Policy Focus 128 – Syria’s Military Opposition: How Effective, United, or Extremist?

Jeffrey White, Andrew J. Tabler, & Aaron Y. Zelin

September 2013 – . The recent chemical warfare attack, however, has rendered urgency to a considered U.S. response. Despite the Obama administration’s aversion to using military power in Syria and the difficulty of forging allied consensus on goals and methods, the Assad regime must be held accountable.

Nevertheless, the risk-benefit calculus for any decision depends, at the very least, on a thorough understanding of the disparate ideologies that drive the Syrian opposition, their military inadequacies, and their ability to create a unified political structure. To clarify these issues, Jeffrey White, Andrew J. Tabler, and Aaron Y. Zelin, all respected experts on Syria, present their findings in this Washington Institute Policy Focus, which has been updated to accommodate the most recent developments in this ongoing humanitarian crisis.

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