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.
[Trump has] given Iran the moral high ground and that is an exceptionally difficult thing to do given the history and reality of Iran's misdeeds at home and in the region. It's just malpractice on the part of an American president.
The way the Trump administration is moving forward [with its Iran policy] is just so hostile to all aspects of Iran that it’s unlikely to produce any traction with the Iranian people or to encourage divisions within the system.
The intent of [any U.S. action] to do with the IRGC is basically to cast a very broad shadow over sectors of the Iranian economy and exacerbate the compliance nightmare for foreign businesses that may be considering trade and investment with Iran.