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The Changing Terrain: An Interim Assessment of the Arab Spring and Its Policy Implications

Michael Herzog

Also available in العربية

BICOM Expert View

November 13, 2012

Nearly two years after the onset of the Arab Spring, four leaders have been toppled, a bloody civil war is raging in Syria with no end in sight, and the status quo in other Arab states is fragile. Where does all of this lead?

In this paper, Michael Herzog assesses the evolving challenges emerging from the Middle East and the policy implications for various Western powers and Israel. He argues that while the events of the Arab Spring have demonstrated the limits of Western influence, Britain, the United States, and other countries still have military, economic, and political leverage in the affected areas. If used correctly, this leverage could tilt the balance in the crises with Iran and Syria, direct Islamist governments away from undermining Western interests, and help strengthen Western allies.