Syria

Must Read

Journal Of Democracy: Syria and the Future of Authoritarianism

Author: Steven Heydemann

"The democratic aspirations of the protesters who filled streets and public squares across Syria in early 2011 were among the conflict's first casualties. If democracy as an outcome of the uprising was always uncertain, democratic prospects have been severely crippled by the devastation of civil war and the deepening fragmentation of Syrian society."

See more in Syria; Nation Building

Must Read

NYRB: Syria's Refugees: The Catastrophe

Authors: Hugh Eakin and Alisa Roth

"One of the misconceptions about the Syrian refugee crisis is that it mainly involves people in large camps, above all in Jordan and Turkey....But according to UN figures, a full three quarters of the Syrian refugee population throughout the region are surviving on their own in towns and rural areas."

See more in Syria; Refugees and the Displaced

Must Read

New Yorker: The Shadow Commander

Author: Dexter Filkins

"Suleimani took command of the Quds Force fifteen years ago, and has sought to reshape the Middle East in Iran's favor: assassinating rivals, arming allies, and directing a network of militant groups that killed hundreds of Americans in Iraq. And yet he has remained mostly invisible to the outside world. 'Suleimani is the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today,' a former C.I.A. officer in Iraq, told me, 'and no one's ever heard of him.'"

See more in Syria; Military Leadership

Primary Sources

The United States and Russia's Joint Framework for the Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons

Authors: John F. Kerry and Sergey V. Lavrov

Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov developed a joint strategy to remove Syria's chemical weapons arsenal by "the first half of 2014." The agreement was reached on September 14, 2013, during the third day of their meeting in Geneva.


See more in Syria; Weapons of Mass Destruction; Diplomacy and Statecraft

Op-Ed

America, Syria, and the World: China

Author: Elizabeth C. Economy
Wall Street Journal

In a section of this week's "Saturday Essay" in the Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth Economy says that China has been critical of the United States' Syria policy, hoping to highlight U.S. weakness and signal the onset of a power transition in the international system. However, she argues, China's observations about U.S. indecisiveness and Russian leadership only serve to emphasize China's inability to find its own diplomatic legs.

See more in China; Syria; Politics and Strategy; Defense and Security