From Aram Nerguizian, a visiting fellow at Anthony Cordesman's ultra-realist CSIS, another wake-up call about the strength of Assad's support in Syria:
Underestimating the reservations of key groups that still support the Assad regime all but guarantees a protracted civil war that could divide Syria along sectarian lines and destabilize neighboring Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Already, its neighbors are experiencing spillover effects, including refugee flows, heightened Sunni-Alawite tension in northern Lebanon, pressure from Islamist opposition forces in Jordan and discord between Sunnis and Shiites in Iraq over how to deal with the crisis in Syria.
Internal or external efforts to truly isolate, weaken or replace the regime are likely to fail unless real-world steps are taken to address the legitimate fears of key groups that still support Assad.
Read the entire piece here . . .