Tags
Recent Comments
Receive "The World According to Tom Barnett" Brief
Where I Work
Where I write
Buy Tom's Books
  • Great Powers: America and the World After Bush
    Great Powers: America and the World After Bush
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating
    Blueprint for Action: A Future Worth Creating
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    Romanian and East German Policies in the Third World: Comparing the Strategies of Ceausescu and Honecker
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 1): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 1): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 2): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 2): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 3): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 3): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 4): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Thomas P.M. Barnett, Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett
  • The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    The Emily Updates (Vol. 5): One Year in the Life of the Girl Who Lived (The Emily Updates (Vols. 1-5))
    by Vonne M. Meussling-Barnett, Thomas P.M. Barnett, Emily V. Barnett
Search the Site
Subscribe to Blog
Monthly Archives
Powered by Squarespace
« How could US fracking revolution fail? Sounds like a good idea for a Wikistrat simulation! | Main | Ancient Chinese secret: Modernity shapes society just like any country in West »
9:11AM

Wikistrat's latest sim: "Syria's Turmoil Explored

I co-wrote with Nick Ottens, a Wikistrat supervisor and Dutch journalist who specializes in globalization reportage.

This crowdsourced simulation, conducted in real time on Wikistrat’s online platform during the course of three weeks, discussed the sustainability of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria and forecasted dozens of scenarios for its collapse or survival. In addition, analysts explored and evaluated a range of policy options for the United States, Russia, Iran, Israel, Turkey, France and other actors. The simulation saw the participation and collaboration of over 120 Wikistrat analysts from all around the world. The following is an excerpt from the simulation’s executive summary, available for download here.

Assad has little control over his own destiny. His survival to date has had less to do with his bloody suppression of insurgents than the absence of comprehensive foreign intervention, China’s and Russia’s diplomatic support (along with some material support from Moscow), and the opposition’s enduring divisions. Brute force can put down any uprising, but it won’t put the sectarian “genie” back in the “bottle.” Those enduring tensions will do more to shape the future of Syria than anything Assad can now manage.

Absent assassination, military coup or outside intervention, the struggle will require significant time to reach resolution. Assad’s forces keep the upper hand wherever they focus attention, but they cannot hold territory once they move on. Recent opposition successes notwithstanding, the Free Syrian Army (FSA) survives but does not flourish.

The Wikistrat simulation explored five scenario pathways. Overall, the analysts agreed that the rising sectarian violence, questionable army loyalty and ongoing defections dramatically reduce Assad’s chances to restore stability. The most plausible scenarios thus portray a slow-but-continuous of the regime until Assad falls. At that point, the opposition’s divisions and conflicting goals imply Libyan-style post-war difficulties.

 

Reader Comments (3)

The vision for a Free Syria is readable as document "The day after"--a text which was written togeher by different factions of the Syrian resistance in Berlin--from Free Syrian Army, Syrian National Council to the Syrian Mulsimbrotherhood.That´s Germany´s contribution to a Free Syria:

http://www.thedayafter-sy.org/media/thedayafteren.pdf

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRalf Ostner

Interesting read.

For #1, if Assad actually does deploy Chemical Weapons, will this change the dynamic with China and Russia? (a) China and Russia bow to both external and some internal pressures and change their approach, abandoning Assad. (b) The rest of the world is sufficiently appalled to form a 'coalition of the willing' and impose (at some substantial risk) a no-fly zone over Syria. (c) It could well be using Chem Weapons crosses a line where the Syrian Army forces a switch to another of your scenarios. I think the proposition here is -very different- than Saddam's use of Chemical Weapons within iraq, based both on international attention/concern paid to Syria (where the Iran/Iraq war and Iraqui revolts were pretty much back-page news in their day) and on the availability of immediate news/internet/social media reports.

Scenario #3 strikes me as worst possible outcome, with immediate impacts on Lebanon and possibly Jordan. That takes the conflict into a regional civil war.

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Emery

Did the possibility of the West acting through Jordan and/or Iraq come up in the simulation? As you noted, they face huge risks from the current situation; offering military and humanitarian assistance to their Syrian coethnics may be the only way they can avoid being broken by this situation.

September 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>