"And I have found both freedom and safety in my madness, the freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us. But let me not be too proud of my safety. Even a Thief in a jail is safe from another thief. "

Khalil Gibran (How I Became a Madman)



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Russia’s Intervention in Syria — A Case Study- CSIS

Russia’s decision to significantly step up its military intervention in Syria in September 2015 came as a surprise to many, if not most, Western observers. Although Moscow had longstanding political and military ties to Syria dating back to the 1950s, had long supported Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his father before him (including with military advisers and facilities in the country), and had expressed frustration with U.S. backing of position forces, few expected direct Russian military action to prop up Assad’s government against the rebel forces fighting to overthrow him.

Understanding what led Russia to the decision to send in sizable forces, what it believed it could accomplish with its military involvement, and what it may be learning from this experience is therefore critical to understanding how Russia views the use of force today.

This case study examines Russian policy changes towards Syria from 2012 to 2016 as Moscow moved from largely diplomatic efforts in Syria to overt military involvement.