Fouad Ajami analyses the struggle for influence along the Fertile Crescent-the stretch of land that runs from Iran's border with Iraq to the Mediterranean-among three of the regional powers that have stepped into the vacuum left by the West: Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia.
He explains that, of the three powers competing for influence, Saudi Arabia and Iran are in it for the long haul. Each of those powers has a sense of mission and constituencies that enable it to stick it out and pay the price for a sphere of influence. Ajami details each country's prospects for supremacy and asserts that Iran must ultimately be reckoned to be the strongest.
Fouad Ajami is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and co-chair of the Herbert and Jane Dwight Working Group on Islamism and the International Order. His most recent book is The Syrian Rebellion (Hoover Institution Press, 2012).