Nasr: Syrian conflict threatens Middle East stability

Vali Nasr, who took over as dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in July and previously advised President Obama's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, wrote an op-ed about the conflict in Syria that appeared in The New York Times on Sunday, July 28.

Nasr writes:

The conflict in Syria has reached a tipping point, but not one that promises a quick end to the fighting. With or without Bashar al-Assad as its leader, Syria now has all the makings of a grim and drawn-out civil war: evenly matched protagonists who are not ready for a cease-fire, and outside powers preoccupied with their own agendas and unable to find common ground.

There is no easy way out of such a stalemated struggle, and this one threatens the stability of the whole Middle East. So the United States and its allies must enlist the cooperation of Mr. Assad's allies — Russia and, especially, Iran — to find a power-sharing arrangement for a post-Assad Syria that all sides can support, however difficult that may be to achieve.

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