Young Arab Spring Blog

What can be the Solution in Syria?

Majid Al-Bunni*

What can be the possible solutions for Syria and how to implement these solutions have created a huge discussion that still remains unanswered.

As a student of political science and international relations from the country in this crisis, I am burdened with the responsibility of providing answeres to the questions that need comprehensive knowledge. The question of Syria has been interrogated everywhere around the World. After feeling both helpless and confused, they often ask: "What do you think is the solution for the Syrian crisis?" or, "where do you think the Syrian crisis is going?"

Due to a lack of knowledge it is hard to comprehend the whole picture; more so, it is even harder to predict possible outcomes. Since one of the purposes of political science is to "understand and predict", I admit that many of my predictions have turned out to be false in the course of events. However, I was correct in predicting that violent force will bring upon more violent force; the external powers will take advantage of the situation; and that a sectarian wave of mobilization will emerge, and the entire country will be divided.

Honestly, I did not predict that the international community, or the super powers to be so reluctant in directly interfering in the Syrian Crisis. Obviously the powers have some indirect influences to the conflict but a direct interference, with the intention of stopping the war and force the parties to reach a compromise was lacking. If we go back to the question: "What is the solution for Syria?" I will base my answers on the estimation of other tragic previous events of Iraq, Lebanon, former Yugoslavia, and last but not the least, Pakistan and Afghanistan. I have considered Iraq and Lebanon because of their social and ethnic fabric similar to Syria. I have thought over Yugoslavia because the conflict was established between the super powers. The interference that came after by the NATO was a crucial aspect in ending the conflict. Pakistan and Afghanistan are important as well due to their contribution to the Jihadi movement we see now in Syria.

As a solution looks impossible in the near future in order to minimize the causalities and destruction, first of all, there needs to be an international political consensus. Now is a great opportunity because Iran wants to resolve their nuclear issue, Russia is under pressure from Ukraine, and everybody is afraid of IS (The Islamic State). That will differently lead to more voices asking for an internal political consensus.

Secondly, we need a coercive power that protects the political consensus. Joined international forces with Arabic forces, supported by the super powers would not stop the conflict immediately, but would do much on the ground.

Thirdly; the creation of a new national military may help. It might sound naïve, but there are some voices from both sides that are searching a way to save few lives!

Fourthly; delivering security institutions to the opposition would play an important role. It is always those security intelligence branches that rule a state within the state.

Fifth; a higher court that is linked to the international court, especially the International Criminal Court can be the first step for transitional justice. Nothing like justice can cure the heart of an avenger. An independent court would help that justice to occur.

Sixth; to offer the foreigners to stay and live on this land would be one of the solutions. As we saw in Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting and striking foreign jihadists will not make pleasant results. It is a blessed land that they can live on, pray and get closer to their god. Since the Islamic majority in Syria is eager for peace, it will be easier to handle jihadists. As a result there will be mobilization against the extremist groups. In all cases, nobody but Muslims themselves can resolve this matter, not the American drones!

Last but not least, countries should do their best to rebuild the economy as fast as they can. It was proven that economy always comes first as a way to help people forgetting their tragic condition. Since fighting is a career now in Syria, restoring everyday life has to be a part of the solution. The matter of creating an authority and a new social contract in Syria has to take its time and it has to involve all parties, even those that the West and the East hates.

Here we come to the question that will spoil it all! "Who is willing to implement these solutions?" I don't believe that any country is ready to sacrifice any of its citizens on the Syrian ground, nor any country is ready to pay the high cost of the solution due to the economic crisis and lack of public support. The course of evetns seem like as if they were listening to the realist thinker Edward N.Luttwak who had said in one of his articles "Give War a Chance". Speaking about the local elements, my plan sounds utopian since it is a breaking bones game, although I still believe that we can find a common ground since the regime and opposition are fighting IS. All in all, the Syrian conflict is a metastasizing one. If it will not be contained as soon as possible, it won't take much time till its flames reach an undesired range.

* BAU Global Affairs MA