A new 'Great Game' in the Middle East?

Sep 10, 2013, 07:58 AM

President #Obama's decision to seek congressional approval for any military action in #Syria - and parliament's decision to stay out of it altogether - have placed the familiar issue of how the Western powers should deal with the civil war in that tragic country at the top of the world's agenda in recent weeks. But by focussing so hard on the mood in #Washington and #London and #Paris, are we failing to pay proper attention to one of the powerful forces shaping events in what optimists are still calling the #ArabSpring? That force is the competition for influence between regional players like #Turkey, #SaudiArabia and #Qatar. There are those in the Middle East who compare the jockeying for position to the 19th century 'great game' in which the British and Russian Empires competed for power in #Asia. Our Middle East Correspondent Kevin Connolly has been on the road in the region for the last few weeks and paused in #Istanbul to reflect on the regional struggle for influence...