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The Western media, think tanks, and policy community routinely portray the Syrian conflict as a dichotomy of the Assad regime and the opposition. Yet, this has never been the case on the ground. The conflict has been –and still is, primarily – a popular movement of Syrians from all walks of life and backgrounds for better governance, freedom of expression, and other liberties. By reducing the Syrian conflict to an “Assad-opposition” duality, we effectively marginalize the population’s peaceful majority, empower two violent extremist actors, and ignore Syria’s complexity and its overarching civic identity. However, these latter societal characteristics are precisely the pillars we need to cherish if we are to prevent a further slide toward a protracted conflict eventually resulting in either a dictatorship or a fundamentalist state.

 

 

 

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Philip Gamaghelyan
Philip Gamaghelyan
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Foreword TPQ’s Summer issue, NATO in 2020 and Beyond: New Strategies and Frontiers, offers insights on the Alliance’s current challenges and future security trends, while offering a look into Euro-Atlantic relations in the coming decade. It is clear that as the international security landscape is rapidly changing, member states’ capabilities, resilience, and most importantly, their...
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