Monday, July 23, 2012

making a difference in Syria

After ten days of delightful grandparent duty, I have time once again to read the papers and learn how bad things are. I can't see much of anything getting better, and a lot getting worse.

In Syria, the bloodshed continues and diplomacy has stalled. I remain highly dubious of the many pundit proposals for "U.S. leadership" and military intervention. On the other hand, I'm encouraged by reports like this in the Wall Street Journal about a quiet, multi-pronged effort by U.S. agencies, to pressure the Assad regime. This is more likely to be effective than the more dramatic efforts onlookers propose.

I also find it useful to get other perspectives on foreign problems, and once again the Financial Times has something I haven't seen elsewhere -- analysis of how Syria might fracture into several states, including an Alawite one, with significant foreign policy consequences.

UPDATE: I see another analyst disputes the Alawite state prospects. I'm not taking sides.

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