منبع: مطالعات بین المللی سال ۱۳ پاییز ۱۳۹۵ شماره ۲ (پیاپی ۵۰) 59 - 78
The complex and multi-faceted geopolitical environment created in Syria and the Middle East today makes it extremely difficult for the United States and its Western and regional allies to continue its policy of calling for the removal of the Assad regime. Arguably, Assad’s departure from power at this time would prove to be a critical mistake, with the scope of its ramifications largely unknown. In this essay, we will engage first in discussing the lack of a detailed and comprehensive day-after strategy by Western powers to be implemented in Syria, should Assad be removed, and how this could lead to a multitude of complicated problems. We will then analyze Syria’s role as a showground of strategic competition between many regional and world powers, and how Assad’s departure could result in a much more intensified rivalry between and among these powers. We conclude that there are many inevitable trade-offs involved in ending the Syrian civil war, but that for now the growing threat ISIS poses to the world renders defeating the Islamic State a higher priority over advocating a regime change in Syria. Moving forward, the essay examines nonviolent alternatives to the military intervention/strike in Syria.