Commanding Syria: Bashar al-Asad and the First Years in Power

Published by  
I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd
Hardcover , 230 pages , $72

This is the first major work on Bashar al-Asad. It explains his emergence to power from the Byzantine manoeuverings of Asad family politics. It assesses the durability of Hafis’s legacy, including the persistent influence of the old-power brokers, the effectiveness of Bashar’s attempts to move away from his father’s shadow, and the prospects for reform in Syria. It examines the key events of Bashar’s Presidency, the so called ‘Damascus Spring’, the decision not to support America’s second war with Iraq in 2003, and the assassination of the former Lebanese Premier Rafik Hariri, and puts them into historical context. Above all, Commanding Syria evaluates Bashar’s continuing hold on power following Syria’s humiliating retreat from Lebanon in Spring 2005 and the aggressive American drive to impose democracy in the Middle East.

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