The Arab Spring, a wave of democratic movements that swept across North Africa and the Middle East from 2010 through 2012, was celebrated as a moment of significant change in the region. Longstanding dictators like Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, Mummar Gaddafi in Libya, and Ali Abdullah Salen in Yemen were swept from power, and widespread popular protests in countries like Algeria, Bahrain, Morocco, and Oman led to democratic reforms. But the celebrations were short-lived as the power vacuum created in the wake of the protests created an opening for groups like the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to operate freely. It also created an opening for radical Islamic parties to roll-back liberal freedoms demanded by protestors in the first place.
What do you think? Should the Arab Spring be judged as a success or a failure in hindsight? Should the United States have supported forces to remove dictators like Mubarak and Gaddafi? Why? How would you have advised President Obama to respond to the Arab Spring? Why?