Critical Issues Facing the Middle East: Security, Politics, by J. Russell

By J. Russell

Addressing systemic alterations within the center East's safety setting because the Iraq conflict, famous specialists examine the demanding situations those adjustments pose to US procedure and coverage. They study the factors of profound fiscal, political and non secular transitions and their implications for hopes of reform.

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Additional info for Critical Issues Facing the Middle East: Security, Politics, and Economics (Initiatives in Strategic Studies: Issues and Policies)

Sample text

This phenomenon has two effects both of which should concern postwar Iraq. The first focuses narrowly on the exchange rate. In technical terms, the Dutch Disease refers to the potentially adverse effects of a booming export sector on the performance of other exports and of industries competing against imports. These effects work through a strengthening (appreciation) of the exporting country’s exchange rate. In the 1960s, the Netherlands experienced a vast increase in its wealth after discovering large natural gas deposits in the North Sea.

However, such an approach has formidable hardware requirements of physical infrastructure and software requirements of management systems, configurations of incentives, and modes of cooperating to share increasingly scarce water. Reallocating water will often require significant investment and new infrastructure. Water is, after all, heavy. Shifting it from farms to cities requires infrastructure—for example, water saved in the Jordan Valley can only help consumers in Amman if it is lifted over 1,300 m.

Powerful ideological, bureaucratic, and political reasons ensure that the first response of many countries to increased water scarcity is to try to augment supplies. It is equally likely that such gambits will provide, at best, only short-term palliatives. The continued expansion of public works designed to augment supply will also often exacerbate political controversy and conflict. As always, the manageability of such conflicts is entirely dependent on the specific national and international context within which they occur.

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