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February 06, 2012



I don't think civil war is the best way to describe a "clearly asymmetrical conflict".
[I'd tend to go for massacre or revolution, depending on how things turn out, assuming it doesn't develop to conventional forces on each side, which would be a civil war]


It's asymmetrical in terms of the balance of forces involved, but the Syrian rebels seem increasingly to be seizing ground and confronting the regime more or less head on. So in that sense I think the term holds.


I think civil war is about right, although it's in the grey zone. I'd settle for emerging civil war, but here's what the opposition looks like in Homs these days. Some of it at least.

"Secondly, we’re seeing a much more aggressive assertion of Beijing’s traditional non-intervention stance, something that may well play out beyond the region."

This is interesting. There's so much speculation on how China will change its foreign-policy orientation as it's economic/military clout grows, internal pressures and rising nationalism kicks in, etc. But I suppose the default entry option for a more assertive Chinese policy would simply be to enforce their traditional line more rigidly, now that they can, instead of trying to seek out a different role.


Given what NATO did with UNSC 1973 - which wasn't particularly baggy or permissive - vetoing Syria 1.0 is probably a very good thing.

This just makes me think that somebody somewhere is looking at reports on the state of Iraq and Afghanistan as the US leaves or prepares to leave, and thinking "Well, that went well, all things considered! What shall we do now?" The appetite for wars of aggression doesn't seem to have diminished at all.

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