CAIRO – As the violence in Syria mounts, the international community’s paralysis has become increasingly jarring. But the role of external regional forces is almost as important in fueling the domestic bloodshed as what is happening internally. If Syria could break free of the negative influences of regional politics, genuine change without continued violence might become possible.
Syria needs to manage its diverse ethnic and religious composition, and to decide its own position on the Arab-Israeli conflict. But that is more difficult when neighboring countries are exploiting the country's heterogeneous makeup to pursue their own hegemonic agendas.