Covid- 19 is proving to be much bigger and having far more pernicious ramifications than was expected of a mere health scare. The world economy was the first casualty which has largely resulted in the destabilization of the pre Covid-19 world order. China which had until now unchallenged growth and wealth creation ability is a much compromised power in the international community today. US and Europe are absolutely clueless and are surviving on monetary doles in anticipation of much assured impending Covid vaccination. India and other emerging blocks are struggling on the back of seemingly stable domestic demand and near Covid-19 insulated agriculture based rural economy.
But the worst is visible in the oil exporting Middle East economies. Being an oil exporting nation, it had no choice except to bleed. The steep decline in oil price has led to deficit current accounts and declining tax collections. It is estimated that over 80 million in Middle East would sink below poverty line sooner than later. Can the polity be insulated if an economic downturn hit the ordinary masses?
No and never, Examine the emerging axis of turbulence through this optics. Syria, Iran, Yemen were the three flash points before covid-19. But abrupt rejection of Pakistan by Saudi Arabia has added new angles. Pakistan is surviving on international donations and doles from these friendly country. With ever declining economic activity and near collapse of forex reserves, it may soon declare itself a defaulting nation. To distract its citizens, it can augment the export of its home grown terrorists to rest of humanity and particularly to Afghanistan. To compound the woe, the Afghan Taliban truce and US withdrawal from Afghanistan would offer a fertile ground for next round of violence and bloodshed. With no political order left, the two nations will be left to the fate of mercenaries Taliban.
The aggressive Russians in Libya have added a new dimension. With Turkey and Egypt on opposite sides in addition to the war ravaged Syrian mercenaries and the foreign interventions, Libya will become another major battleground. This suicidal relationship is set to become extremely bloody in days to come. Erdogan and Al-Sisi of Turkey and Egypt respectively have a battery of fanatic and fundamentalist militias who would fuel the war for long in this region.
Until disturbed by external forces Lebanon was confined to be a domestic issue till date. But the massive explosions at Beirut port and resultant loss of life and property of ordinary citizens has broken all the order and patience in this turbulent country. With entry of France and Iran added by devilish Hezbollah, it could be the first sovereign nation to have been dissolved in Post Covid-19 world.
There is no economy of surplus now left in post covid-19 world to supplement and rescue these suicidal adventures. The UAE a sober and relatively insulated nation far away from the cross boundary offensive until now has inked a mutual deal with Israel. The importance of this deal rests in the historical belligerence and warlike posture that the Arabs have with Israel. There is going to be new polarization within the Islamic world and anti and pro-Israel group would add to the existing multipolar war ravaged zone.
Covid-19 may be a terrible health issue, but disruption of economic and political order in this region shall have a nightmarish consequences in the days to unfold.