Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Syria: Whose war is better? | Reinventing Peace

Syria: Whose war is better? | Reinventing Peace: "For the pundits and critics of the Russians, these arguments are easy to produce, because they draw on glaring facts. But Putin’s critique of the policies of the US and its allies is just as valid. We have also played to win a war rather than negotiate a peace, starting with the unbendable line that Asad must go, a factor that may have had a significant influence limiting Asad’s supporters from being able to back negotiations, even if they had wanted to. We have played the same game for years—seeking military defeat—but have done it with less material commitment than the Russians.

 The turn from nonviolent protest to war was enabled by rapid infusion of weaponry to opposition groups (see here, here and here); despite the fact that non-violent change has a stronger proven record. Asad’s crackdown against protesters was overwhelming, but that does not translate into carte blanche for regime change by military force. It is a fallacy to limit civilian protection to toppling governments. The arming of ‘vetted’ rebels has proven to be a ludicrous policy—arms ‘flow’ by nature, particularly in a complex war like this. What is more, you cannot blame rebels for seeking to build what we might term unsavory alliances (also here), with groups that are affiliated with al Qaeda and hardcore Islamists; they are fighting for their lives and would be stupid to use our criteria for picking favorites. So ‘we’ end up now with radical Islamist allies and yet think the vetted insurgents can still pull off a victory. What is more, this scenario envisions winning two wars against all odds: a defeat of Asad and a conflict to consolidate a post-Asad Syria. Should the first war be won, a distant prospect, the second war has a serious chance of looking like the 12 years of violence in post-Hussein Iraq or the mess of Libya rather than anything verging on a pluralistic, western-leaning, minority protecting democracy."

'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment

Think local. Act global. Learn more about the Peace Corps