September 19, 2012
A Lack of Credibility
The conflict in Syria involves three main parties; the French, the Assad government of Syria, and the rebels fighting to overthrow the government. The French have made a promise to the Syrian government that they would both support a peaceful resolution to the rebel uprising, and also aid the Syrian government. According to the Syrians, the French have not aided the Syrian government militarily, defying their promise, which will give the French a low credibility for future promises. Similarly, the Syrians promised the French that they would also seek a peaceful agreement with the rebels, but they have yet to curb their military campaign. This action means that the Syrians have defied their promise to the French, which will also make any future Syrian promise (or threat) significantly less credible. Due to the fact that neither of the French of Syrian's have fully kept their promises to one another, they will both lack credibility in future promises or threats made to attempt to resolve the issue.
In addition to the negotiations between these two parties, there is also the rebel insurrectionist group who will need to be brought to an agreement in order to achieve peace. However, according to the New York Times article, it seems that the Syrian rebel army is composed of a disproportionate number of non-Syrians whose goal is to establish an Islamic state. If this holds to be true, the rebel group will have even less credibility than the French or Assad government, because they have no interest in the state of the Syrian government itself, only establishing an Islamic state. Therefore, all three of the involved parties have low credibility, which will affect any future promises they make, which will make a peace treaty between the Syrians and rebels even more difficult, because a Peace Treaty is in essence a promise.