The Restless Wave
John McCain
Contributed by Nina Calhoun
Chapter 5

The Arab Spring is one of the most significant political events to have faced the Arab world. While  many theories have attempted to explain the origin of the Arab spring, McCain explains that "the Middle East would come undone when generations of young people without jobs, without hope, and without recourse had finally had enough and revolted.” Thus, the economic and social issues in the region played a critical role in the development and escalation of the Arab Spring. The book identifies the endemic corruption and abuse of office as some of the contributing factors to the rise of the Arab spring. When the intervention of the West was critical in the escalation of the Arab Spring, the United States and NATO intervened militarily on the side of the rebels, which caused a fatal blow to the besieged governments.  McCain believes that the establishment of democratic regimes among the Arab countries might have been the best approach to help the countries. McCain criticizes the West for failing to work towards achieving this goal.


The establishment of democratic regimes is one of the ways in which a lasting peace could be established in the Arab World. The Arab Spring provided a perfect opportunity through which NATO and the United States of America could have achieved this desire. It is difficult to argue that the U.S. and NATO played a pivotal role in preventing the loss of civilian lives. However, it was during this period that regional organizations and America could have helped install a government that reflected the wishes of the country’s citizens. In this regard, McCain recognizes that the United States failed to prioritize its policies within the region.

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