Washington, September 10, 2012 — The brutal conflict underway in Syria jeopardizes key U.S. strategic interests, but leaves Washington with few attractive options to protect them and little leverage over the future of the country. In Asad Under Fire: Five Scenarios for the Future of Syria, released today by the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), Visiting Fellow Melissa Dalton argues that the United States must prepare for a range of potential future scenarios and implement policies now to mitigate future risks to its interests in the event of a transition of power from Syrian President Bashar al-Asad.
Click here to download Asad Under Fire: Five Scenarios for the Future of Syria.
Click here to watch a video interview with Dalton as she discusses the tensions that exist within different U.S. interests in Syria.
In Asad Under Fire , Dalton contends that "thoughtful planning with allies and partners and a commitment to protect U.S. interests over the long term could result in the possibility of a new, if challenging, beginning for Syria." She identifies the five most likely trajectories for Syria, ranging from Asad being killed to Syria disintegrating along sectarian or religious lines, and then outlines several recommendations that policymakers should adopt now to help mitigate risks to U.S. interests, including:
The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) is an independent and nonpartisan research institution that develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies. CNAS leads efforts to help inform and prepare the national security leaders of today and tomorrow.