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Barbara Walter Research Cited on Syrian Revolution

No Settlement Visible in Syrian Bloodletting

01/05/2013
Bilal Y. Saab and Andrew J. Tabler , The Cutting Edge News

In recent weeks, the argument that a decisive Syrian rebel victory would not necessarily be a good thing has gained ground in U.S. foreign policy circles. A negotiated settlement between Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and the rebels, the argument goes, would be preferable. Such an ending would have a better chance of stanching the violence and preventing outright sectarian war between the mostly Sunni rebels -- hungry for revenge against the Alawites -- and the rest of the country.

Yet after almost two years of bloodletting by the Syrian government, there is little chance that splitting the difference between the factions would end the conflict. Even worse, a negotiated outcome would perpetuate Assad's favorite strategy -- honed over decades -- of using the threat of sectarian war to make his adversaries in the international community wary of getting involved. Instead, the end of the Assad regime should be decisive and complete.

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Professor Barbara Walter is an expert on international security, with an emphasis on internal wars, bargaining and cooperation, and terrorism/counter-terrorism. Her current research and teaching interests include political accessibility and repeat civil war, how terrorism works and what we can do to stop it, justice, deterrence, and culture, religion and ethnicity in politics.