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The price of peace in Syria is cooperation with Assad



<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = " John Mueller " data-reactid = "11"> John Mueller

<p class = "Canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text "content =" Security, Middle East "data-reactid =" 12 "> Security, Middle East

The United States must cut off support for the majority of rebel fighters in Syria and in work with, perhaps even directly in support of Assad and his foreign allies.

The price of peace in Syria is cooperation with Assad

Two unpleasant propositions about the prolonged civil war in Syria have been substantially absent from current policy discussions. It seems it's time to take them forward and take them seriously.

The first recognizes that the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have virtually won the war. As journalist Robin Wright recently noted, Assad has managed to "consolidate his control over the majority of Syria" and now "controls all major cities." The grandiloquent bombings designed to encourage the regime to kill with bullets and shrapnel instead of gas are useless exercises As she concludes, "Assad is … winning the war and the reality is that the military attack will not change that".

And in February, a report from the US intelligence community concluded that "the seven-year-old insurgency of the Syrian opposition will probably no longer be able to overthrow President Bashar by" taking over or overcoming a growing military disadvantage ".

] The second proposition is a crude observation presented in a think tank report in 2015 by Ambassador James Dobbins and his colleagues: "any peace in Syria is better than the current war".

For those whose main concern is welfare of the Syrian people, the conclusion, painful as it may be, should be obvious.The United States and other intermediary states should work primarily to substantially reduce suffering, and this probably means cutting off support for most of the rebel fighters in Syria and working with , maybe even support directly, Assad and his foreign allies.

This, of course, would constitute a massive reversal. It goes in politics, as well as an ominous admission that the Russians have been essentially right in the civil war. But although many elements in the Syrian tragedy remain murky, it seems clear that foreign aid to the rebels has simply had the result of systematically prolonging or stoking the disaster. For years, much of the fighting has consisted of meaningless launches of ammunition into civilian areas, a process that mainly creates misery and refugees. All, or almost all, current policy proposals concerning Syria would essentially perpetuate this sad situation.

There is a risk, of course, that, once some peace has been achieved, Assad's forces embark on assassinations against former enemies. But it is more likely that this danger can be effectively resolved if the United States and other intervenors are inside the tent and not outside it.

The country would be effectively divided, with pockets still controlled by various rebel groups in the US. UU They supported the Kurds to the Islamist agents. And there would also be remnants of the Islamic State to deal with. Following Dobbins' proposal, this condition could prevail for years as efforts are made to negotiate difficult settlements.

But the most considerable volume in the country would be substantially pacified. As a result, many refugees may find it safe to return and help rebuild their shattered country.

And it is clear that a considerable portion of Syrians prefer to be in government areas rather than areas controlled by rebels that are often incoherent and vicious. . The details are incomplete, but if given the option, two-thirds of the civilian evacuees from eastern Aleppo, controlled by the rebels, asked to settle in government areas, not in areas controlled by the rebels. A professor from Aleppo, himself an opponent of the regime, estimates that in today's elections, Assad would get more than 70 percent of the vote.

Already in 2014, Graham Fuller, a specialist in the Middle East and former vice president of the National Intelligence Council of the CIA noted that, although Assad "is not an ideal ruler", "it is rational, it has worked for a long time time "and hardly represents a threat to the United States. In addition, Assad is supported by many in Syria who "rightly fear" the "domestic anarchy" that could come after his fall. The lessons of Libya are clearly relevant here.

Fuller concluded that "the time has come to bite the bullet, admit the failure and allow, if it does not help, that Assad quickly ends the civil war in Syria" [19659017] This suggestion was very outmoded at that time, and then, like Dobbins' evaluation, she was overwhelmed for a while by the hysteria about the rise of the vicious, if ultimately quite ridiculous, ISIS group. However, although the perspective remains very minority, it is possible that its moment has arrived.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) –sm" type = "text" content = " John Mueller is a scientist a politician at Ohio State University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC. "data-reactid =" 39 "> John Mueller is a political scientist at Ohio State University and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC.

<p class = "canvas-atom canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – -sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = " Image: Reuters ] "data-reactid =" 40 "> Image: Reuters

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