeast Europe, such as Bulgaria and Romania. During the communist period both countries traded extensively with Iraq and Libya, whose regimes were not receptive to Western countries. Bulgarian and Romanian involvement in the Middle East now comes, not as supporters of a putative struggle against Western imperialism or exploitation, but as allies in a security—based struggle against tyranny and terrorism. Moreover, it is the US—more than any European ally—that is determining the terms of that struggle and demanding contributions, including from new allies. Although the East European allies have seemed more eager than most to contribute to the US-led coalition, these new circumstances and demands set up unique challenges to the new allies in East Europe.