“Containment” of Syrian Civil War – a new “best practice?”

“Containment” of Syrian Civil War – a new “best practice?”

Russ Imrie February 24, 2012

Can the expectation of a fast, “clean” resolution to the uprising in Syria be a victim to apathy, war-weariness, and just plain bad luck?

CHARLOTTE MCDONALD-GIBSON‘s article (February 24 “Fears of ‘another Iraq’ if troops enter Syria – Middle East – World – The Independent“) inevitably leads to the question: Did Syrian insurgents pick the wrong time to try to oust President Assad?

With Western powers weary and gun-shy. With peaking concerns over conflict around Iran’s nuclear sites and a shipping choke-off at Hormuz, does everyone just wish the revolutionaries in Syria’s bloody civil war would either win quickly or just go away?

Neither is likely. But intervention by outside powers ala Libya is even less likely, I think. If credible death tolls mount to 100,00, world opinion might force action by the U.N. or NATO. Until that happens, the butchering of insurgents and journalists will continue and at best intervention will be limited to containment. That and a few AK-47’s but no aerial strikes or cruise missiles. Neighbors Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon each have their own reasons to see Assad gone. But all are leery of anarchy and the unpredictable influences of infiltrators in the unstable situation spreading throughout the country, then region.

Of course I am begging the question: “Is there a right time to revolt?” In the Arab Spring, Tunisian, Egyptian, Libyan and Yemeni revolts seem to have each found a “sweet spot” in world opinion and support. Cultural, strategic, petro-politics: unfortunately these need not apply. To the deadly detriment of the holed-up fighter in Homs  none of these trump containment of  Syria’s agony.

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