The Basic Syria Peace Plan that Could Prevent Another Middle East War and at Last Launch a Promising Era of Productive US-Russia Relations
1. Federation. A unified Syrian state is no longer a realistic option. Federation is the way forward--i.e. a federal, parliamentary democratic republic.
2. Partition. Syria should be partitioned into autonomous, Sunni and Alawite/Christian cantons, or provinces.
3. Demilitarization. Syria should be demilitarized; its chemical arsenals and other weapons of mass destruction must be destroyed; foreign fighters, expelled. National and provincial police forces should provide internal security; the international community should guarantee external security, including both the United States and Russia, which should be allowed to keep its Tartus naval base. Russian firms could provide light arms and equipment for the police pursuant to long-term agreements--compensation for loss of major weapons supply contracts (to Syria and Libya).
4. Neutrality. Syria--the national government and the individual provinces--should become a politically neutral country, removed for all time from great power rivalries, no longer a player--or pawn--in an essentially destructive contest that has consumed the Middle East and Central Asia since the Great Game. Political neutrality should be enshrined in the country's new constitution.