To win this war NATO and ME allies need to become more aggressive.
Whatever happens with Aleppo, this this conflict is not about to end soon:
It ain’t over ‘till Walid Muallem sings
By CAMERON S. BROWN 01/08/2012
Despite what the media has been saying, the war in Syria will not be over anytime soon.
Indeed, the larger point is this: civil wars do not end quickly. Since World War II, the average civil war has lasted about 7 years—far longer than the average war fought between states (the median conflict lasts only 3 months).
Granted, civil wars where the core economic indicators are similar to Syria’s (with relatively lower levels of inequality and higher per capita incomes) do end more quickly. But “more quickly,” according to research by Paul Collier and his colleagues, still translates into an average of 4 years before such civil wars end.
At the same time, Syria’s conflict has a number of characteristics that prolong civil conflicts. Most importantly in this regard, neither side has anywhere to go should it lose (as opposed to say the French in Algeria, the PLO in Jordan, or Pakistanis in Bangladesh). When sides believe their back is up against the wall, and it is fight or die, it is a good bet that the fighting will be long and it will be grisly.
I add “grisly” here because yet another lesson that we can learn from looking at previous civil wars is that they are extraordinarily bloody. Of the 125 civil wars since World War II, the average death toll is almost 130,000. It is also an unfortunate, but safe, assumption that we have not yet seen the last (and perhaps even the worst) massacre in this conflict.
There is, however, one thing that Collier and his colleagues concluded that could end the fighting more quickly: international military intervention on behalf of the rebels. Ostensibly, such intervention is unlikely due to Russian and Chinese opposition in the UN. Yet, even if this opposition was not a concern, we have to be honest: any international intervention will either be insufficient or get bogged down into a tremendous quagmire.
FULL ARTICLE: http://www.inss.org.il/upload/(FILE)1343903437.pdf
PS: To illustrate the point, look at the Homs. Homs, although not the richest cities country-wide, generated also large portion of GDP (and therefore taxes). Now, most of it is in ruins and for nearly a year it generates nothing. Hence city utilities had to be shut down, hence the heavy industry which was located there is now closed etc. Bringing fight to more major cities will bring collapse of the economy, even without clear frontline war in progress.
And since many here likes Martin Chulov, here is his piece on today events in Salahedin.
Syria rebels claim upper hand as battle for Aleppo grinds towards stalemate
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012...eppo-stalemateThe day started in Salahedin just as it had for the past fortnight, with rebels under fierce assault from a nearby ring road and the Syrian Air Force blitzing them from the skies.
Just before daybreak, however, the frontline – thus far seemingly solid – began to wobble. Rebels briefly withdrew as the regime pushed forward with men and tanks. This, it seemed, was the start of the battle for Aleppo, an inexorable showdown for which the whole city had been nervously preparing.
Then, only several hours after daybreak, the regime retreated and the weary guerillas returned to their sandbags. Government claims to have conquered the enemy stronghold were false, as were the rebels' later claims to have breached regime lines. Nothing seems to be going to script in this war.
All the might that the forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad can muster is now camped just over a large bank of land to the east of Salahedin, the suburb of Aleppo that has become the focal point of the conflict. All the men the guerrilla force can assemble are holed up in crumbling buildings, the closest of them only 200m from the nearest regime tank.
Yet the decisive battle that most in Aleppo seemed to have feared is slowly giving way to another – even more dreaded – reality. Stalemate, with neither side willing or able to advance. A new sense is beginning to settle in that neither Salahedin, nor the rest of Syria's second city, will see an end to the fighting any time soon.
Stalemate will bring just complete, gradual destruction of the city.
Stalemate won't happen only if rebels gets armor and more fighters quickly
Yes i know but unless some division size defection happen the war will last maybe another year or with armor ...