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Syria and the Perils of Proxy Warfare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)522-538
Number of pages17
JournalSmall Wars and Insurgencies
Issue number3
Early online date1 Jul 2014
E-pub ahead of print1 Jul 2014
PublishedJul 2014


  • Proxy_Syria_FINAL

    Proxy_Syria_FINAL.doc, 102 KB, application/msword

    Uploaded date:18 Sep 2015

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

    This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Small Wars and Insurgencies on 01/07/2014, available online:"

King's Authors


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.

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