chapter  2
22 Pages

The Arab Spring and the Religious Agenda

ByJonathan Fine

This chapter portrays the current situation in the region, emphasizing the major challenges that lie ahead and arguing that the manner in which these challenges will be addressed will determine what the region will look like in the near future. The US President Barak Obama's decision to withdraw the International Security Assistance Force from Afghanistan by November 2014 confronts the Afghan people with some very complex challenges in the near future. The direct outcome of the Arab Spring in the Maghreb was the fact that two new regimes emerged in Tunisia and Libya: one is secular and the other is religious oriented. Of late, in October 2013, Iran agreed to begin negotiations with the United States and the international community. Three years after the beginning of events leading to the Arab Spring, many experts are much more cautious and reserved with regard to the enthusiasm and optimism they had expressed in 2011.