by Frederick W. Kagan
September 12, 2013
The Arab Spring is a series of events of truly world-historical importance. It has already reshaped the Arab World and the Middle East more fundamentally and more rapidly than any event in the past several centuries. The suddenness and scale of the events of the past three years has a disruptive and transformative power all its own. The outcome of that transformation is far from clear at this point. It is, in fact, highly contingent on a series of unpredictable events and interactions within the Arab World, between the Arab World and the wider Middle East community, and with external powers, including especially the United States. The world as we knew it before the Arab Spring is gone forever and will not return. And the nature of the order that replaces it will have profound and lasting impacts on the entire world.