Issue Brief on “Regional Threats in the Middle East and their Implications for Pakistan”

The Arab Spring which began in 2010 was supposed to be a springboard for change in the troubled Arab states stretching from Middle East to North Africa, but it fizzled out without making much of a difference in the lives of the Arab people. All of these states have serious problems with governance, rule of law, security, and finding a balance between religion and secularism. In 2016, the Middle East, as much as ever, is the focus of international attention, due to the various crises erupting all across the region. The revolution of the Arab Spring has evolved into a major security threat for the region and the world as a whole. The recent troubles in the region can trace their roots back to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, which was the next logical step for the Americans on the War on Terror after the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks. Each state in the region has a different mix of civil problems and successes, but the overall outline of events is driven by a mix of broad and enduring challenges in governance, demographics, economics, religion, and social change taking place in the region currently. Sectarian, ethnic, and tribal differences have increasingly become institutionalised and a growing source of tension and conflict, over time.

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