Conflict in Ukraine – Setting the Stage

The crisis in Ukraine started on 21 November 2013 with the Euromaidan protests in Kiev. Six months later, it is threatening to become a full-blown civil war with severe global impacts, unless the situation is stabilized. It is thus very important to assess the short to medium term plausible futures for this conflict, including if stabilization occurs or seem to take place, […]

Surviving the Gulf of Aden: a New Strategic Paradigm for the Future of the Region

On 15th September 2013, saboteurs blew up the pipeline linking Yemeni oil fields in the North to the Hodeidah export terminal, on the Red Sea coast. It was the third time in two months. In the meantime, the Yemeni political life was also marked by a deluge of US drone strikes against militants of “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” (AQAP).  On 18th October, a militia of armed and well-organised Islamist militants attacked a Yemeni military base in the Southeast, preceded by a car bomb suicide attack, which killed five soldiers. The two following weeks saw endless attacks and manifestations, against the government as well as sectarian violence, leaving dozens dead. In the meantime, on the other side of the Gulf of […]

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

Facing the Fog of War in Syria: The Tragedy of Kurdistan

This post is the latest update for the State of Play: The Kurds in the Syrian civil war. It can be read independently, but readers will be able to refer to the initial post for background. A general call to arms to fight Jihadis – Since first clashes erupted on 12 July, intensifying on 16 July, notably over and in the city of Ras al-Ain, the YPG (The People’s Defence Units – see updated mapping of actors below) has been fighting Jahbat-al Nosra (JAN) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS or ISIL) (van Wilgenburg, Al-Monitor, July 16). At the end of July, fighting was raging in the area of the oil fields of Rmeilan “around the main […]

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

Democracy: the Key to Avoiding Future Wars? (2)

In the Kantian framework, different kinds of agents pursue democracy at three levels: the individuals within a nation, the states in their relationships with one another and also with their citizens, and humankind. In this article, we shall look at how individuals within a nation should behave if they want to truly abide by democratic principles.

Should they rebel and when? Should they support war, and which type of war if any?

This article is the second part of a series reflecting upon Democracy, especially its link to war, in the framework of events, notably regarding Syria, Egypt and the “Arab Awakening” but also the 2010s European and American opposition movements. The first article can be read here, and the next and final one here.

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

Evaluating Forces on the Syrian Battlefield

Having an idea of the forces present on the battlefield in Syria is crucial to understand the state of play, to follow the course of the war, to evaluate the impact of the decisions taken by external players, and to estimate the likelihood to see one scenario (or one of its variations) happening. Here is a synthesis of the various estimates found for each warring group…

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

The Syrian War – Bibliography and Sources

Contents 1 Casualties, refugees and internally displaced people 2 New type of analysis and collection 3 The Syrian Civil War, mainly domestic, battlefield 3.1 General Resources and Blogs 3.2.Causes of conflict 3.3 General Syrian War 3.4 Actors 3.4.1 NC, SJMCC or SMC, and FSA* 3.4.1.1 General 3.4.1.2 Muslim Brotherhood 3.4.1.3 Sufism 3.4.2 Pro Al-Assad Groups 3.4.3 Salafi and Sunni […]

Strategic Intelligence for Syria – Scenario 3.4. Back to an Al-Assad Syria?

Despite the recent victory in Qusayr by the pro Al-Assad groups, and despite the strategic character of the city, this scenario  seems to be unlikely, but not impossible, in a very near future. To obtain complete victory, we may assume that the regime of Bashar Al-Assad would continue and even strengthen his current strategy of population displacement and use of foreign forces. However, this strategy has profound impacts that would make the construction of peace much more difficult: it favours sectarianism, the spiral of fear, hatred, and retribution, while destroying wealth and thus making it more difficult to deal with displaced people and providing for their return to normal life. As underlined almost a year ago by Joshua Landis: “The […]

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

Strategic Intelligence for Syria – Scenario 3.3.2. A Truly Secular Syria?

This post will outline the last but one scenario for Syria for the short to medium term, i.e. “a Secular Syria” resulting from a real victory by one of the warring groups. Considering the current state of play, this scenario is unlikely, even utopic. Yet, imagining it will also suggest possible policy and strategy that could change the odds.
The various scenarios constructed over the last weeks are summarized in a graph, which starts exploring ways to look at sets of scenarios as a systemic and dynamic whole.

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

Strategic Intelligence for Syria (8) – Scenario 3. A Nationalist Islamic Syria or a Muslim Brotherhood’s Syria?

This post continues exploring various scenarios around the theme of “a real victory in Syria” by one or the other groups fighting on the ground, starting first with a Nationalist Islamic Syria, and then moving to a Syria under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood. For each scenario, current estimates of likelihood will be outlined and some indicators influencing probability will be suggested.

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

Strategic Intelligence Assessment for Syria (7) – Scenario 3.1: A Real Victory – an Islamic Al-Sham?

Considering the current state of play, scenario 3: A Real Victory in Syria, and its sub-scenarios are rather unlikely in the short-term. However, they are worth outlining because they bring analytical insight into dynamics and potential strategies to favour or counter one or the other possibility, according to interests, and because they could be relevant for the medium term. The chaos and beginning of “warlordism” that characterizes the Syrian situation, as emphasised by analysts, (e.g. Joshua Landis, 1 May 2013, Syria Comment; Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, 14 May 2013, Jihadology; see also first post of the series on Syria) lead to the relatively small probability to see any of those scenarios (or rather variations on them) happening. Nonetheless, as for scenario 1: Peace in […]

The remaining part of this article is for our members. Make sure you get real analysis and not opinion, or, worse, fake news. Become one of our members and access this article. Log in if you are a member.

EN
FR EN