The Middle East is now principally an exporter of conflict to the rest of the world. It has lost its strategic position in world oil markets as the US has become a global exporter of oil.
The world is also moving rapidly to develop renewable energy. Although that will take decades, Crown Prince Mohammed of Saudi Arabia knows that Saudi Arabia can no longer depend on exporting oil to build its economic future.
Politics in the region are no more promising. The Israel-Palestine conflict is stalemated with no progress in sight.
Syria is a failed state locked in factional fighting that has sucked in neighbours and great powers alike. Iraq is still bitterly divided and struggling with the aftermath of the US invasion and the Islamic State.
Class warfare is back, as Michael Lind told us in an earlier podcast, if it ever went away. And recently, a long-simmering conflict between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, on the one hand, and Qatar, on the other has boiled over, yet again pulling in neighbours who lined up on opposite sides.
Where is the Middle East heading? And is it likely to continue to export its internal conflicts to the rest of the world?
To help answer these questions, Janice speaks with Mark Perry, the author of The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur and the forthcoming, The Pentagon’s Wars.