The unprecedented attack on Israel by Hamas militants on Oct. 7, which has been compared by some to al-Qaida's Sept. 11 attack on the United States in 2001, is sure to have an indelible impact on the geopolitics of the Middle East, including the future trajectory of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

This assault, however, may have far-reaching consequences beyond the region, including for U.S. allies located in geopolitical front-line areas such as Japan.

The United States has been engaged in a decadelong effort to shift its strategic attention from the Middle East to great power competition with China and Russia since the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama. The potential normalization of diplomatic ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, brokered by the United States, was seemingly a fruition of Washington’s steady effort to produce a favorable strategic environment in the Middle East.