The Assad system

The all-pervasive governing system in Syria is the secret to the president's baffling longevity.

November 6, 2012 12:54
3 minute read.
Assad and generals 521

Assad and generals 521. (photo credit: REUTERS)

After 20 brutal months of internecine conflict, what is it that keeps Syrian President Bashar Assad, the discredited “butcher of Damascus” and scion of a small minority religious grouping to boot, in power?

The key is the all-pervasive system his father created and which he inherited in 2000. The security forces, the ruling Assad family, the minority Alawites and the Ba’ath Party are so ingrained in all aspects of Syrian life that it is impossible to exaggerate the degree of their control or their vested interest in continuance of the status quo. The system is so entrenched that even if Assad were to be shunted aside, a new president would probably not make a significant difference.


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