The Alligator Farther From the Canoe: Shaping the Post-Civil War Syrian Army
Technical Report,01 Jan 0001,01 Jan 0001
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
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Over the last four years, the Syrian Civil War has created a horrific internal humanitarian disaster, displaced millions of refugees resulting in instability throughout the Levant region and beyond, and provided a safe haven that the Islamic State in the Levant has exploited to declare a Caliphate. The Syrian Army has served as one of Bashar al-Assad s principle tools in fighting the war, and its use by the regime since his father, Hafez, assumed power contributed significantly to creating the rifts that sparked the conflict. Any far-sighted solution to the Syrian Crisis must thus address the underlying causes that allowed Assad to employ the Army in this way. To promote long-term stability within the Levant region the United States should pursue the creation of a post-Civil War Syrian Army that is well educated in the importance of balanced civil-military relationships, is trained in Western counterinsurgency techniques and whose key leadership reflects the demographic make-up of Syria as a whole.