I hope to update this blog more often. I have made several new purchases and will post my feedback on those items as I have time. The rise of ISIS from a Syria-Iraq issue to a transnational problem-set (and the subsequent Iranian counter to ISIS) provides a lot of material for discussion as well.
In November of 2012, I wrote a paper as a writing sample for an analyst position I applied for. I didn’t get that job, but reading this paper now could be an insight into what might have been.
To find what the people of Syria and the world will see after the end of the Syrian Civil War, one only needs to look to Syria’s east to see the struggles it will face in mending a religiously divided country after the harsh rule of a dictator and a prolonged conflict. The similarities between Iraq and Syria should be evident to anyone who is a student of the Middle East: a ruthless dictator eventually expelled or killed (assumed in Syria’s case); that dictator being from the minority religious sect (Sunni in Iraq, Shia in Syria); the influx of foreign fighters into the country during the conflict; and a poorly organized transitional government or government in waiting. Of all these difficulties, the biggest threat to peace in a post-Assad Syria is the lack of a respected, effective, replacement government. This is also the problem that is the easiest to correct and the only problem the US government can help resolve.