One year after the Arab Spring, both Egypt and Tunisia are attempting to establish democratic regimes. Future regional stability depends on the success of their transitions. An analysis of the two cases reveal that Egypt’s democratic transition has been hindered by the military’s intervention and reluctance to surrender political power. Though Egypt and Tunisia experienced similar revolutions, they resulted in distinct outcomes. This work examines why the military took control of the interim government in Egypt and not in Tunisia. The military’s hold on power may be attributed to economic crisis, inequality, its control of resources, or military ideology. The results suggest democratic transition in the Middle East may be additionally difficult for states with militaries that are more active in the political and economic system.