February 17, 2016

FORCING EVERY CONTRADICTION:

This "simple" chart of the war in Syria shows it's actually mind-bogglingly complicated (Zack Beauchamp on February 16, 2016, Vox)

The following chart, from Middle East Institute fellow Charles Lister, shows just how complex things have gotten, with arrows pointing from a party to everyone it is currently fighting. The chart is perhaps the simplest depiction of the different sides I've ever seen, yet it is incredibly complicated:

This *simple* chart shows all states of hostility currently being played out on #Syria's territory#IntractableWar pic.twitter.com/1inprNB6U0

-- Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) February 13, 2016

Perhaps the most useful thing in the chart is that it goes beyond the obvious stuff -- Syrian rebels don't like Assad or ISIS, Iran and Russia are supporting the government -- to get at the more obscure, yet very important, subconflicts. 

Thus far, we've applied the lessons of WWI, WWII and the Cold War and stood off while the parties fight it out among themselves.  Easy enough to intervene after they've done most of the dirty work.



Posted by at February 17, 2016 1:45 PM

  

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