Russia As a Powerful Broker in Syria: Hard and Soft Aspects
The Arab Spring was regarded with suspicion by Russian decision-makers, their worst fears were seemingly confirmed with the case of Libya in 2011 when NATO was seen as abusing the UN Security Council R2P mandate for the purpose of regime change. This had a great impact on Russia’s decision to support the Syrian government, when the regime change process began there. By the summer of 2015, the world was predicting the fall of the Syrian government, it was at this point Russia became directly and overtly involved with the fighting. The West tried to project a dire scenario that Russia would become embroiled in an Afghan-scenario, they made many guesses about the ‘true’ nature of Russia’s engagement, but largely failed to comprehend or understand the actual motivation. Despite negative Western projections, Russia has been largely successful in its aims and goals. Russia has consequently emerged as an external actor of significance and influence in the MENA region, which seems to be owed somewhat to taking the decision to become directly involved in Syria as a powerful broker.
Keywords: Syrian War, Russia, military intervention, soft power, hard power, powerful broker
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