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Rebuilding Syria, Someday – A Dream too far ?

Image Courtesy: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk

Rebuilding Syria might not be the first thing on the minds of anyone barring a few. Ending the war is primary. But it can only be ended if there is a comprehensive and sustainable plan on how to rebuild from the ashes.

What does it take to bring a city which been driven to the edge of despair back to life ? Will the return of millions , who fled the chemically bloody nightmare they used to call home , save the country ? Will the post war efforts of leading countries help bring the city back to life as they plant the seeds of a concrete jungle in a field watered with the blood of the innocent ?

The civil conflict has resulted in heinous war crimes being committed by Assad’s regime as well as the Nationalist opposition, adding to the already chaotic warfare is a third Axis in the form of the Jihadist Group the Islamic State. The Death toll has risen to alarming levels and the mass exodus of refugees is far greater than that of WWII.

In recent days the tectonic plates of foreign policies have shifted resulting in the different political futures being prophesized. Personally in my view it’s difficult to contemplate how the laurels of victory will drape the country.

Once the Civil war comes to an end and we come to the realization that we’re standing on the edge of the crater and what a mess of things we’ve made. As the embers of war settle in on the war torn city of Aleppo, bombs lay unexploded waiting for an unsuspecting child to stumble across them, buildings lay in rubble and millions lay displaced (how many of them would actually return to Syria?). The damage caused by the Civil war is highly reminiscent to that of World War II; in fact it’s probably much worse than that caused to Germany by the end of the war.

According to Russian MP Dmitry Sablin, Syria’s post war reconstruction will be led by Russian Companies; Putin has taken an active role in ending the conflict in Syria and has begun to work towards reviving the country as Russian officials discussed Economic matters with President Bashar al-Assad less than a week ago. Assad stated that many companies have already offered their support in rebuilding the war torn nation , including some French and Swiss Firms – however Assad further went onto state that the Government would do its best to give Russian Firms the best contracts.

Whilst the war still rages on, another fight is steadily progressing on across the globe in Aleppo, Turkey and Damascus. A project called the National Agenda for the Future of Syria has brought together teams of engineers , architects , water experts and development experts in the UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia to tackle the seemingly impossible problems which will be faced when restoring Syria .Critics may dismiss the planning effort as highly optimistic and premature seeing as the fighting may span for decades to come , but Thierry Grandin a consultant for the World Monuments Fund and is currently involved in the reconstruction planning , disagrees with critics and states that – “ there will be a day one. Our Job is to prepare”.

A daring plan to rebuild Syria – no matter who wins the war – The Boston Globe

BEIRUT-The first year of Syria’s uprising, 2011, largely spared Aleppo, the country’s economic engine, largest city, and home of its most prized heritage sites. Fighting engulfed Aleppo in 2012 and has never let up since, making the city a symbol of the civil war’s grinding destruction.

National recovery is strongly dependent on whether or not the Syria’s Economic and Industrial Powerhouse Aleppo can be successfully resurrected after Frankenstein-esque attempts. At the current level of destruction it’s estimated that reconstruction efforts will cost at least $100 billion. That itself is another problem, how will the project be financed? This is where organizations such as the UN, World Bank Group, IMF, NGOs and other countries ought to step in. Needless to say for whoever controls the reconstruction effort the project is a financial jackpot.

Some Syrian planners state that they do not wish to end up like Beirut (the city which shares an almost synonymous history in terms of a civil war which ravaged the nation) the country which faced Post War Corruption as Militia leaders turned the reconstruction efforts into a self-serving projects designed to line their pockets. Who knows maybe we could bring the fighting to a permanent standstill by motivating the three fighting Axis’s with the idea of making money via reconstruction.

Much of Syria’s recovery will depend on which axis wins the battle – if the Pro- Assad forces win then its likely that Russia will play a major role in Syria’s reconstruction , but what if the rebels were to win its likely that reconstruction will be backed up by the American Powerhouse and her allies- would Russia still get involved – moreover what would happen if the Jihadist group the Islamic state wins , what will happen to reconstruction efforts thereafter ?

In my view whatever happens in the end the parties involved in the war ought to take responsibility for the damage caused. In the end , conflicts in foreign policy must be forgotten , Russia , UK and USA must work together to effectively reconstruct the nation – yes it is an optimistic thought but there will be some form of collaboration between the superpowers in the future when restoring the devastated country.

While such optimism is great to witness, the current geopolitical mess the Syrian Crisis has entered since Turkey shooting down the Russian Su-24 has made optimism disappear. Turkey and Russia are both essential external parties in reaching a consensus on the future of Syria. Assad has also rejected the Geneva plans for a transition government and election by 2017, citing the widespread presence of terrorists not allowing for proper elections. With  Russia and Turkey now at loggerheads and Assad rejecting the UN led Geneva plans for elections, rebuilding Syria will have wait a little bit longer. Sadly, a little bit longer might become a decade, too late.

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