Thursday, 8 September 2016

The Only Syrian Solution | WSJ

Like the Balkan split up: Syrian partition will allow this mother and son
to start rebuilding this benighted country.
A while back I posted an article by Jonathan Spyer [1], which argued persuasively that the only realistic outcome for Syria would be a partition.  Talking Heads on the BBC seem to agree: only this morning one said: "Assad can't lose; he also can't win".  Kerry and co want to keep on bashing their heads against a brick wall trying to keep it all together.
One of many favourite commenters, Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal, writes an article along the Spyer lines.
To remind: the three states wold be: (1) Assad and the Alawites (2) the Kurds in the north (3) The Free Syrian Army in between and to the east.
Of course, it's not that easy. Stephens discusses some of the challenges. [2]
Two big ones: (1) get rid of ISIS.  At least on that front there's been some advance lately, with areas under their control being taken back. (2) How to handle the Kurds, given Turkey's hatred of them. US and Nato involvement in persuading them will be needed.
[1] Who should rule Syria? Nobody Jonathan Spyer, The Spectator, 20 August 2016
[2] The Only Syrian Solution Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, 7 September 2016