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Middle East's elusive olive branch

While diplomatic efforts to end conflicts may intensify, success will be in short supply

In 2018, most of the Middle East's conflicts look set to continue, and new ones could arise. The region is still undergoing a period of profound transformation, of which the 2011 Arab uprisings were a manifestation and a catalyst rather than a cause. The multiple civil wars now underway originated in a breakdown of state authority and legitimacy over frustrated economic expectations, anger at injustice and brutality, and poor leadership. Efforts to rebuild or redraw states, map out new nationalisms and identities, and find new economic models are all long-term projects with uncertain prospects for success. As such, complex conflicts will remain a feature of the region for years to come. But

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