Article Library / 2016

2016 Annual Assessment

India is entering the Middle East in giant, though still discreet, steps. There is abundant media attention to the shift of power from West to East, particularly to the rise of China, and less so, of India. But little has been written on the impact of this shift on the Middle East. There is growing interdependence between the Middle East and Asia, and there will be long-term global consequences if the big Asian countries become major power holders in the Middle East. India’s size, soft power, and its possible quest for a big-power role will have various effects on the Middle East. For India, more than for China, being drawn into the Middle East renews a very old history. Intense trading and cultural relations existed between India and the civilizations of Mesopotamia 4000 years ago.  Relations were strengthened by the spread of Islam, which covered the Middle East and parts of India. Only Great Britain’s imperial expansion put a temporary end to many of these links.