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"We judge that U.S. interests in #Syria probably would be best served by a Sunni regime as it may well include relative moderates interested in securing western aid and investment. Such a regime would probably be less inclined to escalate tensions with #Israel"
"The economy is #Syria 's most pressing internal problem, and hopes for near-term improvement are dim. The US Embassy reports that the vast majority of Syrians are finding it increasingly difficult to afford basic necessities"
On Syrian involvement in #Lebanon, "we believe Assad is "determined to achieve Syrian hegemony in order to check #Israel 's influence and prevent Lebanon from becoming a base for subversion against #Syria"
Syria is the centerpiece of Moscow's influence in the Middle East. Moscow thus has a vested interest in major policy shifts or changes in Syrian leadership. In spite of his dependence on Soviet military aid, Assad has remained wary of excessive Soviet influence"
"Sunnis make up 60% of Syrian officer corp. We believe that a renewal of communal violence between Alawis and Sunnis could inspire Sunnis in the military to turn against the regime"
"Rivalries among Alawi clans & tribes exist; should a power struggle develop in the military or the Govt among Alawi elites, we believe factions based on clans or tribal loyalties could form"
"Although the Muslim Brotherhood's suppression drastically reduced armed dissidence, we judge significant potential still exists for another Sunni opposition movement"
Since Assad crushed the MB, deep-seated tensions remain--keeping alive the potential for minor incidents to grow into major flareups of communal violence. For example, disgruntlement over price hikes, altercations between Sunni citizens and security forces
"Excessive Govt force in quelling disturbances might be seen by Sunnis as evidence of Govt vendetta against all Sunnis, precipitating even larger protests by other Sunni groups. Sunni merchants & artisans probably would launch protests"
i didn't read it as a game plan, more like multiple what if's
The UN and US peacekeeping troops withdrew and let the "green line" in Beirut collapse during the summer of 1987, handing the nation over to Assad and (Iranian sock-puppet) Hezbolah.
Is that reflected in the above purported policy memo?
Because the Serbs were "involved in ethnic cleansing".
There were, in reality, about 2000 people killed in ethnic genocide, total, by ALL actors on all sides. The combat casualties were what, 75,000-100,000?: