Mr.Hoffman is a political science PhD student at George Mason University. His research focuses on Middle East geopolitics and political Islam. His work has been published in Durham Middle East Papers, TheWashington Post's “Monkey Cage” Blog, and other relevant academic and policy-oriented platforms.
Great-power competition has once again assumed primacy in the international arena. Facing a rising China and a resurgent Russia, the United States formally reoriented its National Security Strategy in 2017 to place more emphasis on the return of great-power politics and global multipolarity. With the resumption of such competition, the Middle East has rightfully been noted as a regional theater where Russia and China have sought to exploit US policy blunders and retrenchment (real or perceived) to push for increased regional multipolarity. Although the Middle East has been recognized as a prime theater for great-power competition, the approaches adopted by most existing studies are primarily one-sided: they examine great-power competition in the region from the outside, stressing how global powers are manipulating affairs in the Middle East in order to advance their own interests. Often missing from this conversation is how external engagement in the Middle East is being exploited and shaped by regional powers and endogenous developments. This study seeks to fill this gap by using the conceptual lens of omnialignment to examine how regional powers are manipulating the return of great-power competition to advance their own strategic imperatives, both at home and abroad.
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