Inheriting Syria: Bashar's Trial by Fire by Flynt Leverett

By Flynt Leverett

Syria has lengthy been a paradox for U.S. Policymakers. The country’s vulnerable economic system, assorted inhabitants, and susceptible geographic place will be anticipated to reduce its clout within the better center East. yet below long-time dictator Hafiz al-Asad and his son and successor Bashar, Syria has been and is still an immense nearby actor. Syria occupies an incredible strategic place within the heart East, one made much more major as American considers long term involvement within the reconstruction of neighboring Iraq. Syria has cultivated a number of Lebanese consumers and allies—most particularly Hizballah—during its greater than twenty-year profession of Lebanon. Damascus, which sees Israel as a hegemonic energy, is still intransigent on Israel’s whole withdrawal from the disputed Golan Heights because the sine qua non for peace with that kingdom. because the demise of Hafiz al-Asad in 2000 and the move of energy to Bashar, debate on Syria’s position within the sector has been renewed. The coverage demanding situations posed through Syria’s complex habit on a couple of fronts have grown extra urgent within the current safeguard atmosphere, and the us has had trouble formulating a coherent and potent coverage towards Damascus. Western consensus on tips to take care of the Syrian management has been thrown extra into doubt. Inheriting Syria fills this void with a close analytic portrait of the Syrian regime lower than the management of the Asad dynasty and the strategic legacy bequeathed from father to son. It attracts implications for U.S. coverage, providing a daring new process for reaching American ambitions, principally through a "conditional engagement" applying either carrots and sticks. This method will be self reliant of the Arab-Israeli peace approach and hence a historic departure for the USA. A hugely readable research of Bashar al-Asad’s ascendancy and method of rule, Inheriting Syria offers beneficial insights to somebody all for occasions within the center East, the warfare on terror, and the way forward for American overseas coverage. it truly is a massive source for all who search deeper figuring out of this enigmatic country and its management.

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S. policy toward Syria unless their choices are grounded in genuinely insightful assessments of Syrian intentions, motivations, and constraints. S. officials need to be making sound choices about policy toward Syria, the level of analytic uncertainty about Syria’s leadership and regional agenda has risen precipitously. S. officials concerned with Syria and the Middle East dealt with the increasingly familiar and, in retrospect, rather steady figure of Hafiz al-Asad. Asad’s longevity in office, his unquestioned authority in Syria, and his usually careful and strategic approach to regional affairs gave American policymakers a relative degree of analytic clarity about Syria’s long-term goals, tactical preferences, and perceived constraints.

Cosseted by these developments, Hafiz al-Asad over the course of his presidency never seriously engaged with the process or substance of economic policy reform and structural adjustment as prescribed in the socalled Washington Consensus. In 1991 Asad accepted a reform of Syria’s legal and regulatory environment for foreign investment, codified as Investment Law Number 10. 39 Asad also could not turn to the United States for technical expertise, as Syria’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism beginning in 1979 meant that the United States was barred by its own law from providing economic assistance to Damascus.

This did not perhaps reach the heights associated with classic European fascism or Stalinism in the Soviet Union; it probably was less developed than the personality cult surrounding Nasir in Egypt or Saddam Hussein in Iraq. 25 Challenges for a Successor Although Hafiz al-Asad spent considerable effort grooming his eldest surviving son—first Basil and, after Basil’s death, Bashar—to succeed him and worked hard to prepare the way for a smooth transition, the regime that Hafiz created was bound to be difficult for a successor to master.

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