2018年の予測 (13)

Dec 26, 2017 | 11:57 GMT
2018 Annual Forecast (13)

2018年の予測 (13)

The Syrian Civil War 
As Russia and Iran have gained ground in Syria, Saudi Arabia and the United States have lost it. But though their influence over the country's divided rebel groups has slipped, Washington and Riyadh will look for ways to take advantage of the grueling civil war to undermine Tehran. 

slipped:He must be slipping! 彼も体力が落ちてきたね
grueling:have a grueling time さんざんな目に遭う.

The Syrian Civil War

The Syrian Civil War
Six years of conflict in Syria, coupled with the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, have given rise to a slew of Iranian-backed militias scattered across the Levant. Iran is keen to use these groups to clear a land bridge linking it to the Mediterranean Sea for the first time since the Sassanid Empire ruled Persia in the seventh century. But the United States, Saudi Arabia and Israel are determined to quash Tehran's local allies. Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group that is one of Iran's most powerful non-state partners, will risk becoming a prime target of this crackdown. 

coupled:rain coupled with a strong wind 強い風を伴った雨
slew:a slew of books たくさんの本.
Sassanid Empire:《the 〜》ササン朝帝国[ペルシャ]
quash :〈反乱・抵抗〉を制圧する
risk being killed:命を失う危険がある.

Though it would be too difficult to isolate and squeeze the group in its homeland, Hezbollah is more exposed to military action against it in Syria, where it fights alongside the forces of President Bashar al Assad. As long as the war rages on and Hezbollah remains overextended, Israel will have a window in which to strike the group, enjoying the support of the United States and Saudi Arabia as it does. 

squeeze:(挟んで)…を圧搾する, 強く押す, 締めつける
rages:The battle raged on between the two countries. 両国間の激戦は続いた.

For the most part, the parties involved in the Syrian civil war have largely achieved their goal of beating back the Islamic State, which lost vast stretches of territory in Syria and Iraq throughout 2017. With their common enemy vanquished, the parties will have to confront the far more complicated and delicate issues the conflict has raised. Though a cease-fire is still unlikely next year, future rounds of peace talks eventually could yield a power-sharing arrangement that reserves a place for al Assad's inner circle and kick-starts the process of drafting a constitution. Yet any deal that Damascus approves would be mostly cosmetic, and any deal that affirms al Assad's authority would be rejected by the rebels. 

vanquished:(議論などで)〈相手〉を打ち負かす (→ defeat)
inner circle:《an 〜》〔共通の目的を持つ〕排他的小集団、取り巻きグループ、側近、内集団、派閥
cosmetic:⦅けなして⦆うわべだけの, 欠点を隠すための〈方法・手段・変更など〉.
affirms:〈意見・考えなど〉の支持を表明する; …を擁護する

Regardless, Russia is intent on finding a quick exit from the conflict that protects the gains it has made over the past two years. To do so, it will have to rein in the Iranian and Syrian governments, which are more interested in securing a total military victory than in reaching a negotiated resolution. Russia will also have to maintain an open and functional dialogue with Turkey, which has its own ambitions in Syria to attend to. Ankara's primary goal is to prevent the emergence of a Kurdish statelet along its southern border by keeping the region's Kurdish forces divided. Consequently, Russia's negotiations with Turkey in the year ahead will center on the fate of Syria's Kurds, who have demanded their own autonomous region.


Despite the challenges facing it, Russia will play a prominent military and diplomatic role in Syria in 2018. However, its ability to meddle in Middle Eastern affairs at the United States' expense won't be confined there. Rather, Russia will extend its reach to other corners of the region by strengthening its economic and political ties to the Arab Gulf states, Egypt, Iraq, Libya and Turkey. 

confined :〈人・活動など〉を限定する, 制限する

Jostling for the Battlefield Advantage
The tides of the Syrian civil war may have turned in Iran's favor, but Saudi Arabia could have better luck on other battlefields — both physical and political — throughout the region. Hoping to capitalize on renewed U.S. hostility toward Iran, the kingdom will try to counter the growing influence of its long-standing rival among its weaker neighbors, such as Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon. 

Jostling:jostle one's way 押し分けて進む.

Complicating Saudi Arabia's efforts, however, will be Riyadh's lackluster attempt to rally its like-minded Sunni allies against the Shiite Iran. On paper, the kingdom's partners are far more powerful than Iran's weak proxies. But in practice they are also less reliable. Saudi Arabia will struggle to amass the support it needs to lead any concrete action against Iran. Because of this failure, at least in part, the kingdom will have trouble eroding Iran's military presence in Syria and Iraq, where Saudi Arabia lacks the asymmetric capabilities in which the Islamic Republic and its allies excel. 

lackluster:〈演技・質などが〉パッとしない, 活気がない, さえない, 輝きがない.
asymmetric capabilities:不釣合いの可能性 Asymmetric warfare (or asymmetric engagement) is war between belligerents whose relative military power differs significantly, or whose strategy or tactics differ significantly. This is typically a war between a standing, professional army and an insurgency or resistance movement.

The Balance of Power in the Middle East

The Balance of Power in the Middle East

Yemen is one place where Saudi Arabia will be more likely to succeed. The country's civil war took a surprising turn at the end of 2017 when Houthi rebels killed their erstwhile ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. His death drove many of his followers to defect from the Houthi alliance, perhaps shifting the battle's momentum in favor of the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) coalition if they take up arms against the Houthis. Either way, the Houthis will be more desperate than ever to secure aid from Iran in the short term — and the GCC will be more determined than ever to stop them from receiving it. 

erstwhile:かつての, 以前の(former).
defect:(国・政党などを捨て) ≪…から/…へ≫ 離脱[離反]する, 寝返る
I'm now determined to perform my duty.:私は義務を果たそうと決心している


Yemen will thus become the center of a violent war by proxy between the GCC and Iran as the coalition intensifies its effort to loosen the Houthis' grip on the capital, Sanaa. Now that rifts have opened within the rebel alliance, a political settlement to the conflict will be even more elusive — especially as other Yemeni interests, including southern secessionists, seize the chance to press their own political claims. 

elusive:〈結果などが〉手に入れにくい, 達成しがたい.
secessionists:脱退[離脱, 分離]論者.

Houthi Missile Ranges

Houthi Missile Ranges



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