President Obama’s decision to launch airstrikes against ISIS in Syria has been interpreted by several scholars as a major event that is destined to bring about a dramatic change in the balance of power, with some predicting this to be in favour of the regime, and others foreseeing the birth of a US-rebel alliance that would eventually defeat both ISIS and the regime. To others, the decision to launch airstrikes is just another minor chapter in a long tragic story that, as of yet, no one is seriously committed to ending.
In it’s first series of blog posts on the Syrian Uprising, the Centre for Syrian Studies (CSS) at the University of St Andrews asked scholars affiliated with the Centre to provide their analytic responses to the following questions:
1) What are the likely consequences of airstrikes against ISIS for the balance of power in Syria?
2) Should the crisis be used to attempt a new drive for a political power-sharing arrangement in Syria?
3) Should the air campaign be turned, as Turkey urges, against the regime in order to force it into a transition?
In their totality, the responses shared by these scholars reflect the diversity in approaches to the significance (or lack thereof) of the airstrikes against ISIS and their possible short and long-term consequences.