In the Middle East itself, those calling the shots increasingly believe Washington is leaving — and are unconcerned by what America might wish.
For Peter Apps's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
The more aggressive China gets, the harder Beijing may find it to get the things it wants.
Far-right parties are making gains in Europe once again.
Spreading conspiracy theories for political ends is hardly new, but the last decade has seen an explosion of such activity and it is continuing to intensify.
The loss of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty may be only the beginning.
Protests in Hong Kong and Russia show the limits of what many see in the West as autocratic power.
Encounters involving hostile states needling U.S. allies while avoiding confrontation with U.S. forces are becoming more widespread.
Nations are heading back to the moon because they wish to ultimately stay there.
As the current U.S.-Turkey row shows all too clearly, mixing and matching the latest Russian and U.S. weapons systems is something Washington does not take lightly.
If China genuinely wishes to dominate its region it will need to make rather fewer missteps.