Is Syria Facing a Yugoslavia-Style Breakup?
Posted on July 19, 2012 at 6:23 PM EST
â€śThis is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control,â€ť U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday, following the Damascus bombing thatÂ lacerated the inner circleÂ of Syrian President Bashar Assad. â€śAnd for that reason, itâ€™s extremely important that the international community [has] to bring maximum pressure on Assad to do whatâ€™s right â€” to step down and to allow for that peaceful transition.â€ť Panettaâ€™s concern is understandable, because Syria is no longer under the effective control of the Assad regime, and the outcome of the civil war is moving increasingly beyond the control of the U.S. and its allies or any other international powers. Needless to say, his prescription for maximum international pressure on Assad to step down appears to be wishful thinking. The same may be true for the Obama Administrationâ€™s idea of aÂ â€śmanaged transitionâ€ťÂ in which the opposition cooperates with a regime that remains intact after Assad has been removed.
Russia remains firm in its opposition to Western efforts to press for Assadâ€™s ouster. â€śIf we are talking about a revolution, the U.N. has no business here,â€ť said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, according toÂ BloombergÂ Businessweek. â€śAssad wonâ€™t quit, and our Western partners donâ€™t know what to do.â€ť Indeed, the latest violence in the capital renders even more remote the soft landing envisaged by Panetta and the best-case peace scenario of U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan. The denouement of the Assad regime is likely to be nasty, brutish and not especially short.
Read more:Â world.time.com