19 June 2012

COA Analysis: Uprisings and Reform

(republishing this one in light of recent events in Egypt / Syria; it originally ran in February of 2011)

As uprisings sweep the across the Muslim/Arab world, what comes next?

There are 4 courses of action there to consider. Which do you think is most likely, and why? How might it play out per the next 6-8 months?

By: Brant


Guardian said...

I think COA 2 is, unfortunately, the most likely.

Religious fundamentalism is a powerful motivator. Mosques (or churches, temples, and the like) provide a venue for like-minded people to meet and organize. So do "communities of interest" on the Internet.

A relatively small group of motivated and (semi-)organized people can change history, for better or for worse.

That said, I think things will play out differently in Syria than in Egypt.

In Egypt, I think that the military will consolidate and hold power. It might be bloody but, if you ask me, we (the West) should just shut up and let them take care of business. It's in our own interests and, frankly, it's in the interest of the Egyptian people: a military government is better than a theocracy (at least in my book).

In Syria, my prediction is that the government will fall (possibly with a "push" by international intervention, like in Libya) and the Islamists will end up taking power.

I can't quite place my figure on why I think the outcome will be different in the two places. Some differences that come to mind:

1) The spotlight is on Syria and there is a lot of international pressure on the Syrian regime. Outside intervention (on a limited scale, like in Libya) is fairly likely and will push the Syrian government over the cliff.

2) There are still a lot of "left-over" jihadis in Iraq and Syria from the war in Iraq. When the Syrian government falls, they are well-positioned to fill the power vacuum.

Guardian said...
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