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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Syria: US Intelligence Mistaken

US intelligence is mistaken . . . again.

According to anonymous US intelligence officials, the Assad regime is not apt to lose power any time in the foreseeable future (http://news.yahoo.com/ap-sources-syrian-army-stable-despite-defections-213931967.html):

"U.S. intelligence officials said Tuesday that Syria's military remains loyal despite recent high-profile defections, while the opposition remains fragmented and unable to attack as a unified force, indicating a long, protracted conflict ahead.

The Syrian regime is maintaining troop loyalty by keeping paychecks coming even as food and fuel run out for the rest of the country, according to U.S. intelligence officials who briefed reporters on the Syrian conflict. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity to provide the sensitive information."

Although Obama is avoiding intervention in Syria and conscientiously shunning the topic as the US presidential election approaches (recall how Obama repeatedly sent John Kerry to court Assad), the fighting has now spread to the suburbs surrounding Damascus. Assad's downfall is assured, and the trajectory of his decline will not be linear. Rather, when the will of the loyalists cracks, all will unravel within the blink of an eye.

Regrettably, Obama's failure to back the rebels will leave the US with no influence over Syria's future regime, whose leadership will come from Syria's Sunni Muslim Brotherhood.

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