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Contingency Planning for Post-Conflict Syria

Focus Area
Human Security
Annalisa Bezzi, Emily Hawley
06 Oct 2016

War is unilaterally destructive. Victories come at heavy costs and agreements force painful compromise. Moreover, for many civil conflicts, the end is inconclusive. Some two-thirds of countries devolve back into warfare within a decade. The civil conflict in Syria – sectarian, ideological, and interntionalised – has proved particularly fractious. There is no party with the vision, power and support needed to unify the country under the pluralist ideal called for by the revolution's thought leaders. But at some point Syria's war will end, and eventually, refugees will return. This paper – a joint initiative by Mercy Corps and the West Asia-North Africa (WANA) Institute – aims to better Syria's post-conflict odds. We map out the troubling scenarios that may compromise Syria's future and plan how to best provide security and justice in these contexts. 

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