By Erica Chenoweth
“Practically, this process is positive.”
~ Bashar al Assad, commenting on recent defections, as quoted in Hassan Hassan’s article “Assad’s Massacre Strategy”.
Apparently, Assad would prefer a “a small, committed core of officials committed to crushing the revolt than a broader regime infiltrated by traitors,” as Hassan puts it. Although many conflict scholars view defections as a sign of regime weakness, Assad may see it as a process of voluntary purging, thus strengthening the regime. More will be revealed as to whether Assad is right.