The Intelligence Formation of Syria
Ben ExsteinCrim 310-006Professor RiveraThe Intelligence Formation of SyriaIntroductionUnderstanding the political climate in Syria is no easy task. The current tumultuous landscape is the product of years of instability, threats (both internal and external,) and foreign intervention. The intelligence formation throughout the proxy war in Syria has shaped world-wide comprehension and influence over the continuously escalating situation. Only through careful examination of the all the characters in play, will an amiable resolution be reached. This paper will act as an analysis of the history of the war, including foreign involvements. Finally, recommendations will be made to the National Security Council of a proper course of action to take in order to achieve the best possible outcome.Beginnings of the Conflict The current Syrian conflict can be traced back to the 2011 protests against Bashar Al-Assad. Assad had risen as a result of the Arab Spring, and had since incited unlawful arrests and violence. The Syrian police were under Assad’s control, and worked to put down the peaceful protests by threats of force. Thousands of people were either held prisoner or killed for their dissenting voices. As a result, a full-blown civil war erupted between the Assad Regime and the so called, “Free Syrian Army.”
Global strategies were formed to alleviate the situation and prevent further fighting. Most notably, the plan made by the UN envoy Kofi Annan in 2012, which presented a relatively peaceful alternative. Annan’s plan was shot-down, and the conflict grew increasingly hostile. In an act of desperation, Assad began using chemical warfare in 2013, despite numerous warnings by world leaders against such weapons. Over 1,000 Syrian people were killed as a result of noxious gas. Assad’s negligent and vindictive attacks on his own people sparked controversy on the world stage. In September of 2013, one month after the first chemical attack, the United States entered an agreement with Russia to wipe out all remaining chemical weapons in Syria. Many nations condemned Assad’s actions as well, citing his immorality and thirst for power. With his back against the wall, Assad ordered the release of jihadi extremists from the prisons they were being held in. The intention was that the extremists would become associated with, and weaken, the Free Syrian Army. If the opposition was comprised of terrorists, the actions made by the Assad Regime would seem more justifiable. As Assad predicted, in-fighting began, and amidst the chaos emerged the terrorist cell known as ISIS. The newly made terrorist organization started claiming territories in the name of a holy war against Western ideals. In 2015, the US chose to refocus most of their efforts towards stopping ISIS. The US continued backing the non-extremist Syrian protesters through military and financial support. Russia decided the best course of actions was to side with the Assad Regime against the terrorists. Under the guise of attacking ISIS, Russia carried out airstrikes that specifically targeted members of Assad’s opposition. At this point, the proxy war in Syria had officially begun. Major world powers including Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah backed Assad against the rebels and ISIS. The US, Jordan, Turkey, the Kurdish forces, and the Gulf States backed the rebels against Assad and ISIS.