Assad at a moment of `Equilibrium`
Not losing or winning is ideal state of conflict to regime
War, and peace, by no mean wear the same fashion as the world of business, although there are elements of business in both. But you might grow fascinated by the applicability of some of the aspects in which business is done with regards to analyzing the state of the war `business`. And by contemplating upon this narrative, my intention is not aimed at presenting a methodical assessment of the ways and contexts in which the realities of business models have been reflected on armed conflicts, turbulence or even what consecutive US administrations kept calling as a `state of instability in the mideast`!
In brief, there is a business concept that lively captures the state of affairs at this point in time of the confrontation in Syria. Equilibrium, as described in business text books is the state in which the business (any business) achieve a `balance` among the two sides of its reason to exist- supply and demand. Elaborated more under some readings, the state of Equilibrium allows such a business to stabilize the `price` of the goods under question. And without really conceptualizing on what price stabilization means in the context of an assessment of an armed conflict, it is the `stabilization` effect that becomes more relevant to this discussion.
The underlying questions here are: has the Assad regime been able to account carefully for its gains and losses (can be seen as supply and demand as well) during almost three years of confrontation with peaceful protesters, then with armed resistance, then with a crowd of fighters assembling in different colors consequently tying to regional powers and finally to a full-fledged regional and global confrontation? The question can be thrown equally to Assad’s opponents with same ingredients. But it appears more viable to conduct this assessment on Assad’s state of business as a similar attempt to assess his opponents lacks so many factual and reasoning elements- and most importantly it lacks a single combined framework (i.e: if you say opposition, what does that mean? Who and when and why?).
An answer may empirically be `No`. Assad’s regime lacked such a decisive ability to run a methodological audit of what is coming in and out, but that applies to everyone on this map- everyone and not `almost everyone`. Evidently, he counted as coming in a profound support of Iran and Hezbollah, but he –and everyone else- may have never thought that mainstream secular and leftist groups will serve as one of his assets. Assad never counted in that a dramatic evolvement in power-holding in a country like Egypt shall reshape his positioning whether intentionally or unintentionally. In such an ongoing myth, everything changes, evolves and transform- a transfer of power in a country which armed opponents of his regime like Qatar may never let it play the same influence again.
Eventually, there is an easiest easy to conduct this assessment: over time what is `coming out` or in other words what plays against Assad is becoming less and fewer. That is in both quantity and qualitative pressure(s). Would this assume that pressure is fading away? Maybe not, but it is drying up and becoming less substantive as it seemed in height of Syrian revolution in 2012. International pressure is mysterious terminology in this context and I fail to identify its shape and identity. Also, the various regional and domestic alliances aiming at removing Assad can not be physically examined- or at best, they exist collaterally alongside the crisis.
What did the chemical saga add to this? It simply added factors to the `coming in` account and simultaneously decreased factors in the `going out` account. The result –currently- is a state of Equilibrium, the best ideal state of existence Assad would have wanted to be. He is not winning but he is not losing. He is not crushing his opponents but they can not harm him now.