SPECIAL TO THE CIPHER BRIEF — There is vast confusion, and much existential angst about the future of the Middle East region if the U.S. withdraws its military presence from Eastern Syria. What is missing from most available expert analysis of the Syrian conflict is historic context. It is a region where the major monotheistic religions were born and where often violent tribal, ethnic, and sectarian conflicts have prevailed for thousands of years.
To predict what will occur in the Syrian conflict we must first understand the dynamics of the region, including its history. How did it come to the present complex situation? Few of the expert analysis being offered provide this essential context.
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