USIP: Middle East in 2013
The United States Institute of Peace released a report entitled “Middle East in 2013: Promise and (Lots of) Peril,” written by Robin Wright and Garrett Nada. The report examines the state of the uprisings in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen, as well as the potential challenges in 2013. In the summary, the authors write that “the Middle East faces even bigger challenges in 2013 than it did during the first two years of the so-called Arab Spring.”
The authors write that Egypt now faces “the most contentious elections since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.” Stability in Egypt has yet to be attained and deep fissures “between secular and Islamist activists” have widened. In Tunisia, Nada and Wright note that the “democratic transition has been relatively smooth compared to other countries.” However, there are three major challenges Tunisia will face in 2013: “a crippled economy, a constitutional referendum, and new elections for a permanent government.”
In 2013, Libya will face “two core problems: security and creating a state from scratch after Moammar Qaddafi‘s 42-year rule.” Libya is unique among Arab Spring countries because it “actually has abundant natural resources to begin rebuilding the country.” However, corruption that originated during Qaddafi’s regime is a prime concern. Nada and Wright argue that Yemen faces more challenges than any other country in transition. “Food shortages, sectarian strife, tribal tensions, a secessionist movement, a divided army, al-Qaeda extremists and rampant unemployment have threatened to tear the country apart over the past two years,” they note.