The last of three posts from the Carnegie Foundation. In keeping with the up coming New Year, 11 potential game changers that could have a big impact for the future of the region.
“Support for terrorist groups inside Jordan is already worrying. According to a late-September survey, only 62 percent of the population believed the Islamic State is a terrorist group, while only 31 percent viewed members of the Nusra Front, which is al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, as terrorists. Jordanian analysts fear that the U.S.-led coalition against the Islamic State and the Nusra Front will increase the support for these groups, given the widespread popular resentment of U.S. policies in the region. This is especially true because the United States is fighting the Islamic State, a Sunni group, while avoiding attacks on the root of Syria’s troubles, its president, Bashar al-Assad.”
Given the fluidity of the Syrian civil war, its easy to lose track of the “big picture”. To that end, this article provides an interesting analysis of the regime’s strategic position. However, it does seem to gloss over one very important thing when gauging the regime’s ability to contain dissent among the loyalist community: their lack of options. No matter how dissatisfied they become with the situation, there really isn’t much of an alternative to Assad for many of them, especially the Alawi.