The efficacy of US military assistance to insurgent groups: The case of Syria (2013-2015)
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The civil war in Syria started as demonstrations calling for political reforms. However, the handed response by the government forced the demonstrators to take up arms to counter the government’s actions. This result was a full blown civil war. On its part, the US opted for a limited intervention by assisting the insurgent forces. This research analyses the efficacy of the US military assistance to insurgent groups in the Syrian civil war. The general objective guiding the study was the need to understand the considerations that informed the US to opt for an indirect intervention in the civil war as well as ascertain the effectiveness of such an approach in defeating the Assad government. The study made use of a case study with the Syrian civil war being put under study. The research methodology was qualitative in nature employing in-depth interviews and documentary search as data gathering techniques. Data was analysed using thematic analysis. Strategic theory was adopted as the framework for analysing data. The study finds that US actions were informed by a rational calculation and understanding that war could be used for the fulfilment of US long standing interest of regime change in Syria without full commitment of its resources and military personnel. The civil war turned into a proxy war with the involvement of other external actors such as Russia, Iran, Hezbollah and ISIS being accounted as the chief impediments to the realisation of US goals in the conflict. The study came to the conclusion that the US policy of indirect military intervention in the Syrian crisis has been failing to oust the Assad government as there is a stalemate on the battle front. The study recommends the need for coordination amongst great powers whenever their interest clash in domestic issues of other states so as to avoid proxy wars with no prospects for an ending. This would help to consolidate the effectiveness of its approach in the Syrian crisis.