Summary of Deconstructing Syria

Towards a Regionalized Strategy for a Confederal Country

Brookings Institution, more...

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Deconstructing Syria summary
A case for a new approach to Syria that attempts to bring ultimate purposes and aims for safety and peace into better balance.


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Michael O’Hanlon, an expert on national security and defense policy, outlines a plan for establishing a confederal Syria through localized safe zones. The report breaks down information on the current political climate in Syria and examines the history of US president Barack Obama’s political relations in the area so that readers without a strong topical background can follow. Nonetheless, getAbstract recommends this report mainly to policy makers seeking a resolution to the current climate in Syria, as well as those looking for a ray of hope in this complex crisis.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What US relations with Syria have been between 2011 and mid-2015,
  • Why the current situation in Syria is unstable and needs a new approach for resolution, and
  • What a possible solution that strengthens the susceptible status of the Syrian people and also protects Americans could look like.


The US’s initial response to the Syrian unrest was mere verbal support of the opposition: In 2011, the US called for the removal of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. The top security team around US president Barack Obama recommended arming and training the Syrian opposition, but without a clear solution...
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About the Author

Michael O’Hanlon is a senior fellow and co-director at the Center for 21st Century Security and Intelligence, as well as a director of research for the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution.

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