With Syria on a course of violent fragmentation, the toppling of Bashar al-Assad will not – on its own – ensure a peaceful resolution of the conflict. In order to hasten the erosion of regime support and establish conditions for a stable transition, there is an urgent need to reassure large swathes of the Syrian population about the shape of a future Syria.
A new paper published by the Brookings Doha Center, The Challenge of Syrian Unity: Reassuring Local Communities and Framing National Consensus, explores the interests and concerns of key Syrian constituencies as they struggle to devise a formula for maintaining Syrian unity as part of a political solution to the crisis.
The paper draws on a closed-door workshop held by the Brookings Doha Center in Paris that brought together prominent members of the Alawi, Christian and Druze communities, Kurdish and tribal leaders, as well as members of the Syrian National Coalition and high-level representatives from key Western states. It finds that – alongside an intensified military effort backed by the international community – a political solution to the conflict lies in the development of a unifying national compact, built on a process of power-sharing and broad consensus.
Today’s sanctions were predictable after the Mueller indictment, which identified specific Russians involved with the troll factory...However, these individuals are small fish. Yevgeny Prigozhin, the so-called ‘Putin’s chef’ in charge of the Internet Research Agency, was already on the U.S. sanctions list for his activities in Ukraine. The administration deserves credit for following through on their promise to impose new sanctions, but much more still needs to be done to realistically deter Russia.
It’s a good move by the administration to impose sanctions...but it’s still not enough to respond to growing Russian aggression.