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as a result of complication Assad dictates the rules of the game

Reader comment on item: Scoring the Syria Deal

Submitted by myth (Germany), Sep 18, 2013 at 04:21

The Syria deal indicates a substantial change in objectives. Initially Assad was presented with the demand to abstain from using chemical weapons. Now the demand is to surrender all chemical weapons.

Note that today's demand is more ambitious. While the first needed Assad's passive cooperation the second requires his active cooperation. While the first could have been dealt with deterrence and possibly a one-time-strike the second launches a long and continuous activity. While the first considers a single use of weapons, the second depends on thousands of items. The complexity of the actual task has grown by large amounts.

Whoever wants to collect and secure the chemical arsenal relies on the Syrian regime. That is why Assad now dictates the rules of the game. Technically only the Syrian regime can give the count and multiple locations of the chemical agents. They can either conceal the existence of agents or invent non-existent weapons. In other words, the Syrian regime alone can shorten or prolong the disarmament by whichever option they choose at any given time.

In terms of the red-line metaphor the situation looks like this. Rather than keeping Assad on one side of the line we are now walking along that line hand-in-hand with Assad and only Assad determines where this line ends. Assad is in command of a range of very granular options and thereby gains power over whoever wants to disarm his regime.

Even worse, the process is not productive with respect to the initial goal. Assad can use chemical weapons until the very one last leaves Syria.

The current Syria deal seems counter-intuitive to me. Obama went for a far more ambitious goal after failing on a limited one.

Submitting....

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Reader comments (21) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Weird article? [347 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AlexandrosSep 22, 2013 19:58209950
Iran-US alliance? [44 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
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1Putin and Iran is a Winner! [174 words]DaveSep 22, 2013 15:38209941
1Ukraine Will Possibly Be Invaded By Russia [492 words]Lujack SkylarkFeb 9, 2014 18:33209941
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Worry About Obama in US, not MidEast [74 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
JerrySep 19, 2013 00:52209883
A World UPSIDE DOWN [76 words]NuritGSep 18, 2013 10:19209867
will Obama learn when he confronts Iran [111 words]mythSep 18, 2013 04:32209861
as a result of complication Assad dictates the rules of the game [282 words]mythSep 18, 2013 04:21209860
The decline of USA Empire [121 words]Peter KikareasSep 17, 2013 23:18209851
Scoring the Syria Deal [43 words]steven lSep 17, 2013 22:50209846
Pls explain [61 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
MarkSep 17, 2013 19:56209842
2Islamic culture is a War Culture [141 words]Robin RosenblattSep 17, 2013 19:06209833
2Kinds of wars in the current state of the world [359 words]PrashantSep 19, 2013 17:50209833
NOTHING IS HAPPENING [84 words]JACQUES HADIDASep 17, 2013 18:58209832
Regardless, the American people lose, lose ... lose. [213 words]kmanSep 17, 2013 17:34209831
2A Somewhat Different Scoring [306 words]stuffagainSep 17, 2013 17:16209830
1Isn't Israel winning as well ? [179 words]Jon, a Brit in EurolandSep 18, 2013 10:19209830
Dream scenario [27 words]Barry ApplebySep 29, 2013 11:12209830
Taking stock [29 words]David W. LincolnSep 17, 2013 15:22209828

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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