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Regionalized Conict
Regionalized Conict

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Published by: STEFAN MEDO VLAHOVICH on Oct 18, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Number 8
 Scenario One:
page 07
Regionalized Conict
As regional powers contend or inuence within Syria through imperectlycontrolled proxies, escalated ghting ragments the country along sectarianand ethnic lines, putting to rest any hope or a negotiated settlement. Theconict bleeds across borders, eectively overturning the post-World WarI regional order in the Middle East, and invites competitive intervention byGreat Powers.
 Scenario Two:
page 16
Contained Civil War
As a result o conclusions among great powers and regional actors thatunrestrained support to avored actions within Syria has produced diminishingreturns, the risk o regional spillover is limited. These restraints do not, however,permit a resolution to the conict. Instead, the civil war remains tenuouslycontained within Syria, settling into a protracted, multi-sided sectarian conictwith aspects o proxy war among regional rivals.
 Scenario Three:
page 24
Negotiated Settlement
A subtle and potentially transitory shit in the power balance within Syria createssufcient incentive or most parties to negotiate and enables outside actorsto exert pressure toward a settlement. As century-old political boundariesdissolve and sectarian enclaves emerge, a North-South partition and cease-re holds, with potential or a ormalized political settlement on the horizon.
SYRIA 2018
PaSt ScenarioSinitiativeS
Iraq Post-2010
March 30, 2007
Iran 2015
January 25, 2008
China 2020
October 16, 2009
Russia 2020
February 26, 2010
Turkey 2020
May 21, 2010
Ukraine 2020
October 22, 2010
Pakistan 2020
April 29, 2011Reports are available online or all Scenariosat
ProJect overvieW
The scenarios presented in this document are based on the Syria scenariosworkshop, held on February 7-8, 2013 at New York University’s Center orGlobal Aairs (CGA). This was the eighth in a series o workshops organized bythe CGA Scenarios Initiative, which aims to reduce surprise and illuminate U.S. oreignpolicy choices through scenario-building exercises. Previous events ocused on Iraq, Iran,China, Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and, Pakistan. The workshops on China, Russia, Turkey,Ukraine, Pakistan, and Syria were unded by the Carnegie Corporation o New York.In both ofcial and academic policy debates, the uture is oten expected to parallelthe recent past. Potential discontinuities are dismissed as implausible, inormationthat conicts with prevailing mindsets or policy preerences is unseen or viewedas anomalous, pressure or consensus drives out distinctive insights, and a ear obeing “wrong” discourages risk-taking and innovative analysis. This conservatismcan obscure, and thus reduce, oreign policy choice. Our experience, throughseveral workshops, is that experts tend to underestimate the degree o uturevariability in the domestic politics o seemingly stable states. This was the casewith the Soviet Union, as it is now in the Middle East and, suddenly, in Turkey andBrazil. Globalization, nancial volatility, physical insecurity, economic stresses, andethnic and religious conicts challenge governments as never beore, andrequire that Americans think seriously about both risk and opportunity in suchuncertain circumstances.The CGA Scenarios Initiative aims to apply imagination to debates about pivotalcountries that aect U.S. interests. The project assembles the combination oknowledge, detachment, and utures perspective essential to inorming decisionstaken in the presence o uncertainty. The project comprises long-term research onorces or change in the international system and workshops attended by experts andpolicymakers rom diverse elds and viewpoints. The workshops examine the resultso current research, create alternative scenarios, identiy potential surprises, and testcurrent and alternative U.S. policies against these utures.Michael F. Oppenheimer, the ounder o the project, has organized over thirty suchprojects or the State and Deense Departments, the National Intelligence Council,the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Institute o Peace, the Brookings Institution,the Council on Foreign Relations, and the President’s Science Advisor. He is a ClinicalProessor at the Center or Global Aairs at New York University.

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