The global environment of the 1990s has been dramatically changed by the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a number of independent states tied together, if at all, only loosely. As they attempt to salvage their economies and shape new political futures, these states, and most specifically Russia, which inherits the lion’s share of USSR military power, will have neither the capacity nor the interest to challenge the United States for a preeminent position in the Middle East. This development has already begun to reshape the Middle Eastern geostrategic environment in a form more favorable to U.S. interests.