The Syrian Intervention: Following the Wingate Model

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The Syrian Intervention: Following the Wingate Model Empty The Syrian Intervention: Following the Wingate Model

Post by Guest on Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:59 pm

British Maj. Gen. Orde Charles Wingate’s approach to the liberation of Ethiopia from Italian occupation in 1941 provides a useful model for modern-day intervention in Syria. Rather than hand out money and materiel to local forces, Wingate advocated committing one’s own forces and then allowing local forces to participate of their own accord. In his view, loyalty bought with cash and weapons will always prove temporary.

One of the recurrent arguments against full-scale American intervention in Syria (as well as in Kurdistan) has been the contention that the various rebel forces might prove to be greater regional threats than the murderous, yet contained, Assad regime.

This misconception is anything but new.

Two years ago, Steven Heydemann, a non-resident senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution, wrote in his “Why the United States hasn’t intervened in Syria” that in addition to a “deep cognitive bias against risk” and an overreliance on lessons presumably learned from earlier US interventions, previous administrations failed to appreciate that “Syrian fighters followed resources, not beliefs.”


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