~ from a newsletter by Chuck Spinney
Attached is a short Syrian sitrep and summary of the central points of a plan being advocated by Joshua Landis, a professor at the Univ. of Oklahoma, and one of our nation’s leading experts on Syria. Landis runs an informative blog, known as Syria Comment and his plan is discussed at this link in a video interview with Fareek Zakaria of CNN. My guess is that Landis is well aware of the limitations and uncertainties of his proposal to solve what has become a gordian knot of contradictions. Zakaria’s gushing enthusiasm for the Landis plan may not reflect Landis’s confidence in whether or not this plan will work.
For example, a subsequent blog entry on Landis’s site, The Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra: A Looming Grand Jihadi Alliance?, Posted by Aymenn Al-Tamimi on Friday, November 14th, 2014, lays out a very interesting argument outlining reasons why al Nusra and ISIS are unlikely to form a lasting alliance. If Al-Tamimi is correct, this may well render impossible any efforts to stabilize a moderate Sunni state. The bullets below summarize Landis’s points as I understand them; my comments are in red.
In no way implying criticism, the Landis plan may be unworkable. But pressure to partition Syria is going to grow, so it is worth thinking about its implications.