Complex system problem about Syrian War Essay Example

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Complex system problem about Syrian War

Complex system problem about Syrian War

Syrian war arose due to a conflict between the forces loyal to the president Bashar al-Assad and those of those who oppose him. The two opposing sides later divided into a number of militias which included foreign fighters and the local fighters. The basic disagreement, however, is whether Assad’s government should keep ruling (Taleb et al. 2015). As the war progressed, it led to a new conflict; based on ethnic groups. The Kurdish Syrian minorities were armed during the chaos. The group was able to carve out a de facto mini-state and grabbed the territory viewing as Kurdish territory fighting against the jihadist group. This ethnic group is at times backed by the US. However, the president has never focused on fighting against the Kurdish group.

The other conflict in Syria involves the Islamic states (ISIS). This conflict emerged as a result of internal fighting against the jihadist group. ISIS grabbed the largest parts of Iraq and Syria making this region their caliphate. This group is always at war with all other groups taking part in the Syrian war. Finally, the most complex conflict arises in Syria as a result of foreign intervention. A Foreign government has contributed to the growth of the conflict in that Assad’s government is under the support of; Russia, Iran, and Lebanese militant group. On the other side, the rebels are supported by the US and other Arabic countries which are rich in oils, for instance, Saudi Arabia. It should be noted that the foreign states have different agendas. They accomplish their agendas by ramping up the violence in Syria making the war to perpetuate.

The Syrian war has left hundreds of thousands of people killed. Other people have left their home country to seek refuge in other neighboring countries. However, the war is fueled by foreign interventions. Politically the war has been so complex since external influence and support has made the war and conflict to worsen leaving the state bloody. The war began when the Syrians peacefully rose against their ruling authority. President Assad responded to the riots violently and this made the Syrian rebels to take up arms to defend themselves. The situation worsened when soldiers joined the rebels.

The Syrian government was ruled by the minority group within the country. This made the majority to feel oppressed by the minority group. However, Syrian political system was not only influenced by ethnic group but also by the religious divides. When the majority group was involved in the riots, the minority group became fearful and aggressive (Rid, 2012). The main reason why the violent become more tempting within the country is that; Assad the head of state had a lot of support from the security services and the military and not the larger population of the country.

The political instability within the country was also depended by increased food insecurity within the country. The food insecurity was brought about by the rural-urban migration where most of the rural population migrated to the urban areas in large numbers. The food shortage was also increased by climatic changes within the country. The foreign countries that have intervened in the Syrian war have not offered a solution to settle the conflicts but have increased political rivalry among the Syrians.

The following countries have been involved in the Syrian war and their contribution;

Iran; this country has been of great support to Assad. The country has supplied soldiers so Syrian government in support of Assad. The main reason for Iran’s support to Assad is that they view Syrian very important in its regional strategy. This is because it offers accessibility of Lebanon and Hezbollah. This makes it beneficial to the country since the region is influenced by a group known as Tehran which acts as a counterpart to Israel, which is rich in a nuclear weapon and the main weapon Iran fears.

Saudi Arabia; this is one of the countries that offer maximum support to the rebels. The main aim of this country is to have Assad replaced and a friendlier government to Saudi Arabia takes power. The main reason for their support to the rebels is to counter the support the Syrian government is given by Iran who has been rivals with Saudi Arabia for long. The two rival countries have been in cold war for decades. The aggressiveness of this country has been heavily felt within Syria due to the following reasons; they feel the Iran’s support within the region has greatly increased, they also feel that the US is less aggressive to Iran.

United States (US); this is also another country that has been in support of the Syrian rebels. The country offers its support to the rebels by funneling weapons to them. The main agenda for US involvement in this war is to fight against Assad who is one of their greatest enemies. It also offers support in order to fight against the Islamic state (Carpenter, 2013). In fighting the Islamic state the US has given support to the Kurdish group which is among the minority groups within the region.

Turkey; Turkey supports the fight against Assad. It, therefore, supports the Syrian rebels by sheltering them. The country also supports the rebels by recruiting foreigners and ushering them into Syria. The other agenda for Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian war is in order to fight against the Kurdish group. The country fears that the Kurdish group in Syria is likely to reinforce Kurdish insurgent within Turkey.

Russia; this country has been in support of Assad. It is involved in selling weapons to the Syrian government. The country also provides Syria with diplomatic cover at the UN (United Nations). Russia cheeped in in the year 2015 when Assad was almost losing the grounds and was about to surrender.

All these political influences have led Syrian war to worsen year after the other. The solution to settle the conflict has been dimmed by foreign interventions who engage in the war for their selfish gains. Each country as stated above has its own agenda as to why it supports the Syrian war, and this has blocked the attempt to look for a lasting solution to the war making it even worse.

Economically, Syria has been greatly affected by the conflicts. The emergence of war economy and contraction of the Syrian economy has negatively affected the business community within the country. It has also affected the elite group within the country too. The following are the major negative impacts on the economy as a result of the war; sustained capital flight, long term and short term sanctions, a dramatic reduction in production, a decreased enterprise, reduction in exchanges within Syria, and finally pre-war business elite was established.

However, the emergence of the new war economy within Syria has promoted an increase in new conflict elite. The wealth of these conflict elites is bound to the perpetration of violence in the country. Though the elites are not directly involved in the perpetration of violence or carrying of weapons they are the greatest beneficiaries of this conflict. The elites are responsible for the smooth flow of goods and services within different regions in Syria and also responsible for transactions with the outside world. It should be noted that the emerged conflict elites will have an intense impact on the future of this country.

The Syrian economy has been at risk of collapsing as a result of violence within the country. The main reason for the collapse of the economy is due to; a severe drop in output in the manufacturing and energy sectors; this has made agricultural sector to be the main source of the country’s output. The conflict has also contributed to a sharp fall in food production. With the high level of economic collapse, the military is also likely to collapse in the long run.

Rival groups within Syria, for instance, ISIS has developed administrative structures; this has led to the development of war economy in Syria. The government has therefore been weakened since it cannot be in a position to control the economy. The country has therefore been depending on foreign donations and aids. Syria’s oil is used to credit the importation of the equipment as well as the basic commodities. The country, therefore, has a minimal benefit from it oils.

Though Assad has fought enough in order to remain in power, the country has really suffered. Thousands of people have been killed, millions of citizens displaced and economic losses exceeding $ 200 incurred within the country. The greatest economic fall has been associated with, loss of human capital, low productivity, fall in the manufacturing and energy sector and finally squandering of the country’s foreign currency reserves (Levy, 2015).

The country’s economy has remained stagnant since the war emerged. This is because human capital and infrastructure have been greatly hit by the war and this challenge is likely to affect the country even some years later after the war is ended. Infrastructure and human capital are important factors to consider in economic growth and this may lead the country’s economic status to drop to the size it was in the early 90s. Due to depletion of government resources, the country will, therefore, depend on foreign aids. The country’s GDP has been greatly affected leading to a sharp drop. The country’s export has lost their real value by 80% this leading to low foreign income within Syria. The oil output within the country has significantly dropped. The drop in oil output has been as a result of oil fields being under control of ISIS, transportation infrastructures have also been destroyed.

Demographic catastrophe has also been another challenge that has contributed to the failure of Syria’s economy. The country before wars had an approximate of 22 million Syrians. After the wars emerged about 4.8 million citizens ran away in seek for refuge. Displacement of the Syrians has greatly affected human capital. The number of children who have not secured a chance to join school has been roughly 4 million. This will affect the country in the long run since it will depend on imported skilled personnel which will b costly.

The country has been under control of different groups; the Islamic state, the government and the rebel groups. The economic status of regions under the control of the government has been deteriorated. The regions under the rebels and ISIS are a bit improved in relation to those under the control of the government. However, the Russian government has been attacking these regions causing destruction in the infrastructures.

The Syrian economy has faced a major challenge of unemployment. This has made the highest population within the country to be poor, and they are not able to meet their basic needs. Child labor is also another challenge with the Syrians economy. The other main challenge is that the employers are not in support of contracts. Employment unions within the economy are under government officials. These factors have negatively affected the Syrian economy and also positively contributing to its collapse.

Foreign investment in the country has been discouraged. Investors are more concerned with profit making, with the high rate of political instability; foreign investors are not attracted to invest within Syria. This has contributed to a weakened financial system within Syria. Banking system also faces a major challenge within the country with foreign banks dominating the country. This makes it challenging for the government to raise revenues through taxation. This also encourages capital flight.

Inflation is also a common challenge within the Syrian economy. Inflation rate within the country has increased since the government is not in a position to apply the fiscal and monetary policy to control inflation. In order to control ISIS in the country, the government undertook the following measures which made the Syrian to be angry; it slashed electricity, diesel, water, it also heated oil subsidies (Stansfield, 2013). These measures by the government were meant to conserve resource to fight against the rebels and the ISIS.

Having identified the complex system problem about the Syrian war it is important to develop approaches that will help manage the problems. The conflict among the citizens is evident that it is fueled by the struggle for power. In order to save the country from collapsing it is important to come up with long lasting solutions that will help end the war. This will ensure that death rate within the country is reduced, the number of refugees displaced from their mother land is reduced and it will also help rebuild the economy of the country. Urban-rural migration will be witnessed thus reducing the severe drought in the country. Finally, the manufacturing and energy sector will be revived within the country thus encouraging economic growth.

The following methodologies and approaches would be useful in managing the Syrian war;

i. collaboration approach; this is an approach that would be effective only if the all the groups involved in the war are willing to come together, integrate their ideas and come up with a creative solution that would be suitable for all the parties. The government led by Assad should be willing to collaboratively with the leaders of the rebel groups. This will ensure that there is fair resource distribution of national resources. It will also ensure that individuals from both the majority and minority groups are involved in national decision making ensuring that there is no single group which is discriminated by the national government. Through collaboration, the groups are in a position to develop strategies of fair distribution of resources.

ii. Accommodation approach; this is an approach that gives a chance to the opposition. The citizens at first held peaceful demonstrations against the authority; However, Assad responded violently and this led to the citizens to take up weapons defending themselves. This later turned into chaos witnessed in the present Syria. The government should have accommodated the opposition and responded positively to their demands. In order to restore back the Syrian economy and ensuring political stability, the government should, therefore, accommodate the rebel groups and this will ensure that a lasting solution is achieved.

iii. Compromising strategy; this is a strategy that requires that the two involved parties come together and give their own views concerning the conflict. Assad has been firm that he wants to remain in power. The rebels, on the other hand, are firm that Assad is not the best person to rule Syria. This conflict has led to the death of many Syrians, millions displaced and many children denied a chance to be in school. By applying this approach power division would be encouraged. This would ensure that peace is maintained within Syria with the rebel group represented in government.

iv. Competing strategy; this is an approach that involves two parties involved is a competition. In such a competition one side becomes the winner while the other becomes the winner. Syria has been under a hereditary system of governance (Evron, 2013). This denied other people who are in apposition to lead the country a chance to rule. Assad was from the minority group within Syria, he denied individuals from the majority to have a chance to have leaders to represent them. He also made promises to the Syrians but he never fulfilled and this made people riot against his leadership. Through advocating for a democratic republic within Syria would ensure that the majority are able to elect their own leader who would serve their interests. Therefore, it would be effective to hold an election in Syria. The winner is declared the president and this would minimize chaos within the country.

The above approaches are applicable and implementing them would help fix the complex problem within Syria. However, the intervention by foreign countries has led to a further division among the Syrians. The foreign interventions have their own agendas that they aim to accomplish and therefore have no interest in the well-being of Syria as a country.

It is therefore important to note that Syrian conflict is based on regions. In order to get a lasting solution, it is therefore important to come up with a regional solution. This could be achieved through regional dialogues among the security personnel. In the dialogue, foreign or external actors would be of less importance since they have been perpetrators of violence within the country. Therefore, intermediaries such as the UN would help the regions engage in a dialogue to get a lasting solution.

The following is an outline of a project plan that will help improve the complex system about Syrian war.

Project plan

Project purpose

The project is aimed at identifying the major challenges facing Syrian citizens. It also aims at developing strategies that would be resourceful in ensuring that conflict resolutions within Syria are achievable

Project goals and objectives

  • Peace restoration

  • Reducing displacement rate of the population

  • Development of a lasting solution among the conflicting parties in Syria

  • Rebuilding the economic status within Syria

Scope and expectations

  • The major challenge in restoring peace within a country is due to negative influence from other countries that have no good will for the country in question. The expectation is that independent bodies such as the UN will be of great help and offer support

  • Peace will be restored and the findings will be useful to settle the conflict within the country

Project approach

  • Phase 1 having an interaction with the government officials and have their views on the conflict

  • Phase 2 having an interaction with the rebels ‘representatives and collect their views

  • Phase 3 engaging with representatives of countries involved in the Syrian war. This will be conducted on two separate occasions where the first interaction is those in support of the Syrian rebels while the other occasion is interaction with those in support of the government

  • Phase 4 an interaction with crucial stakeholders and representatives of; the government, the rebels, and the countries involved

  • Phase 5 implementation of the findings

Project assumptions

  • The Syrian government is willing to engage with the opposition and come up with an agreeable solution.

  • The countries involved will positively support the project

Project constraints

There are limited funding sources

Project budget

$ 2000 will cater for major project activities, transportation, accommodation among other activities

Project timeline

  • 24th -27th May 2017 project phase 1 conducted

  • 12th -15th June 2017 conducting phase 2 of the project

  • 20th-24th June 2017 conducting phase 3

  • 27th-30th June 2917 conducting phase 4


Carpenter, T.G., 2013. Tangled web: The syrian civil war and its implications. Mediterranean Quarterly24(1), pp.1-11.

Evron, Y., 2013. War and Intervention in Lebanon (Routledge Revivals): The Israeli-Syrian Deterrence Dialogue. Routledge.

Levy, J.S., 2015. War in the Modern Great Power System: 1495—1975. University Press of Kentucky.

Rid, T., 2012. Cyber war will not take place. Journal of strategic studies35(1), pp.5-32.

Stansfield, G., 2013. The unravelling of the post-First World War state system? The Kurdistan Region of Iraq and the transformation of the Middle East. International Affairs89(2), pp.259-282.

Taleb, Z.B., Bahelah, R., Fouad, F.M., Coutts, A., Wilcox, M. and Maziak, W., 2015. Syria: health in a country undergoing tragic transition. International journal of public health60(1), pp.63-72.