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  • The Complexity of Persian Gulf Unrest

    While the world's attention was (and still is) on the fighting in Libya, George Friedman—founder of a global intelligence company called STRATFOR—told his employees to watch the tiny island of Bahrain. Libya's protests are more violent, but the unrest in Bahrain, he said, will have much stronger strategic implications.

    It's easy to look at the news event that makes the most noise (and makes for good television). It's much more critical to pay attention to the event that, depending on its outcome, could disrupt the world economy. If unrest in Bahrain gets out of hand, Saudi Arabia's Shiite minority could follow suit with protests of their own, and the Iranian-Saudi balance in the Persian Gulf could teeter heavily toward Iran. Imagine if Iran fully controlled the area through which 40% of the world's seaborne oil must pass daily. Does Bahrain have your attention now?

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