The Unknown Future of Syria

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The conflict in Syria has, as of this writing, gone on for almost two years. Very few observers expected it to last this long. After the halcyon days of the Arab Spring in 2011, when authoritarian leaders fell by the wayside in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya, many expected Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to follow. It has not happened, leading to an enormous humanitarian disaster in Syria that will only continue to grow.

There are many different ways the conflict could pan out, based on an almost infinite number of expected and unexpected variables. Essentially, though in a general sense, there are three basic scenarios for the Syrian conflict: (1) Bashar al-Assad falls from power, (2) Bashar al-Assad stays in power; or (3) the crisis turns into a protracted stalemate. Within each of these three scenarios there are a multitude of variations, one or more of which could have already occurred by the time this article is published.

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Mediterranean Politics

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