Alexander Decina and Katherine Nazemi in the Washington Post’s Monkey Cage: “Assad’s control over Syria’s security apparatus is limited”

Posted in Public Scholarship  |  Tagged ,

Conflict Resolution student Alex Decina and Katherine Nazemi in the Monkey Cage blog on security sector reforms in Syria and limits to President Assad’s authority.

A poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is displayed on the border between Lebanon and Syria on July 20, 2018. (Hassan Ammar/AP)

Beneath an image of centralized authority is a divided system of competing security actors.

Earlier this month, Syria saw its most extensive security reshuffle since the bombing of the National Security Bureau headquarters in July 2012. More than half-a-dozen intelligence heads were appointed, promoted or retired, and more than 50 officers were transferred within the Ministry of Interior. Some might see this high-level and wide-ranging reshuffle as evidence of President Bashar al-Assad’s supremacy over the security apparatus. However, there are strong indications that Bashar’s control is far more constrained.