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Syria: the options

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by

Lau Leija

on 28 February 2014

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Transcript of Syria: the options

Chemical Weapon Attack
Syria: the options
Environment

The US Role
2008 US Army-funded RAND report
2008 US Army-funded RAND report
The main issue to be discussed:
Syria Peace Conference in Geneva
The 2 sub-tasks to be discussed:
China
Russia
Aime Munguía
Laura Leija

21 August 2013 :
Over a thousand people Killed in Ghouta, Damascus
UN: over 100,000 people killed and 4.5 million displaced from their homes
Military-grade chemical weapons associated with Assad?
OR
Amateur atacks potentially linked to the rebels?
Syria first acquired chemical weapons, from Egypt, in 1973 (DIAB 2013)
The Bush administration authorized CIA operations against Iran and Syria
Cooperation with Saudi Arabia
Weaken the government of President Bashir Assad
Pressure to open negotiations with Israel
Control of the region's vast oil and gas resources
NATO: After 9/11 US Secretary of Defense
Plans to "attack and destroy the governments in 7 countries in five years",
Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran.
Industrialized states rely heavily on oil
Middle East and Persian Gulf strategically important resources
Proven oil reserves coincides with the power base of much of the Salafi-jihadist network
"Potential trajectories for regional policy focused on protecting access to Gulf oil supplies"
It may actually reduce the al-Qaeda threat to US interests in the short term
"Divide and Rule"
Turn the various Salafi-jihadist groups against each other and dissipate their energy on internal conflicts (Proxy Campaigns)
Syria Pipeline Geopolitics
2009 - Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar
2010 - Assad pursued negotiations for an alternative pipeline plan with Iran, across Iraq
Potentially allow Iran to supply gas to Europe
The plan was a "direct slap in the face" to Qatar's plans
Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, attempts to bribe Russia to switch sides
When Putin refused, the Prince vowed military action
Assad administration cause of endangered Syrian lives?
UN's six-point plan – a "Syrian-led political process and transition"
What that constitutes is the current international, Arab and inter-Syrian dispute
President Bashar al-Assad's latest confident suggestion that he might run for president in 2014
Interpretation of what emerged from the last meeting (Contending Content)
Realization that the demands of the last meeting have not been implemented
The 2012 UN *carefully-worded* paragraph mentions some key steps
Establishment of a transitional governing body
Neutral environment
Full executive powers
Mutual consent
Had both signed and hold the key to a solution
Two parties inside Syria are struggling to take over the transitional government
Bashar al-Assad
The Syrian Opposition Coalition
Western and Arab-backed opposition group
The International and Arab opinion supports trying to end the Syrian war by
Enforcing a settlement
Accepting that some kind of political transition is needed to prevent
Escalating carnage
Massive refugee flows
Full transcript