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Violence Intensifies in Syria

By Taylor Marvin

From the BBC, at least 17 people have been killed in anti-government protests in Syria. This is troubling. It’s been credibly argued that US military aid to Egypt gave the US an indirect moderating influence over the Egyptian military, leverage strengthened by Egypt’s officer corps affinity for American university education. This moderating influence doesn’t exist in Syria. Unlike Egypt or Tunisia, where the military’s unofficial governance of the country would persist even after the removal of the executive, Syrian security forces seem to be much more invested in the survival of the current government and have less incentive to depose the government in a military coup, the mechanism for regime change in both Tunisia and Egypt. This, combined with the Syrian regimes’ minority ethnic status, seems to indicate that the Syrian government faces low internal barriers to violent anti-protester measures, suggesting the situation in Syria has much more in common with Bahrain and Yemen than Egypt and Tunisia.

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