Assad Might Survive

And THAT is disappointing.

Really disappointing.

STRATFOR is pretty good at making these calls, and apparently they see a possibility that Assad might muddle through in his attempt to save his regime from complete destruction.

The good news is that, he might be so weakened that his ability to meddle in the affairs of Syria’s neighbors could be seriously blunted.

The other thing is that we cannot be sure who will gain power in Syria if Assad falls. When Egypt fell, the Muslim Brotherhood took over. Is there a Syrian version of the Muslim Brotherhood ready to jump into the vacuum left by the failure of the Assad regime?

If Islamists gain control of Syria we may find ourselves out of the frying pan and roasting in the fire.

Syrian Regime May Survive, But With Reduced Clout
STRATFOR, January 31, 2012

A day after the Arab League announced that it is suspending its monitoring mission in Syria, Syrian activists continued their claims that Syrian forces had renewed an offensive in the Damascus suburbs against protesters defended by army defectors. The leadership of the rebel Free Syrian Army (FSA) hopes that the apparent end of the Arab-led diplomatic mission will bring the U.N. Security Council (UNSC) one step closer to authorizing foreign military intervention to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar al Assad. However, the United States — whose participation in a potential military intervention in Syria would be critical — is in no rush to elevate this conflict to another military campaign in the Middle East.

The attention is now on the UNSC and what kind of action it will take against Syria following the self-admitted failure of the Arab League monitoring mission. Russia, looking to maintain a foothold in the Mediterranean basin and keep its military base at Tartus, has created another diplomatic outlet by proposing to mediate between the Syrian government and the opposition. Moscow claims that the Syrian government has agreed to the talks, but the Syrian opposition, wary of Moscow’s continued support for the regime, has predictably refused the offer. Nonetheless, the United States appears to be entertaining the Russian proposal. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that the United States supports a political solution to the crisis in Syria and that Washington is discussing with the Russians ways to pressure the Syrian government into ending its deadly crackdowns.

The United States is reluctant to engage in yet another complex military campaign with major spillover effects, along sectarian lines, in the wider Islamic world. At the same time, the Syrian regime has calibrated its crackdowns to avoid building the kind of moral pretense that led to the military intervention in Libya. This dynamic has led the United States to engage in quieter and less risky efforts to train and supply FSA rebels in Turkey — yet U.S. reticence toward military intervention has also enabled the al Assad regime’s survival.

Syria’s al Assad regime can likely hang on to power for quite some time if the United States continues to lack the bandwidth and political will to intervene in the country. This is especially true if European powers remain too wrapped up in their financial crisis to take military action, and as local parties opposed to al Assad — including Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia — don’t have the capability to intervene.

Read the rest of the article, here.