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Frontline Syria
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Table of Contents

Abbreviations and Acronyms Glossary of Personalities Timeline of Critical Events About the Author Introduction Part I: Legacy of Repression 1.Hama Rules 2.The Damascus Spring 3.Cradle of the Revolution Part II: Radicalization 4.The Free Syrian Army 5.Security Assistance 6.Displacement Crisis 7.The Geneva Peace Process Part III: International Stakeholders 8.Russia 9.The Shiite Crescent 10.Turkey Part IV: Minorities and Women 11.Kurds 12.Christians and Armenians 13.Women 14.Alawites Part V: Grinding War 15.Idlib 16.Diminished America 17.UN Mediation 18.Betrayal Epilogue Annex

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Examines the role of America and other external actors' failure to prevent conflict escalation in Syria since the outbreak of civil war

About the Author

David L. Phillips is Director of the Program on Peace-building and Human Rights at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights. He served as a Senior Adviser and Foreign Affairs Expert to the US Department of State during the administrations of Presidents Obama, Bush and Clinton. Phillips also served as a Senior Adviser to the UN Secretariat. He was a Visiting Scholar with Harvard University's Center for Middle East Studies and worked with the Council on Foreign Relations. He has also testified on regional issues before the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, the British House of Commons, the French Senate and the European Parliament.

Reviews

The Syrian war will go down as the tragedy of a generation, and will have repercussions in the region for years to come. How did a failed revolution on the heels of the Arab Spring turn to one of the bloodiest conflicts of the century? And how could the international community have stood by with so little regard from human life? David Phillips, one of the most respected experts in the field, was a first-hand witness, speaking to many of the regional actors in his role as a conflict analyst. In this important book, he unravels the conflict from ground zero. An urgent read for anyone who wants to understand how and why we failed Syria. -- Janine di Giovanni, Senior Fellow, Jackson Institute Yale University; Author of "The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria"
A candid, well-informed 'after action report' on how the Arab Spring turned to winter in Syria and the consequences of failed international diplomacy. -- Ambassador William J. Burns, President, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State
In this recounting of the Syrian civil war, David Phillips recalls the history of repression in Syria and explains how the peaceful protest movement in 2011 metastasized into a violent insurgency dominated by militants and extremists. He is not sparing in his criticism of American mistakes either. This book also presents a detailed, sympathetic view of the aspirations of Syrians themselves, most notably Kurds, Christians, the displaced, and Syrian women who will have a vital role in future Syrian reconciliation. -- Robert S. Ford, Senior Fellow, Middle East Institute, Washington D.C and former U.S. Ambassador to Syria
While the full toll of human suffering may never be known, the people of Syria and the world must know more about one of the most horrifying outgrowths of the Arab Spring. Phillips provides an informed and compassionate survey of the Syrian civil war and the international meddling that has exacerbated the disaster. -- Danielle Pletka, Senior Fellow in Foreign and Defense Policy Studies, The American Enterprise Institute (AEI), Washington D.C
Frontline Syria is truly a 'must-read' for any student of the catastrophe that is modern Syria...as well as the bipartisan fecklessness of American foreign policy. With an intense combination of scholarly rigor and the objective compassion that comes from his own personal experiences, David Phillips narrates the terrifying descent of Syria from a stable if prosaic backwater to that of a Hobbesian state of nature. From the 'Red Lines' that weren't to the abandonment of its Kurdish allies, his searing insights and conclusions also provide jarring punctuation for the United States' declining moral and political leadership, and the implications of this tragic abdication for the Middle East and beyond. -- Thomas S. Kaplan, entrepreneur and conservationist, and Chairman of Justice for Kurds
Syria's once promising revolution failed, plunging the country into chaos and anarchy. Drawing on his decades of experience as an American diplomat, peacemaker and discreet back-channel, David Phillips explores what went wrong. While many share the blame, he finds particular fault in the US government's response for making promises it never intended to keep, leaving Syrian activists to die, and thereby opening the gates of Hell to one of the worst humanitarian disasters in modern history. -- Richard Engel, Chief Foreign Correspondent, NBC News

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