December 14, 2012

Assad's Playbook Is Now Empty

Robin Wright, The Atlantic

AP Photo

The Assad dynasty, which has ruled the most strategic chunk of land in the Arab world for more than 40 years, may now face insurmountable odds. The three fundamental rules in a dictator's playbook of power have changed over the past two weeks.

Although modern autocrats rarely rally a majority, my experience is that they need at least 30 percent support at home to survive serious opposition challenges. They also need powerful foreign allies to prevent international isolation or invasion. And they also need to prevent viable, credible, or recognized alternatives to their leadership so they remain the only source of order.

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Bashar al-Assad, Russia, Syria

RECOMMENDED ARTICLES

December 5, 2012
Is Russia About to Ditch Syria? Does It Matter?
Mark Adomanis, Forbes
I can’t tell you how many articles I’ve read which basically say “overthrow Assad now and then we’ll worry about the rest later.” The Russians are perfectly right to point out that such a... more ››
December 5, 2012
Bashar al-Assad's Last Stand
The Guardian
Over 20 months into this conflict, there are signs that Russia is having second thoughts. more ››
December 4, 2012
Why Draw the Line at Chemical Weapons?
Max Boot, Contentions
  I am not objecting to the tough stance the administration is taking on chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime. I just wish its outrage–combined with the willingness to act–extended to all the other horrifying and... more ››
December 10, 2012
Obama's Shifting 'Red Line'
Michael Weiss, NOW Lebanon
Judging by his old "red line" on Syria, the one that was convenient until it wasn't, President Obama's "calculus" with respect to the humanitarian calamity in Syria has changed multiple times already. In August he said this:... more ››
Even if President Bashar al-Assad remains rational, no one can be sure that he still controls Syria’s chemical arsenal, one of the largest in the world. more ››