Make it or break it in Syria

Posted in United States , Syria | 04-Sep-13 | Author: Ruba Zinati

Obviously, and after almost three years of conflict in Syria everybody is losing and the ones who are paying the heaviest price are the civilians, the infrastructure of the country and the regional security. The suicidal discourse of the Syrian regime indicates that its allies represented in Iran and its franchise in Lebanon Hezbollah, Russia and to a lesser degree China are the ones who are controlling the scene there. Since, their interests converge; they keep maintaining the regime in Syria to the extent that they sacrifice the regional security and the state itself. During which they are ready to use whatever is available to implement their desires even if it would cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians through using all kinds of weapons including the prohibited ones. They depended in their calculations on the reluctance of the international community's involvement in the "quagmire" in Syria. In fact the choice of these actors in Syria right from the beginning was to drag the situation into a quagmire in order to repel any regional or international involvement. Because such involvement limits these actors' influence as well as endanger their regional status, which is considered the bed rock that allows them to embark on a world role. In doing so, the arena in Syria was left to these actors to play their fixture of power politics without a real competitor allowing for the implementation and solidifying of their desired regional position.

The international community and by virtue do follow the US stand or reaction towards the situations and conflicts in the MENA region and in the Middle East all the way to Pakistan. The record of the US interventions in these regions was not so successful due to multiple reasons; such as the wrong calculations of what are the contexts of the regions that they were stepping into, and the destructive ramifications of these calculations on the security of both, the US interests and on the targeted regions themselves. Another reason for the setbacks of US interventions was the incompatibility between the intended and announced goals of national security and national interests and the implemented strategies: in Afghanistan in addition to the miss calculations of the contexts of the country, many argue that a post-Soviet-withdrawal development arrangements followed by a law and order operations would have saved the whole picture. While, in Iraq a more sound and cautious strategy as well as a sensitive power-politics of the region strategy, in which the geo-politics was taken into consideration, would have paid more in the advantage of the interest of all and on the security of US at the short as well as the long run. Furthermore, the Libyan operation, although it was considered as a successful "responsibility to protect" operation but it just ended there at the military level, while the peacebuilding strategies were not included in the operation's strategy from the beginning. Although, the course of action of the operation was hiding towards regime change, this should have obliged the international community to take into consideration and into the operation's calculations the history of the regime as well as its state's management that lacked the primary elements of a functioning state. The importance of such calculations (applying a comprehensive approach for intervention) is relevant for the guarantee of completing the operation and for building a credible example to be trusted by the people of the region.

These experiences and their ramifications have been exploited by everybody but for different motives: some to withhold from intervening in Syria like the US and the West, and to others as an enabler for creating a bigger margin that allows them to act without worries of facing international punitive consequences, like Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian regime. While China kept playing its power politics of compromise on one hand, and multifaceted cooperation polices and economic engagement, on the other hand.

For the people in the Arab and in the Middle East regions the horrifying pictures that come out of Syria on a daily basis are undermining both the Syrian regime with its allies and the silent international community that allows for the destruction of a pivotal Arab state in the region. The people became ready if not demanding for an intervention in Syria to save the lives, what left of the state infrastructure as well as the regional security. Accordingly, the conflict if permitted to continue will evolve into a challenge with disastrous consequences on the region and on the international community in which its elements are in the making. The exerted diplomatic efforts have failed to put an end to the daily killing of civilians, the daily air raids and continues bombardment of populated cities and towns. On the contrary it gave; so far, more time for the systematic destruction and for extremism to grow in which the regime is encouraging in an attempt of a game-changer. Thus, drawing a sound intervention strategy is a crucial issue, combined with the right calculations that would be in line with what the people of Syria and the Arab region aspire in saving a pivotal country and the whole region from this quagmire.

Therefore, it is the test for US/international community-including the Arab states, to take the pertinent decision accompanied by such a capable strategy (applying a comprehensive approach),  to end the exacerbating conflict and maintaining the support for building the state's capacity. Otherwise, following approaches that consist of leaving things bonded to the status quo or a shy intervention wouldn't be in favor of resolving the conflict nor in favor of the regional security especially for the security of Syria's closest neighbors and consequently not in favor of world peace.

The desired outcome from the US/international community's intervention is having Syria as a country in which all the members of its society have equal rights and contributing in the well being of the region and in its security. Such outcome, and not any other formation, would definitely be in favor of the interests of the region that will save world peace and security, and, will help the US efforts in its discourse of winning the hearts and minds of the people in the Arab region.