Syria and the Perils of Proxy Warfare

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The ongoing civil war in Syria is evolving into a ‘proxy war’, in which both the Baathist regime and its insurgent adversaries are becoming increasingly reliant upon support from external powers. Proxy warfare has a superficial appeal for sponsoring states, as it appears to offer a convenient and risk-free means of fulfilling foreign policy goals, which will not incur the financial and human costs of direct military intervention. Using Syria as a case study, this article shows that the conduct of proxy warfare has several potential political, strategic, and ethical consequences, which any democratic government in particular is obliged to consider before it resorts to this indirect means of foreign intervention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-538
Number of pages17
JournalSmall Wars and Insurgencies
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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