Less than twenty-four months after the hope-filled Arab uprising, the popular movement had morphed into a dystopia of resurgent dictators, failed states, and civil wars. Egypt's epochal transition to democracy ended in a violent military coup. Yemen and Libya collapsed into civil war, while Bahrain erupted in smothering sectarian repression. Syria proved the greatest victim of all, ripped apart by internationally fueled insurgencies and an externally supported, bloody-minded regime. Amidst the chaos, a virulently militant group declared an Islamic State, seizing vast territories and inspiring terrorism across the globe. What happened?
The New Arab Wars is a profound illumination of the causes of this nightmare. It details the costs of the poor choices made by regional actors, delivers a scathing analysis of Western misreadings of the conflict, and condemns international interference that has stoked the violence. Informed by commentators and analysts from the Arab world, Marc Lynch's narrative of a vital region's collapse is both wildly dramatic and likely to prove definitive. Most important, he shows that the region's upheavals have only just begun -- and that the hopes of Arab regimes and Western policy makers to retreat to old habits of authoritarian stability are doomed to fail.
About the Author
Marc Lynch is professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, where he is the director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science. He is also a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, and a contributing editor at the Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. He is the codirector of the Blogs and Bullets project at the US Institute of Peace. He formerly launched and edited the Middle East Channel on ForeignPolicy.com.
His book, The Arab Uprising: The Unfinished Revolutions of the New Middle East, was called "the most illuminating and, for policymakers, the most challenging" book yet written on the topic by the Economist. His other books include Voices of the New Arab Public: Iraq Al-Jazeera, and Middle East Politics Today, selected as a Choice Outstanding Academic Book, and State Interests and Public Spheres: The International Politics of Jordan's Identity. Follow him on Twitter @abuaardvark.
The New Arab Wars' is a useful book for this moment ” New York Times Book Review
A keen observer of the violent upheaval in the Middle East since the Arab Spring makes a strong assertion: there is no returning to the old autocratic ways An excellent, clear distillation of recent events in the Middle East.” Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW
[a] cool but meticulous account ” New York Review of Books
This is an unblinking, unsparing and un-put-downable account of the anarchy and ruin that have engulfed the Middle East since the 'Arab Spring' dawned five years ago. Marc Lynch offers no easy answers or escapes: The Arab uprisings had deep roots and they won't be suppressed by the neo-autocrats in Egypt or Saudi Arabia; U.S. intervention couldn't have prevented the fracture of Syria; Islamic extremism is only going to get worse. This is a brutally honest book that will peel the varnish off conventional wisdom. Even those who disagree with some of Lynch's conclusions will find The New Arab Wars must-reading.” David Ignatius, columnist, Washington Post