Arming Syrian Rebels May Make Peace Elusive

Arming Syrian Rebels May Make Peace Elusive: Research on Civil Wars Shows Outside Assistance Only Increases the Bloodshed
Baltimore Sun
11 July 2013
 
 
One argument in favor of the Obama administration's decision to arm the Syrian rebels is that the move will help create incentives for the Syrian government to negotiate a deal at a planned peace conference in Geneva. It's no secret that the balance of power in the past few weeks has shifted in favor of the Syrian regime, particularly after the regime regained control of the strategic town of Qusair. If the betting before was that time worked against President Bashar Assad, the military equation on the ground dramatically shifted the betting. It is thus assumed that with rebels strengthened, Mr. Assad will have more incentives to reach a deal and end the conflict. This logic is flawed. Evidence from hundreds of cases of civil conflict since the end of the Cold War indicates that the outcome is more often the opposite: supporting rebels only extends the conflict and reduces the incentives of government to reach a deal. 
 
Reed, W., & Cunningham, K. G. (2013, July 11). Arming Syrian Rebels May Make Peace Elusive: Research on Civil Wars Shows Outside Assistance Only Increases the Bloodshed. The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved from http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-07-11/news/bs-ed-syria-20130711_1_...