After the Spring: Reforming Arab Armies

  • September 01, 2014
  • Dr Florence Gaub



As the Arab Spring has renewed Western interest in the political, as well as military, role of Arab armed forces, reform—rather than mere assistance—is crucial. In this monograph, the author focuses on the structural aspects of reform from which the Arab Spring forces would benefit. Seven features are identified which need to be addressed when attempting Arab military reform in the countries affected by large-scale unrest in 2011: an unclear mandate, over-politicization, a challenging ongoing security situation, limited resources, lack of civilian oversight, pockets of paramilitary activity, and, in parts, as well as the lack of an institutional perception of reform need. Their origins are elaborated as much as recommendations for what outside assistance can achieve.