Changes in the Muslim World Caused by the Arab Spring

The Arab Spring that began in Tunisia in 2010 has brought about unprecedented changes to the Muslim world. Within the past several years, the revolution is responsible for numerous political reforms in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Yemen, but it has also prompted several bloody wars, most notably the Syrian Civil War.

Complicating the situation are violent nonstate actors like alQaeda and ISIS, both of whom are thriving among the hostility, and strongheaded dictatorships like that of Bashar alAssad’s. All of these factors are posing very dangerous threats to a future democratic Middle East.

The United States has always advocated peaceful solutions as the foremost measure for any problems in the Middle East.

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President Barack Obama has reiterated many times his aversion to boots-on-the-ground forces in other countries, evidenced by the withdrawal of all American troops from Afghanistan in 2011. However, the US also recognizes the current ineffectiveness of peace talks. The EU had imposed an arms embargo in Syria from May 2011, but it was lifted in June 2013 due to disagreement between its members and the arms embargo’s inability to solve the situation.

ISIS has also continually refused to sit down for negotiation talks.

This, however, could turn out to be an opportunity for the international community to set a strong precedent for the future, that the world can resolve and succeed against such immoral and malevolent terrorist organizations. In addition to the importance of eradicating ISIS, the removal of violent dictators like Bashar al Assad, whether by peace or by force, is just as crucial for the democracy of the Middle East. Assad has repeatedly disagreed to settle the situation peacefully and failed to deliver concrete and democratic reforms to the Syrian people.

The Middle East at the moment is in full revolutionary spirit, and democracy, in fact, will dissolve the demarcation between Sunnis and Shias in the region, as both groups will have their voices equally heard in the process towards independence.

US military interventions in the past, according to many critics, are considered the major cause of the rise of violent nonstate actors and the overall instability of the Middle East. They indeed do serve as a cautionary tale against direct military intervention. Instead, the US believes that military support is a better solution for the progress of democratic reform. Considering the differences between the Muslim world at the moment and of the past, one can see that success can be attained through military support for the Arab Spring fighters and ethnic minorities fighting for national independence.

The Kurdish Democratic Union, supported by the US, have had numerous victories against ISIS, and will continue to succeed in the spirit of democracy. However, this is not to discount the importance of peaceful solutions in preventing war. The U.S. Iran nuclear deal is a prime example of nonviolent cooperation between the West and the Middle East, as it effectively ends any prospect of Iranian nuclear weapons.

Hence, building another coalition of fighting is important but not sufficient. The United States is also strongly in favor of ceasefires, peace treaties and coalitions of rebuilding to ensure the Arab Spring will continue its path of political reform. Only when stability in Syria and Iraq is achieved will an international coalition of Muslim nations become a reality. Disarmament deals could prove to be effective, but they are certainly not the complete longterm solution.

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Changes in the Muslim World Caused by the Arab Spring. (2023, May 17). Retrieved from

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