Rise of the Militias in the Middle East
"Hey! think the time is right for a palace revolution, but where I live the game to play is compromise solution…” –The Rolling Stones, "Street-Fighting Man” Quite a bit of the recent news flowing out of the Middle East has an interesting common thread. Whether it’s Syria, Iraq, Egypt, or Tunisia, all states once known for their strong military leadership, the new power players may not be wearing the uniforms, but they’ve still got the guns.
On the Syrian front it was recently reported that Iran and Hezbollah are preparing a militia, with as many as 50,000 fighters, according to the Iranians, to deal with the potential post-Assad era. If Assad does fall, the goal would be to use these militiamen to secure key Syrian territory, enabling Iran to continue to control supply lines to Hezbollah in Lebanon and maintain its influence. Despite suffering from financial sanctions, Iran is reportedly funneling millions of dollars in cash and equipment to their newest proxies. (continue reading...)