By Flynt Leverett

Syria has lengthy been a paradox for U.S. Policymakers. The country’s vulnerable economic system, assorted inhabitants, and susceptible geographic place will be anticipated to reduce its clout within the better heart East. yet below long-time dictator Hafiz al-Asad and his son and successor Bashar, Syria has been and is still a big local actor. Syria occupies an incredible strategic place within the center East, one made much more major as American considers long term involvement within the reconstruction of neighboring Iraq. Syria has cultivated various Lebanese consumers and allies—most particularly Hizballah—during its greater than twenty-year profession of Lebanon. Damascus, which sees Israel as a hegemonic energy, continues to be intransigent on Israel’s whole withdrawal from the disputed Golan Heights because the sine qua non for peace with that country. because the loss of life of Hafiz al-Asad in 2000 and the move of energy to Bashar, debate on Syria’s position within the area has been renewed. The coverage demanding situations posed via Syria’s troublesome habit on a couple of fronts have grown extra urgent within the current safeguard setting, and the USA has had trouble formulating a coherent and powerful coverage towards Damascus. Western consensus on tips to take care of the Syrian management has been thrown additional into doubt. Inheriting Syria fills this void with an in depth analytic portrait of the Syrian regime less than the management of the Asad dynasty and the strategic legacy bequeathed from father to son. It attracts implications for U.S. coverage, supplying a daring new procedure for reaching American goals, mostly through a "conditional engagement" utilizing either carrots and sticks. This method will be autonomous of the Arab-Israeli peace technique and therefore a ancient departure for the U.S.. A hugely readable research of Bashar al-Asad’s ascendancy and method of rule, Inheriting Syria presents priceless insights to someone curious about occasions within the heart East, the battle on terror, and the way forward for American international coverage. it really is a massive source for all who search deeper knowing of this enigmatic kingdom and its management.

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It first considers the nature of the regime that Hafiz al-Asad created, the challenges that managing this regime would inevitably present to a successor, and the substantive policy legacy of Hafiz’s tenure as Syria’s president with regard to Syria’s economy and internal political situation. It then parses the elder Asad’s foreign policy record to develop a picture of the strategic challenges facing his son. 22 02-5204-0 CH2 3/18/05 4:38 PM Page 23 hafiz’s legacy, bashar’s inheritance 23 The State That Hafiz Built Hafiz al-Asad’s most basic accomplishment as ruler of Syria was to transform the Syrian political order from a coup-ridden, postcolonial, semi-state into a veritable model of authoritarian stability.

S. 71 Syria’s status as a state sponsor of terrorism pursuing WMD capabilities was bound to become a source of increasing friction between Washington and Damascus. And, without an active and ongoing Syrian track of the peace process, Damascus lost an important part of its protection against American opprobrium. S. frustration with Syrian behavior was clearly reflected in the groundswell of congressional momentum after the September 11 attacks that ultimately led to the enactment of the Syria Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act.

54 The heart of Syria’s WMD posture is its indigenous chemical warfare (CW) program. Hafiz al-Asad’s quest for a CW capability began before the 1973 war, when Egypt transferred munitions filled with mustard agent to Syria; these munitions were not used during the course of the war. Following the 1973 war, Syria began to develop an indigenous CW program, with 01-5204-0 CH1 14 3/18/05 4:38 PM Page 14 the syrian paradox assistance from a range of countries, including India, North Korea, and the Soviet Union (and subsequently Russia).

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